Friday, December 24, 2010

Pakatan's Call to Arms

There is no time to be wasted. This was the message drilled securely into the hearts and minds of over 2,000 members representing all the component parties in the rag tag coalition of Pakatan Rakyat at Dewan Millenium, Kepala Batas recently.

Although views were varied and disparate among the representatives, but one thing that managed to put a cap on things was the objective of the opposition coalition’s second ever major convention.

Peeling the glued ruptures and about-to-burst seams that made headlines over the past few weeks and months, especially in Selangor, Kedah and Penang, we cannot help but observe certain things, which may just raise its ugly heads at a drop of a coin. This shows how brittle Pakatan’s position is, regardless of what positive image they managed to project last weekend.

For PAS, the imperative was the leaders of all factions to learn from the philosophy of unity according to Islam.

With all the bravado exhibited through robust speeches by the three leaders of the pact – DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng, PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, observers without solid knowledge of what caused the fiascos in all the three component parties previously may truly believe that everytrhing was well in Pakatan Rakyat, although it was not.

Seemingly to put everything in the back burner, the overall message was clearly to save this country from the ravages which they perceive as the cause of all the ills -- ills that they (Pakatan) never failed to highlight and use as fodder.

So, as it was portrayed, the march to Putrajaya and from there to bring back justice and ‘restore’ democracy to Malaysia was still on, never mind that even the most respected and authoritative voices among their ranks have lots of reservations about the lofty plan.

And so unabashedly, the three main leaders rambled on with national policies to be put in place under their administration.

DAP honcho, Guan Eng announced a 100 days programme for the rakyat through genuine reforms, which the coalition could implement when they reach Putrajaya. It was an unhesitant answer to the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Government Transformation Programme entrusted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Pemandu, no less.

The Penang Chief Minister also warned the pact and its supporters to always be wary and to defend the constitution from being ‘hijacked’ by UMNO to split the people apart. By this he meant for them to always harp on the ‘actual’ meaning of Article 153, which they believe had been relegated to oblivion.

A pow-wow like this is something not to be taken lightly by the other side of the political divide. It should be seen as a call to arms to fortify the fort and look to the people within for support.

And no sooner had the convention’s message permeated to the grassroots that the challenge came rolling in the form of the upcoming Tenang State Assembly seat following the death of its representative, Sulaiman Taha.

As such, the few months ahead before the calling of the 13th General Elections will be quite contingent on a show of strength by both BN and Pakatan in that state seat in Johor.

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