Don’t rely on defections, Pakatan

Here i suggest our friends and members to discuss the following topic, what is your opinion if Pakatan Rakyat get defectors from BN to form new federel government? Write your comment to us!

Here i attach with a piece of article from Malaysiakini, it is a very good article, worth to read. It is good reading article to learn English cause the English is simple. Take 5 minutes to read!

Don’t rely on defections, Pakatan – Malaysiakini

Lim Mah Hui

There has been a great deal of rumour and buzz about defections from Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians to the opposition camp.

All it takes are 30-plus defectors and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will form the new federal government, ostensibly led by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Is this a welcome sign and move?

No doubt, the rakyat voted resoundingly against the arrogant and decadent policies of the BN, particularly against the leadership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who promised much in 2004 and delivered nothing by 2008.

election voter 2008 vote ballot boxActually, the votes were more a vote against BN than a vote for the opposition; that is to say, the resentment was so strong against BN that people were willing to vote for opposition candidates who had little or no credentials because they wanted BN out. This was certainly the case with the Penang voters.

Without belittling the many good opposition candidates who worked hard to defeat their BN contestants, it cannot be denied that in many places, even a political novice who stood on an opposition ticket could have won.

In fact, it is one of the sad ironies that because the elections were done so hurriedly, it was difficult to find good candidates to fill many positions.

This is one of the biggest challenges facing the newly-formed PR – how to build strong and credible state governments where they are in control and how to educate and develop strong leadership and members among their rank and file.

As we know, democracy is not just about elections every five years where voters put a mark for their candidates and then return home to leave everything to the politicians they elected to run their lives.

dap mega ceramahGenuine democracy is participatory democracy where ordinary rakyat are involved through various ways – local council elections, people’s consultative councils, involvement in NGOs and civic groups, town hall meetings, etc – to participate and provide input, feedback, checks and balances to the politicians they elected.

Likewise, we need politicians who take account of the aspirations of the people and are devoted to serving them rather than their pockets and political party masters. This kind of transformation cannot be done overnight. It is absolutely essential that this new breed of politicians do not carry the baggage of money politics that has tainted many of the BN politicians.

This is not to deny that some of the ex-BN politicians who have become members or leaders of Pakatan are able to transform themselves to become a new breed of politicians. But we must be constantly mindful of their past and vigilant of what they do now and in the future.

Build strong base

This leads me to my main point and concern. Is PR ready to form a new federal government in the sense of having enough reliable politicians of the new breed to make a difference in political direction? This is the critical question.

election sabah 080304It seems to me that if a new federal government is formed through defection of BN politicians (either from Sabah, Sarawak or peninsular Umno politicians), we will end up with a government that is unstable and unreliable:

• Unreliable because these are the same old money politicians who have no principles, integrity or interest in the welfare of the rakyat; they only serve Mammon and their political masters; and

• Unstable because they can revert to Umno and BN just as quickly as they defected to PR; it’s simply a matter of where the wind blows for these politicians.

We then end up like the Japanese political system where you could change government and prime ministers from month to month. Instead of the traditional money politicians, we have a new breed of what I call ‘MM politicians’: money-monkey politicians who lompat here and there.

Hence I believe the agenda and priority of PR should be to build up a strong base and leadership in this alliance. This is a slow and demanding task. It cannot be done overnight.

Now that PR is in control of five crucial state governments that together account for 60 percent of the country’s economic base, they should set their priority to build strong credible state governments that are clean, efficient, and responsive to the rakyat.

anwar ibrahim and pkr keadilan 160307The three major parties – PKR, PAS, DAP – have taken an excellent step in this direction by cooperating and coordinating their actions through the formation of PR. Anwar’s main role should be to build this strong base.

It is appropriate to heed a couple of wise sayings: Rome was not built in a day; A house built on shifting sand will not last.

Pakatan should not be in too much of a hurry to ‘capture’ power. The rakyat did not vote them in to capture power. The rakyat voted them to provide checks and balances to the arrogant BN government, but the momentum was so huge that it toppled five state governments.

Few expected this, not even the opposition parties who suddenly found themselves in the seat of government. They frantically have to transform themselves and their mental framework from being a critic of government to become the government itself. This is not an easy task but not an impossible task either.

We have many intelligent leaders in PR and the good thing is many do not have experience of corruption and money politics. The government of Penang and some other states have taken a pro-active stance in involving ordinary citizens and civic groups in their deliberations.

Many professionals and civic groups have volunteered their services to these governments. This is the real new dawn of mature participatory democracy in Malaysia.

PR should focus on nurturing this rather than seeking to grab federal power. Once it can show that these five state governments offer a new and clean political system to the rakyat, rest assured the corrupt and decadent political system of BN will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Power will naturally devolve to PR.

So be patient and build your own base and do not depend on defections to become the federal government.

DR LIM MAH HUI is currently a Senior Fellow of the Asian Public Intellectuals Programme of the Nippon Foundation. He worked previously with various international banks and taught Political Economy and Sociology in universities in Malaysia and the US.


3 thoughts on “Don’t rely on defections, Pakatan

  1. What disturbs me the most are people who claim to fight for freedom and democracy for Malaysia but in actual fact are dubious characters without any democratic principles. They can use whatever means to achieve their ends, that is for POWER, sadly, in the name of democracy! Antares doesn’t know Mr Lim Mah Hui and by just looking at the credentials published in Malaysiakini’s article he started a barrage of innuendoes against him regarding him as pro-establishment and supportive of BN’s policies including the ISA.

    In my opinion, it is this kind of self-proclaimed democrats who are dangerous for the country. They are self-righteous and shoot everyone down who disagree with them.

    If Antares wish to know who exactly Mr Lim Mah Hui is, go and ask his hero, Anwar Ibrahim who might provide you with an answer.

    I don’t think Anwar is proud of him for his “support”. I’m sure Anwar knows the underlying democratic principles put forward by Lim Mah Hui, obviously not Antares.

  2. On the surface Dr Lim’s viewpoint seems well reasoned, level-headed and eminently sensible. Under normal circumstances, I would certainly endorse his opinion that party-hopping doesn’t make for sound political ethics. However, we are not living under “normal” circumstances – not since March 9th 2008 when the entire country woke up to the stunning realization that the monolithic BN had been cut down to size overnight with an overwhelming protest vote against at least 25 years of worsening corruption, overweening arrogance, absolute insensitivity and unresponsiveness to increasing calls for greater accountability, openness and respect for civil liberties. Dr Lim is one who supports the Status Quo – that is his background and training – and that’s why he fears radical changes and instability. It doesn’t seem to bother him that the ISA hasn’t been abolished – nor a host of other repressive laws. He seems in no hurry to see the police force cleansed of criminal elements, nor is he impatient to see the judiciary overhauled. He doesn’t mind that the BN-owned media continues to spew out propaganda and anti-Pakatan spin designed to undermine the fledgling state governments. Above all, Dr Lim seems blissfully unaware of the ominous rumblings within Umno which indicate the power struggle to end all power struggles – and the sad thing is, no matter who becomes the new Umno president (and therefore PM) they are an entirely useless lot with no real vision, bankrupt of ideas, because all they know how to do is grab power and enrich themselves. In effect, Malaysia is a nation floundering without a worthy captain – somebody who can serve broader national interests, not just narrow party interests. Can we survive the next 4 or 5 years like this? I seriously doubt it! Especially with the remnants of the BN government refusing to cooperate with the Pakatan Rakyat – as is clearly evident with every sour word and deed since they lost big time.
    Those BN baboons are simply too immature and ingrown in their thinking to be any further use to Malaysia in the new era. This is why I’m in favor of beginning on a clean slate – without all the BN crooks blocking the way and sabotaging the Pakatan Rakyat’s efforts to
    reform, restructure, and rejuvenate the country. We don’t have much time. Every day billions are being stolen from our treasury and smuggled out of the country by BN cronies who realize the game is over. In 4 years’ time the new Pakatan Rakyat federal government will inherit a country with no money in the bank! Yes, it is a crisis on our hands – a crisis of confidence in the ability of BN to reinvent and reform itself to function properly as a federal government. I have zero faith in the BN and am willing to take my chances with a Pakatan Rakyat led by Anwar Ibrahim or his wife Wan Azizah. For this reason alone, I’m in favor of letting BN defectors join PKR, DAP or PAS on a voluntary basis, not through bribes (though
    some incentives like offering Sarawak and Sabah 20% of the oil revenues and giving their politicians a more prominent role in national politics would be perfectly reasonable). I strongly feel that if we don’t put the BN out of its misery in 2008, and get on the fast track with rehabilitating the entire government machinery with fresh blood and new ideas, our country will be in even deeper shit by 2012! All those people who keep saying they don’t trust Anwar Ibrahim should ask themselves: would you rather trust BN politicians like Mohd Khir Toyo, Mat Taib, Khairy Jamaludin, Syed Hamid Albar, Hishamuddin Hussein, Najib Razak and Azalina Othman? Change is good, people. Don’t fear it! If you’re going to jump, jump… don’t hesitate or you’ll lose power and injure yourself!

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