Pakatan losing its mojo

Accepting blame and retrenchments are not populist but it is not the job of political parties to please. Sometimes, to lead they must show strength rather than assume the role of Pied Piper.

Praba Ganesan, The Malay Mail Online

On the home stretch to a general election, on the eve of the election Budget reading, the performance of Pakatan Harapan — the main opposition coalition, with its viability pretty much in question — has left many pundits shaking their heads.

On what score is it failing itself and its aspirations?

On the score of being sensible and honest. Honest about failings, and sensible about future plans, for instance the Budget.

Of mice and men

Nobody wants to own up to the October 14 failed rally. Anti-kleptocracy is so in vogue I am utterly shocked the masses did not squish each other on the LRT to Padang Timur.

Still, I let it slide a fortnight. Wait out for a bit of honesty.

Yet, no leader within the fold, especially those who put it together, stood up and said, “My bad…”

Rallies are not solely about leaders receiving adulation from the rakyat, there is the small matter of justifying the time and effort by participants who won’t be in the running for Cabinet if Pakatan wins the election.

When the people are summoned, don’t treat them like sheep. Every failed rally will lead to fewer faces for the next one. Goodwill from the past is not inexhaustible.

To make matters worse, as if on cue, and most tragically, the Tanjung Bungah landslide occurred.

From the word go, the Penang government has been defensive about the furore.

The previous attacks on the chief minister over a house purchase permits repudiation. However, a fatal landslide in a construction site is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Mindful, DAP has for decades gone to town on projects over the lack of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

(An environmental impact assessment (EIA), according to the OECD, is an analytical process that systematically examines the possible environmental consequences of the implementation of projects, programmes and policies.)

By hammering home for decades Barisan Nasional projects over EIA inadequacies, there is nowhere to hide when tragedy befalls a project approved by DAP-run Penang which lacks an EIA.

There may be no legal liability, for the law is best observed and managed by those with resources and hold a supervisory role. However, they quite spectacularly lose the moral argument.

It appears, the only way back, if it is to be referred to as such, would be to accept the error in judgement. It will be a bitter pill and careers may be waylaid in the short term, but a party must meet its own standards if it has pursued them in its years without power.

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