S. Arutchelvan

Lately we see Pakatan being hit by a new syndrome – the itch to become opposition again. After being years in the opposition, it seems they have missed some of their best times in politics.

First we hear Tun Mahathir complaining that he could not use government assets or privileges when campaigning in the by-election. He even called the EC as “extraordinary restriction”. He was also quoted as saying “The restriction on ministers appears to give an opportunity to the opposition, who do not have jobs and can campaign 24 hours a day.” Now here it looks like PH misses being in the opposition because before this, the opposition have always spoke about how Government asset has been misused.

Then we hear, suddenly Mahathir wants the opposition to declare assets as well. PSM welcomes this move but again when PH was in the opposition, they themselves did not declare their asset voluntarily. In the last election, only a portion of PKR and AMANAH leaders declared their asset. In contrast, PSM’s Dr. Jeyakumar declared his asset even the first time he stood for election in 1999. PSM Councillors have also been declaring asset yearly when in office. In fact even after forming the Government, PH were very sluggish in implementing this asset declaration. If they had been doing it themselves when they were opposition, then today they would have had some morale grounding in asking the current opposition to declare assets. This is the story of the pot calling the kettle black.

Then we have the debate issue. Before this when in the opposition, the Pakatan especially the DAP used to challenge the ruling party for debates. Now it seems except for the Cameron Highland by-election, PH has shy away from all the public debates called by BERSIH.

So what really is the PH problem? We have now sort of getting used to the U Turns but it seems even on principle issues, they seem to be reversing. It looks like PH wants to be ruling party but having still the itch to be an opposition.