It has now become more and more apparent that PAS and DAP don’t play well together. Ever since the Selangor Menteri Besar imbroglio, blows have been traded repeatedly ad nauseam
Over the past few weeks, the issue on the table has been PAS President, Dato Seri Haji Hadi Awang (HA)’s absence from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) presidential council meetings
In all fairness, HA is an elderly man and is thus more prone to sicknesses. For the sake of the betterment of PR, shouldn’t HA temporarily delegate his ultimate decision-making power to a trusted right hand man? Or at least step down in order that a physically fit person may take the helm
Yes, PAS does send its representatives (namely deputy president Mohamad Sabu and vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man) for PR presidential council meetings. However, if you have been following the recent criticisms by DAP, it centers around HA having veto power and yet being absent from the meetings
Basically, whatever is agreed upon by the PAS representatives in the presidential council meetings may be overruled by HA at the end of the day. Thus, DAP has a valid point when it says that a PR presidential council meeting without HA is akin to PAS being absent
It is clearly undemocratic for a political party leader to have veto power in every matter considering other leaders are also elected by the members of the party. As cliche as it sounds, there is a lot of truth to the saying “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton)
If PAS refuses to sort out the aforementioned issues, PR’s effectiveness as a coalition would undeniably be adversely affected, and PR may need to reconsider its composition. After all, you can’t join the school but refuse to wear the uniform!
Just like when Britain entered the European Union (then known as the European Community) in 1973, it had to subject itself to EU treaties, regulations, directives, and European Court of Justice (ECJ) decisions despite having done things its own way for centuries
A good example of PR’s effectiveness being hindered would be when the PR presidential council accepted the proposal for Datuk Seri Wan Azizah to be nominated as the new Selangor MB, and HA ended up vetoing the decision and nominating candidates of his liking
Another problematic issue is PAS’ continuous insistence on implementing hudud. Prior to the 13th General Election, PAS seemed to have abandoned its hudud agenda by pursuing a benevolent state concept.
Needless to say, the whole “Pas For All” election slogan, gained PAS the votes of many non-muslims who were unsure of PAS yet wanted a regime change. However, after GE 13, PAS reverted back to advocating hudud
Since PAS is seriously considering implementing hudud in Kelantan and has taken many steps to realise it (e.g. a federal-level hudud technical committee, finalising that “trained professionals” will be carrying out the amputations), it is high time for PKR and DAP to consider whether to move on without PAS
PAS’ move may gain support from the more hard line Islamists, but it is sure to cause loss of votes for PR because DAP and PKR will be seen as being inable to influence PAS to abandon its wishes for hudud.
A PR without PAS would most definitely appeal to the more progressive Malaysians. Will we see a PR coalition without PAS/DAP? Or will we see PR end up just like Barisan Alternatif? Or will PR learn how to sort out its differences and work together? Only time will tell
On a side note, if UMNO Kelantan supports PAS’ efforts (which is has in the past), it is time for MCA, MIC, and Gerakan to reconsider its partnership in BN. After all, what’s the point of being in a coalition if your view doesn’t matter?
*This awesome article appeared in The Malay Mail Online, The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, and Free Malaysia Today
The Selangor Menteri Besar impasse has left a bitter taste in many of our mouths, especially of those in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition. Inter alia, we have seen bickering, backstabbing, craven acts, and a myriad of volte-face.
It has been an abject past few months to say the least. Even in the aftermath, we have boorish comments (such as Lim Guan Eng labelling the former 4 PAS excos that stood by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as “traitors” and PAS Youth saying PAS will one day leave PR) coming from the different PR parties which are supposed to be Malaysia’s hope of one day replacing Barisan Nasional (BN) as the federal government
It’s time that PR stops drying their dirty linen in public. The more insults hurled at one another in public, the less confidence the people have in PR as a whole. A survey by The Malaysian Insider and Merdeka Center indicated that PR may lose Selangor if snap polls were held
PR should learn to settle their differences behind closed doors. They can learn a lot from the constitutional convention of collective ministerial responsibility (a.k.a cabinet collective responsibility) whereby members of the Cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them
Basically the PR component parties must maintain a united front and all toe the line. No more puerile statements made in public! Behind the scenes is where discussions are held, ideas are ridiculed, chairs are hurled, name calling is done, etc
PR’s current system of operating on consensus has proven to be greatly flawed in the recently concluded Selangor MB saga. PKR and DAP agreed on only nominating Dr Wan Azizah’s name but PAS had something else in mind.
There was clearly no consensus and the fact that PKR and DAP were so obdurate and kept insisting on having their way shows that the consensus system is more effective theoretically than practically
OMG!’s proposed decision making mechanism will greatly benefit PR. His/her proposal is that each member of the PR triumvirate be allotted votes to decide on matters involving PR according to its representation in Parliament and state assemblies, with 60% allocated to Parliament and 40% to all 13 state assemblies.
“(a) First, the number of Parliament seats is divided: (PAS: DAP: PKR) as (21:38:29) at GE13
(b) The number of state seats is divided similarly as (85:95:48) at GE 13.
Note: In both cases, PKR’s total has been reduced by one state seat and 1 Parliament seat reflecting Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s new Independent status.
(c) After applying the 60:40 weightage, we find that the votes, within PR, to be allotted to the 3 members PAS:DAP:PKR, are 29:43:28. Total 100 votes in the new proposed system.
The present, less satisfactory consensus/(agree to disagree) approach could now be replaced by a 2/3 majority vote, i.e., a 2/3 majority of 67 votes means that the decision is adopted by PR and dissenting members must fall in line”
Regarding any decision, the PR parties will meet up, deliberate, and then vote on the issue. The moment a 2/3 majority is achieved, the issue is resolved and every party has to stand firm with it.
This decision-making system that is similar to the “electoral collegial system which governs the US presidential elections based on the results in the various states” would prevent further straining the already strained relationship between PKR, DAP, and PAS
The parties not happy with the votes allotted to them can work harder to win more seats in the 14th General Election in order to increase their say in PR policies & decisions. This proposal appears to be the panacea that PR has been looking for. The idea should be seriously and thoroughly considered!
*This article also appeared in The Malaysian Insider, The Malay Mail Online, and Malaysia Today
I disagree with the article which says that BN’s component parties should not let hudud affect their unity. The President of Parti Progresif
Penduduk (PPP) Datuk
Seri M. Kayveas goes on to say that hudud is a Pakatan Rakyat problem. His statement shows his ignorance to the fears and concerns of Malaysians
Firstly, UMNO has 88 members of parliament. If UMNO opposes the Private Member’s Bill, then PAS (who has 21 MPs) can only go as far as dreaming that one day hudud will be implemented. However, even with UMNO’s support, the Private Member’s Bill would not succeed as a simple majority (more votes in favour than against) in Parliament is required (at least 112 MPs voting for)
That is presuming all of BN’s component parties as well as PKR’s MPs vote against the Bill. MCA and Gerakan (2 political parties under BN with 9 and 1 MPs respectively) have openly voiced their displeasure as to the Bill. With MCA and Gerakan against hudud while certain UMNO politicians all for it, this is not an issue which can be swept under the rug
BN’s unity SHOULD be affected by hudud. Only when it’s pressured will UMNO state it’s official stance whether they sokong atau tidak sokong (support or dont support). I mean, don’t you want to find out if your partner is for you or against you? If UMNO comes out supporting hudud, the parties affiliated to UMNO which opposes the idea should leave BN. How can you work together when you are fighting for different things?
It is just like being in a romantic relationship. When both parties start heading towards opposite directions, it’s best to call it off instead of deceiving themselves that it may still work out someday
Moving on, hudud is NOT a Pakatan Rakyat problem. It is a Malaysian problem. Hudud has so many hiccups which haven’t been sorted out yet (it could affect non-muslims, it could cause injustice, etc.). As mentioned above, UMNO has quite a big say as to what will happen.
Even if every Muslim opposition MP votes for the Bill but UMNO opposes it, it will not pass. With Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (an UMNO politician who is also the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic Affairs overseeing the “Jawatankuasa Teknikal” which is looking into implementing hudud, do you still think that it is a PR problem which is therefore none of your concern?
In conclusion, Datuk Seri M. Kayveas, it is NOT a PR problem but more of a national issue!