January 31, 2013
NOTE: My close friend, who calls himself Horse when commenting on this blog and whose political insights I value, told me that Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to contest in Kajang and then with the consent of his Pakatan partners he becomes the Menteri Besar, Selangor upon his electoral victory was a stroke of political brilliance with serious implications for Selangor under Pakatan Rakyat.
As Menteri Besar, Anwar will be able to participate all policy discussions at the national level. As Leader of the Opposition, he is denied that opportunity since unlike in the UK and the US, the Leader of Opposition and the US Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, he is shut out of policy deliberations and issues of national importance. Here is his vast experience as a legislator, former Cabinet Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Finance, will prove invaluable in his role as Menteri Besar, Selangor.
It is true that Khalid Ibrahim has done a good job as Menteri Besar and we must acknowledge and thank him for that. But given the present difficult circumstances for PKR, he has agreed to step down as Menteri Besar, once the people of Kajang have spoken. It would save PKR from further agony if the tussle between Azmin Ali and him were to drag on. Anwar knows both Azmin and Khalid well and recognises their respective contributions to the party and their deliberations in Parliament and Dewan Negeri.
I for one suspend my judgement on this issue. I look forward in the ensuing days to hear what Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan colleagues have to say on the state of Selangor politics, and his decision to contest in Kajang. But looking back the Permatang Pauh situation in 2008 when Dato Seri Wan Azizah made way for him to contest for her seat, I can say that it was a very strategic move for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. Without discounting Wan Azizah’s contributions as Member of Parliament, Anwar’s role as Leader of the Opposition since that time was effective and constructive. His speeches, which are now part of the Hansard, provide ample evidence of the quality of his thinking and policy and legislative proposals. –Din Merican
Anwar Ibrahim for Selangor: Let the people of Kajang decide.
by M. Manogaran@http://www.malaysiakini.com
OPINION: There is a lot of talk and debate on this issue. There are many views opposing Anwar Ibrahim as the next Menteri Besar of Selangor. And, many are reluctant to even try and understand the reason behind such a strategy.
One must understand that any political party is entitled to strategise. In fact, it must, for its survival and for the betterment of the party and the coalition it represents. What is so wrong in Anwar becoming the next Menteri Besar of Selangor? This must be looked into from several angles.
Besides the fact that any party having its right to strategise, several other problems can also be resolved by Anwar (left) becoming the Menteri Besar, with the immediate settlement of the Abdul Khalid Ibrahim-Azmin Ali being one.
Selangor will also have the advantage of getting the PKR supremo as its head of government.Furthermore, Anwar is already the Economic Adviser to Selangor. This shift in political position will only help him steer Selangor to greater heights and Selangorians will enjoy being led by the top leader of Pakatan Rakyat.
What could be a better opportunity to showcase to the people of Malaysia how a state should be run? The people of Malaysia can look to Selangor as a model of how the country can be governed in future.
As to the view that the Sultan of Selangor may not agree, I think this is presumptuous. His Royal Highness will surely know that ours is a constitutional monarchy, where the leader of the party which commands the majority support in the legislative assembly will have the right to lead and form his cabinet, or executive council, as the case may be.
Anwar has much more experience
Comparatively, Anwar comes with much more experience than Khalid. No doubt that Khalid has performed remarkably well, for Selangor has grown to be a prosperous state under his leadership. Good governance and integrity were instilled rightly and the overhaul in governance has resulted in doubling revenue collections. No doubt about this.
But if the party wishes to change leadership, democratically there is nothing to stop it. It does not mean a candidate vying to be the Prime Minister of the country cannot be the Chief Minister of a state as well.
Instead of taking the narrow view, this issue should be seen from a wider perspective. Just look at examples around the world. In India, for instance, the Chief Minister of Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, has already been announced by his party to be the presidential candidate.
India is the largest democracy in the world and Indians accept that the BJP party in India has got the right to nominate a state Chief Minister to be their presidential candidate. Drawing an analogy, the effective leader of DAP, Lim Guan Eng, is the Chief Minister of Penang. So what’s wrong with Anwar, the de facto leader of PKR, becoming the Menteri Besar of Selangor?
On the political point of view, and this is I think is the most important, Anwar becoming the Menteri Besar of Selangor will have serious implications on the BN. Rest assured that Selangor will be under Pakatan for a long, long time to come if Anwar becomes the next Menteri Besar. Selangor will be forever lost to BN, and this is what BN is afraid of. Isn’t that wonderful?
We must not forget the bigger picture. Do not zoom in on the trivial issues like how it is being done but rather why and how are we going to benefit from it. Let us not lose sight of our common enemy. Let us educate ourselves to be a little more visionary.
*M MANOGARAN is the former Member of Parliament for Teluk Intan.