Thursday, 17 January 2008

Malaysian Opposition Parties: Ineffective Self-Centred and Egoistic Leaders

On 15th January, Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, otherwise known as blogger Sheih of Kickdefella posted an article called "Viagra for the Opposition", a heartfelt and frank critique of the state of leadership in the Opposition Parties, namely, PKR, DAP and PAS.

By the next day, the article was taken out from his blog, with a comment:
"...if you are within the certain circle, it is almost impossible to be honest about your feeling on that certain matter without it being perceive as somebody’s else view or without hurting others .....With this posting, you will find that the previous posting, 'Viagra for Opposition' has been removed...."
There is much truth in what Shieh said about the current leaders in PKR, DAP and PAS. He speaks with inside knowledge of UMNO having been a figure in UMNO at branch level in Kuala Lumpur and now he is back in his home-state Kelantan working for the PAS leadership.

One can speculate the reasons for Shieh's withdrawal of his article:

  • Shieh was seen too close to Husam Musa;
  • the PAS leadership did not like the views criticising the PAS leadership;
  • others in DAP and PKR could have pressured PAS to ask Shieh to remove his article as being divisive for the Opposition; or
  • Shieh took upon himself to remove his article after realising what he wrote might hurt Husam Musa more within PAS than helping him.

    It is our view that Shieh's article rightly highlights the disarray in the politics of the Opposition parties.

    The mood among voters today is one of anti-BN and anti UMNO. Malaysians had enough of UMNO's 50 year rule which had led to the country being racially more divisive today than ever before and with public institutions catering to high-level cronyism, nepotism,corruption and protecting BN politicans than looking after the interests of ordinary citizens. There is a desire for a strong opposition to the BN.

    As such, it is our view that it is still worth the while for Malaysian voters to read what Shieh had written. Malaysians Unplug Uncensored re-posts the full article by Sheih because it is time PKR, DAP and PAS leaders take a hard look at themselves before they promote their party to voters and at themselves as worthy politicians to represent the interest of Malaysian voters.

    Malaysian Unplug says:
    With the current attitude and mentality of the current personalities in PKR, DAP and PAS, we agree with Shieh that there is little hope of the Opposition Parties coming together to take on the BN monolith led by UMNO to win the government.The politically-minded Malaysians have been concerned about the character of the leadership in PKR, DAP and PAS for sometime now.

    Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
  • PKR is still finding its centre of gravity to be a party of choice of Malays and non Malays. Wan Azizah of PKR does not have the required leadership credentials to take on UMNO.

    PKR is becoming more like the Malay version of Parti Gerakan, appealing to Malay and non Malay intellectuals, mostly English-speaking. PKR is seen as the party for voters who don't want to vote for PAS and UMNO, and for those who don't want to vote MCA and DAP. These form only a small percentage of voters.

    PKR can only remain relevant to Malaysian politics if it is willing to compromise and work harmoniously with PAS and DAP.

    It cannot win seats on its own, not even with selling Anwar Ibrahim as PKR's poster-boy. Anwar Ibrahim is perceived as still having a chip on his shoulder. Questions are raised as to whether his rhetorics are in fact looking after the genuine interests of Malaysian voters or simply out of self-interest because Anwar's politics is read by some as a politics of revenge.

    Anwar would have been more effective as a "king-maker" rather than trying to play the "king" in oppposition party politics.

    Democratic Action Party (DAP)
  • DAP is still perceived as a Chinese-based party and it is still harping on communal (read Chinese) issues. It has not been able to re-invent itself to be amenable to Malay voters. The core of its base is too Chinese to be attractive to the majority of liberal Malays and Indians.

    DAP is strong in rhetoric, both in and out of Parliament; it is smart in organising seminars and workshops on national issues, but weak in effective delivery that bring benefits to its constituency of voters from its rhetorics.

    Its refusal in the past to compromise and to work with other Malay-based opposition parties make itself a party that can NEVER be in Government, let alone a party that CAN win government. By default, DAP is essentially a party that REFUSE to be part of Government. A party that prefers to be in the Opposition, one that is remarkably good at making the right loud noises in Parliament and in the streets.

    DAP politicians are engaged in feel-good therapy by harping on faults and weaknesses of Govt in Parliament, knowing full well that UMNO/BN politicians are too arrogant and too self-assured to bother about the criticisms and condemnation made by DAP in Parliament or in the streets.

    Lim Kit Siang is seen by many voters as being fatigued and tired. There is no more "oomph" left in him compared to his early days.

    And DAP's recent surge to bring in intellectuals and well-known personalities who appeal to a bigger spectrum of voters is yet to show any significant impact.

    Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS)
  • PAS suffers from its relevance to 21st century Malaysia and post-911 global politics. It does not know HOW to win (federal) Government. The turban-wearing PAS leaders are perceived as trying to make Malaysia into an Asian version of Saudi Arabia. That may work to some extent in Kelantan and Trengganu,but that is no-brainer to win government at the Federal level.

    The current crop of turban-wearing leaders are too hung-up on Islamisation of Malaysia than about healing the wounds of the nation caused by the racially and religiously divisive politics of UMNO.

    PAS leaders are still locked into their little world view that only Islam can solve Malaysia's social, political and economic problems.

    The current PAS top leaders cannot think outside their little box.

    The old school turban-wearing leaders of PAS are not willing to pass the baton to the younger PAS leaders who have the appeal to non Malays, non Muslims and to liberal Malays around the country. PAS leaders like Husam Musa are more likeable than the likes of Haji Hadi Awang.

    With the election looming, PAS is still living in the twilight zone.

    Yet PAS is the ONLY credible Malay-based party that can take on UMNO and to wrest Government from UMNO.

    PAS is the only party that can lead the Opposition front, if only it can find its feet to move around comfortably with non-Muslims and have guts to cut through its religious parochialism to appeal to non Muslim and non Malay voters.

    PAS should have shed its narrow religious politics and the turban-headed and robe-wearing outlook to be relevant in Malaysia's 21st century politics.

    Until then, it will be basically a kampung-political party at best.
    -Malaysian Unplug

  • Viagra for The Oppositions

    15th January 2008: Posted on Kickdefella Blog and read here

    No. This is not about bashing the opposition round two.

    This is about whipping them on the backside, before we kick them out there to represent our fading hope.

    It must be a stupid joke to admit that the oppositions can take care of our fading hope when they themselves cannot even afford to take care of their own hope.

    So, what hope left for us?

    No hope. Out of hope and a world without hope.

    Let us try to think like those silent majority who never interested in joining any political party, never venture into any cyber political forum and who think Malaysia Today is a name of a newspaper published in 1963.

    Who do this group of people voted for if ever they go out for voting in those previous general elections. Some claimed that this group totalled up to about 40% of registered voters. If this is the scenario, then the balance 60% were divided into, let just say 30% pro BN and 30% pro oppositions. This 30% pro oppositions then were divided into two groups for peninsular Malaysia.

    The first group is the anti Malays-anti Islam-DAP supporters who will not vote for any Malay and Muslim candidates.

    The second group is the anti DAP-ultra Malay-Islam extremist group which will never vote for DAP.

    Please take note that the percentage above is not accurate but is enough to give us the inside of how the cake is divided.

    Although most of the time, the number of pro BN supporters are about the same as the numbers of all the pro oppositions supporters but still the pro oppositions supporters are not as solid as pro BN supporters because they themselves are not solid.

    The oppositions need a strong leadership and they do NOT have any among the heads of all the opposition parties.

    Not in Hadi, not in Uncle Kit and not in Wan Azizah. With this, it means that they have to rely on someone whom may not even have the chance to stand for the election and even if he has the chance, he may not win the election. That person is Anwar Ibrahim and I repeat what I have said in previous posting, this fella is so yesterday.

    Anwar Ibrahim is not as influential as he was in the late 90’s. His problem was with Mahathir not with Abdullah Haji Ahmad. His agenda was about kicking Mahathir so he can be the numero uno. Mahathir was the yesterday story.

    Now the opposition were hoping for Mahathir to support them. But will Anwar tolerate that? Will Anwar willing to forget all what has happen? Will he swallow his pride?

    Nope! One of a reason that the opposition front is so fragile is because Anwar will want to dictate the terms and another one is because of Uncle Kit’s dinosaur’s instinct.

    By right, the party that should lead the way is PAS. This is because; PAS is the party that is going to face the giant of BN, which is UMNO. BN will only lose if PAS managed to inject enough venom on UMNO. BN will only return but without 2/3 majority also rely on how much damaged could PAS inflict UMNO.

    But PAS has a monumental problem. Its leader, Haji Hadi do not appeal to the masses. Although he is not, but undeniably, in the masses eyes, Haji Hadi is so much aligned and synonymous to the word extremism, fanaticism and militarism.

    Even post 9/11, we yet to see PAS managed pull Hadi out of that image, I know they did. I know they have tried very hard. Nevertheless, Hadi is so much the kind of leader pre 9/11 and PAS needs a new brand to survive post 9/11.

    Too much extremism is connected to Hadi for him to be accepted as the leader of Malaysia. A lot of non-Muslim are saying, we are willing to vote for PAS if only Husam is the man who lead PAS.

    Non-Muslim are not worried about Islam. What they worried is the man behind it. While our brother in PAS is not worried about not getting the non-Muslim votes, but what they are worried is the man leading them is not fashionably Islam.

    As a Malaysian, I believe PAS should lead the opposition front but this maybe only happen during PRU 13. I have witnessed myself, a Chinese man stood up and yell to YB Anuar Tan, “YB, I support you” and this is done in front of the Chairman of MCA Kota Bharu. I have seen about 1,000 Chinese from Kota Bharu gave a thunderous applause to Che Gu Rahim, during the same function.

    I can never forget, the Chinese of Kota Bharu almost jump of their seats in supporting Husam, when he said “If I became the federal Minister…” they wanted Husam to become the minister immediately.

    Yes, PAS in Kota Bharu has proven that they do not need Kit Siang Dinosaur instinct to win the heart of the Chinese.

    But as for now, minus the quality of leadership in the opposition boat, it shall easily canon into pieces by the BN battleship.

    I have realised it long ago, corruption is not a good issue to play with the silent majority. Sexual misconduct and moral values also is so nice to hear but not tempting enough to sway the decisive votes. While the issues like ECM-LIBRA etc is too boring for them.

    During Mahathir’s time, so much effort are put to expose what are being claim as the sickening degree of corruptions. But the majority do not care. What is more important to them is the economy is okay and they have enough money in their pocket. The leader are working so hard, so what is wrong for them to cut certain commission here and there and give some to their friends and relatives too. That is the way the middleclass majority justify the corruption.

    The middleclass urban also do not care much about what the opposition perceived as the degrading moral value. In fact they are enjoying as to a certain degree.

    The silent majority preferred unity and good economy. For as long as they make enough money for their family, they will choose to vote for status quo.

    If we talk about unity, their only hope is the BN. No matter how racist UMNO can be, UMNO is strong enough to dictate terms that can keep other component parties to stick together on issues pertaining to BN.

    The opposition is not. Only small issue and just a little spin will tear them to pieces. DAP is very good at taking a jab towards PAS and PAS will not wait a second later to retaliate.

    The only thing that the opposition can use as the weapon to sway the silent majority is by playing the more household issues which is domestic problem that cause by the increase in the prices of goods and the shortage of cooking oil and other household goods. This is the sign of how the government are losing its control.

    The next issue will be the sky rocketing crime rate. The inability of the police force to protect the citizen allowing the space for some unimaginable crime to take place. Malaysia is not as safe as we used to live in.

    Corruption to the majority is okay, provided they are enjoying a good economic growth and benefited from it by having some extras too. Immoral behaviour by the people in office is not an issue to change them as long as they performed well and keeping us proud and feeling safe all the time.

    How are the oppositions going to capitalise on these issues? The oppositions can talk and talk about it, and it shall be nice for the people to hear but at the end of the day, before they cast their votes, one fundamental question will arise. If I vote for change, how can I be sure that the new regime in power will be better than the previous? What is their track record?

    PAS has a good track record in Kelantan but they failed miserably in Terengganu. No matter what their argument is, logic is they failed. And the one who led the failure in Terengganu is the one who is leading the party today.

    While those who are leading the success story in Kelantan, will remain in Kelantan and not going to stand in Parliament because we need them to defend the UMNO onslaught.

    It is correct that the oppositions have such a huge ego. Their supporters even larger. The opposition is trying to push down our throat what they think better for us but do they actually know what we want?

    Accusation upon accusation were thrown at me, some even claimed that I have been bought by Annuar Musa while others claimed that I am trying to sell Husam Musa over to UMNO.

    Local PAS supporters said I am thorn among the roses, or gunting dalam lipatan, I shall not defend myself neither will I go on defensive mode. When I started this blog, I always reminded my reader to read between the lines.

    In order to have the correct angle of attack, we might need to manoeuvre to the left before we turn right.

    With that, I rest my case.

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