As a ‘mukadimah’ of this article, I would like to take us back in time to 1970 when Tun Abdul Razak, as the Director of the National Operations Council, was in charge of a disarrayed Alliance Party. In June 1970, Tun Abdul Razak, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, had said these words to the Umno leaders during the 24th Umno general assembly;
“Saya suka terus terang, jika parti kita sentiasa sanggup menjadi PEMEGANG AMANAH RAKYAT DENGAN IKHLAS, saya tidak bimbang akan cabaran dari pihak lain. Tetapi jika kita tidak ikhlas dalam menjalankan peranan kita sebagai pemegang amanah rakyat, sifat itu dengan sendirinya akan menghancurkan kita. Sebaliknya jika ahli-ahli menjadi pemegang amanah rakyat secara ikhlas, tetapi pertubuhan tidak mempunyai pemimpin-pemimpin yang ikhlas, kekuatan kita akan menjadi pentas pergelutan kuasa sesama sendiri dan ini akan merugikan kita.”
He had stressed on the unity of Umno members and the sincerity of its leaders in lieu of the tumultuous year they had before. I wonder if Pak Lah still remember those words. After all, he was the committee member of the NOC.
Being the trustholder of the rakyat’s aspiration is imperative in today’s political landscape. After all, they are voted in by the people to do their job. Judging from the actions of most Umno leaders, I just had to feel quite relief that the good Tun didn’t got to live to see the damage they had done to the coalition that was created 35 years ago.
Due to the instability of Barisan Nasional, it’s not surprising that the news on the imminent crossovers are quite rampant. Many had analysed and discussed, up to the point of nausea, regarding the news of potential crossovers of MPs from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat. The perpetrator of this news is non other than Anwar Ibrahim.
To digress a bit, let’s look at his grand objectives in claiming back his political manhood.
After Anwar Ibrahim won the Permatang Pauh by election, he was reported to have shouted his political manifesto below to his jubilant supporters.
Rockybru posted this;
“This victory is due to the commitment and the support and the conviction of the people, not only the people of Permatang Pauh but of Malaysians in general. We demand change. We want freedom. Freedom from injustice. We demand an independent judiciary. We want to give a real meaning to the spirit of Merdeka. In terms of the economy, we demand a fairer distribution of wealth for the majority. Not for the corrupt few, (not for) families, sons and sons-in-law.”
Basically, Anwar is advertising;
– Freedom from injustice;
– To have an independent judiciary; and
– To have a fairer distribution of wealth for the majority.
To me, this is just a form of REBRANDING from what the BN government had been doing all this while.
Think about it.
Are there any gross injustice being commited onto the rakyat since 1957? Of course, we cannot deny that there were pockets of dissent and sporadic unrest in several occasions. But in a multi racial government of Malaysia, realistically, it can never be 100% perfect. If Anwar Ibrahim wishes to lead an utopian government where everyone is happy and satisfied, then perhaps, he will be the first man in 8,000 years to achieve that.
Actually, all these calls of injustice stemmed from his belief that an injustice had been occurred due to his failure in becoming the Prime Minister in 1998. How dare they prevent him from his God given right to become PM! Heck, he had coveted that position the instance he joined Umno in 1982. After all, although he was a close buddy with all the PAS leaders at that time, PAS was never a viable vehicle in realising his orgasmic dream.
After that, the people were swayed and enticed by him and led to believe that his thwarted grand ambition is also an injustice done to the people. That was where it all started. A purely selfish reason mutated into something akin to a national agenda.
“Save Anwar Ibrahim, save Malaysia”. That is the story arc for the Ketuanan Anwar idealogy. Damn, that’s a catchy tag line. Hopefully Pakatan Rakyat will acknowledge me if they use that tagline during Anwar’s sodomy trial next week.
As for the judiciary, his PERSONAL opinion on its non independence really does not makes sense because he was freed by the same court of law in 2004. Independent judiciary according to him, is only applicable when the judgment goes his way. Although his strongest supporters had praised the judiciary on their freedom to exercise their independence, Anwar Ibrahim suddenly claimed the judiciary is not independent anymore in 2008. By the way, if he is also supporting the idea of independent judiciary, then he is echoing Pak Lah’s sentiments. Since both want the judiciary to be more independent, then what’s new anyway? Oh yeah, both seem to be quite clever in the art of rebranding too.
As for the fairer contribution of wealth for the majority, well, who are the majority? I assume he was referring to the non Umnoputras. Obviously he was twisting the knife on Pak Lah’s reputation as the biggest offender of corruption. But who are the majority of the non Umnoputras? I assume they are the Malays.
In this instance, since Anwar Ibrahim and PAS are also championing the special rights of the Malays, then shouldn’t all this promises made by him are actually a form of rebranding of the Barisan Nasional policy and also the provisions in the Malaysian constitution?
Therefore, since Anwar Ibrahim has called on the MPs from Barisan Nasional to crossover into Pakatan Rakyat, we have to question, what else does he have to offer? Anwar Ibrahim had denied any form of bribery in order to entice the MPs. No money or ministerial positions are offered to the potential traitors (so he says). If Anwar’s ‘carrot’ to the MPs are just those areas that were mentioned above, then what drastic difference could they make for their constituency? Assuming they are selfless and people oreinted MPs in the first place of course.
If everyone in Pakatan Rakyat thinks that Ezam is a traitor, then what should we call the so called 30 MPs that will jump ship to the fold of Pakatan Rakyat? Won’t they be called traitors as well by the 51% voters that voted for them in March 2008? The point is, it does not matter from which party you’re jumping to. The fact that you change your political principles and aspirations to the tune of a populist movement, will definitely degrade your credibility.
To supplement the article in Sakmongkol, where it argues in terms of numbers regarding the potential cross overs, I would like to offer the morality issue behind it.
Historically, any political leader who changed their political aspirations by jumping parties from one spectrum to the next (from government to opposition and vice versa), will fail as a leader. Why? Because they have lost their credibility. People will not see you as an honest person because ‘changing stripes’ as they say, is clouded with an underlying agenda. Be it personal or otherwise.
An honest leader has integrity. When you have integrity, you have credibility. When people see you as having credibility, automatically you will become trustworthy. A leader trusted by the rakyat WILL become a great leader. A leader trusted by all of the people, will move a mountain if he wanted to.
That is why, Datuk Onn Jaafar, Umno founding father and a very much respected leader amongst the Malays, did not fare too well when he drastically changed his political stand. Ibrahim Ali, with all the gung ho attitude he showed in parliament or during political campaigns, is very much seen as a non person. Tun Lim Chong Eu is quite lucky when he jumped ship from MCA and founded Gerakan. But that was only because Gerakan has similar political aspirations like the MCA albeit with a slight multi racial mix. The party he founded that preceded Gerakan, the United Democratic Party, went into oblivion due to its unappealing party manifesto (most leaders were from the left wing Labour Party).
Meanwhile, After a long hiatus, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had only now could reclaim back some of his credibility. But don’t let this fool you. If in the future he holds power, many of his detractors will dig up his colourful past and play it ad nauseam.
You will not go far if your credibility is in doubt. You will not go far if the people you are leading do not trust you. This will be the dilemma of those so called ‘traitors’. Even Anwar Ibrahim, with all his pomp and splendour, is still not trusted by majority of Malaysians. Why? Because his credibility is tainted. It is hard to portray oneself as having the political clout to lead Malaysia when you have a lot of past political baggage to contend with. He knows this too well. That is why he is banking on the tactic of playing the racial card towards the BN government.
By making the BN much less attractive than the PR, hopefully he could entice the party hoppers to join him. But these MPs should remember that they are the trustholder of their constituency. Any wrong move they make will quickly erode any credibility they have. Having moral obligation and sincerity was what Tun Abdul Razak had been advocating 38 years ago. Without it, even nations will fall.
If Anwar Ibrahim and Pak Lah don’t have it, then what will become to the fate of this nation?