April 29, 2013
GE-13: A Hung Parliament Is Not Necessarily Bad (Last of Four Parts)
by Dr.M.Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California
Many fear a hung parliament as they think that would lead to chaos and uncertainty. Yes, there may be both but neither is inevitable. On the contrary I see many potentially redeeming aspects that could benefit citizens, the permanent establishment, and yes, even those politicians.
For citizens, seeing these freshly-victorious politicians brazenly jockeying for positions would be both instructive and revealing. It would be quite a sight to watch them behave worse than hookers. At least hookers are consumed with satisfying their present customers first, and would solicit new ones only after they have done that. More importantly, they do both discreetly.
Those politicians on the other hand would be openly and lustily auctioning themselves to the highest bidder without even a promise of satisfactory performance to their current customers – citizens who had only recently voted for them. Those politicians would whore themselves brazenly. What matters to them would only be the price their new customers would be willing to pay, regardless how filthy and disease-ridden they are. Damn the consequences, for them or the nation
The jockeying would be intense, shameless and endlessly shifting, threatening both Barisan and Pakatan. It would not be below MCA for example, to align itself with DAP and throw their weight behind Pakatan, demanding an outrageous price in return. Or MCA could demand a stiff price for remaining in Barisan. Not to be outdone, as alluded earlier, PAS could bolt Pakatan and align itself with UMNO in an ugly chauvinistic attempt at reviving Ketuanan Melayu.
UMNO would sell its soul to get PAS support, and PAS in turn would readily sign a pact with the devil given the right price. There would be only one certainty; our politicians would finally be exposed for all their corruptness and hideousness. In the end unfortunately, citizens and Malaysia would be paying the terrible price.
Perhaps the nation needs such a sordid spectacle to jolt it into realizing that elections have consequences, and that the politicians and leaders we have today are far different from the earlier generation that brought us merdeka.On the other hand, our politicians may well surprise us.
Without being unnecessarily Pollyannaish, a few might discover that politics is after all a noble profession, and at its best and essence, a fine exercise in the art of compromise in order to get things done for the good of all.
At the very least a hung parliament would prompt us to be more prudent on our voting and not be so casual with this important exercise of democracy. If that would also encourage otherwise thoughtful Malaysians to offer themselves as candidates, then the whole exercise would not have been futile.
A hung parliament would also have a salutary effect on the permanent establishment.The last time there was a similar debacle, in Perak following the 2008 elections, the permanent establishment including the sultan, did not acquit themselves well.
Who could forget the spectacle of the Speaker being hauled out of the Assembly desperately clinging on to his chair, or the Raja Muda, the Sultan’s representative, being forced to cool his heels in an adjacent room while waiting out the mayhem? It was not pretty. The stench stained all, and stayed to this day.
You can be certain that this time, with the real possibility of Barisan being toppled, members of the permanent establishment would be more circumspect for their own selfish reasons. Thus I do not expect blatant displays of partisanship as we saw in Perak. To add flavor to that, the King today, DYMM Sultan Abdul Halim, was the Sultan of Kedah when PAS took over from UMNO. Thus working with a non-UMNO chief executive would not be a novelty for him.
Once we have established this fact at the Federal level, all the other Sultans at the state level would follow suit. They would, out of concern for their own survival, no longer be so blatantly partisan. That can only be good for them and the country.
A hung parliament is nothing to fear; it is just another though less clear-cut expression of a Barisan defeat. Stated differently, a hung parliament is a not-so-pretty Pakatan victory.