May 25, 2016
Rudderless PKR : Courting PAS is a strategic error
by Mariam Mokhtar
It appears that PKR leaders do not know what the electorate wants. The rakyat do not want wishy-washy politicians. We want firm leaders who have our interests at heart. We do not want race and religion to set us apart.
We know that we can move forward only when we have strong leaders who would not allow themselves to be stabbed in the back twice. We certainly won’t trust a political party that vacillates from one viewpoint to another or make an alliance with a known enemy.
Soon after the Sarawak state election, PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali horrified us when he expressed an intention to invite PAS back into the opposition coalition for GE14. This week, it was PKR President Wan Azizah Ismail’s turn to shock us. She suggested that PKR could talk with PAS about the upcoming by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.
Why does PKR want to do business with PAS? Joining up with PAS and Hadi Awang is like taking a step into the unknown. Can Hadi be trusted after all his machinations against the opposition coalition and the deals he has made with UMNO-Baru?
Is Wan Azizah a stickler for punishment, or has Azmin Ali managed to convince her of PAS’ shining qualities? Is there a plot of some kind that we’re yet to uncover?
Does Wan Azizah remember how Hadi humiliated her when she was nominated for the post of Selangor MB? Hadi kept the nation waiting for one month, saying that he could not divulge the reasons for his opposition to Wan Azizah’s nomination. In the end, he said a woman could not serve as MB. He even hinted that he feared people would go to hell if they were ruled by a woman as MB or PM. Malaysia does not need politicians who are misogynists.
At the 2014 PAS muktamar in Johor, Hadi insulted two PAS assemblymen because they supported Wan Azizah’s nomination. He called them “baruah,” using a loaded Malay word for “lackey”. It’s original meaning is “pimp”.
For all we know, Hadi is still in discussion with UMNO-Baru for a unity government. Doesn’t Wan Azizah remember Hadi’s arrogance? He said he would attend Pakatan Rakyat meetings only when he felt like it.
PKR, which some people have always seen as a party of UMNO-Baru rejects, is now in danger of gaining a reputation as a party of indecision. Why is PKR afraid to take a firm stand? If it’s policies are good for the nation, it should forge ahead with them with confidence and thereby strengthen public trust in it. However, if it shows indecisiveness and teams up with PAS, whatever trust the public now has in it will be eroded.
The rakyat have waited 59 years for a leader they can trust. They will not mind waiting a few more years for the right party to present such a leader. PAS is not that party. Hadi is not that leader, and neither is anyone who plays footsie with him.
Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.