May 28, 2010
PKR must plumb for Quality
by Terence Netto (May 27, 2010)
PKR deputy president Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali today opened the Wanita and Youth divisions of the party with a call to create a leadership corps drawn from within a pool of cadres imbued with the highest ideals.
Speaking to a joint assembly of both wings of the party at the Kelantan Trade Centre in Kota Bharu tonight, the veteran politician said the process of creation of this leadership corps must be refined and closely monitored.
“This process must entail immersion in leadership training and party organisation courses and also require work among the masses such that the latter are geared towards organising and fighting for their rights,” said Syed Husin.
He said PKR did not require strength in numbers so much as quality of membership. “We need members who are of high quality from the standpoint of discipline, political awareness and involvement.
“We need members who understand, uphold and adhere to the basis of the party’s struggle to the point where they do not lose their compass even when they find themselves alone,” he said.
Giving no hint that this would be his last speech to a party assembly as deputy president, the former academician offered to help out in the process of leadership training, thus hedging the question of his intended retirement this year.
Syed Husin had earlier this year hinted that he would not defend his post at party elections scheduled to be held at a special assembly towards year’s end.
The hint raised fears of a potentially divisive contest for the deputy presidency that he has held since the party he led, Parti Rakyat Malaysia, merged with Parti Keadilan Nasional to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat in 2002.
Alluding to the issue of defections from PKR, a phenomenon that has marred the party’s image over the past year, Syed Husin told the assembly that he viewed the entire situation as a “cleansing process”.
He noted that every major political party in Malaysia had experienced the phenomenon of defections at various points in their history, observing that several had gone on to higher levels of strength and accomplishment.
Syed Husin said a sure way of preventing defections from the party was to marinate members in the party’s ideology.
Building blocks of party’s ideology
He acknowledged that PKR had yet to fully formulate an ideology because of what he described as its “rainbow” beginnings.
Syed Husin said the party was formed out of an assembly of members who originated from different political backgrounds, including some who had no previous experience of politics. He said this meant that many members with a political past found it difficult to trim their sails to fit PKR’s but that those without such a past were open to molding. Thus this made courses and training for members a matter of necessity.
Syed Husin said the party’s ideology should be formulated from the building blocks of its struggle for justice for all Malaysians.
He cited the building blocks as justice for all, concern for people’s welfare, forging a united nation, and promotion of moral and ethical values for national well-being. He said PKR could not go wrong if it held unswervingly firm to this basis of its struggle.