Since the departure of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi almost a year ago, NST seems to be emancipated from the ‘evil clutches’ of Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan and Brenden “Serial Plagiarist” Perreira, who have managed to dismantle the credibility and even integrity of the one time the premier English daily. Nowadays the quality of the political news have termendously improved, where reports are made based on quotations of the politicians themselves.
Lately, there are so many news about Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the mainstream media. So many PR elected reps came out bashing their own or intra-party in wideranging political issues, which is centred around ‘self inflicted wounds’. NST has managed to produce the comments verbatim from these disgruntled politcians such as former PKR Secretary General Dato’ Sallehudin Hashim, Bayan Baru MP Dato’ Seri Zahrain Hashim, Kulim Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Nordin, Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng, Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong and Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail. Of course, rebuttals of fellow reps were also allowed. Thiese reportings are not with standing the fact that PR has had problems with their YBs in ADUN Behrang, Changkat Jering, Jelapang, Bukit Selambau, Lunas, Penanti, Pelabuhan Kelang and recently Bayan Baru MP either left the party or resigned totally from their seats.
In the ‘misery’ of and within PR caused by their own doing, it is surprised that NST allowed sordid attempt to paint the picture otherwise.
ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR
Don’t read too much into Pakatan troubles
The disarray in Pakatan Rakyat may not necessarily translate into rising support for Barisan Nasional, writes ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR
PAKATAN Rakyat has lost some momentum. Their leaders are expending a lot of energy on damage control these days, trying to get the ship back on course.
Across the divide, Barisan Nasional supporters sneer at Pakatan leaders struggling to check the declining credibility of the opposition pact.
But there are two issues at hand: one, the problems in Pakatan; the other, of voters returning to BN’s fold.
There are fears that Umno’s grassroots and some national leaders are getting too carried away with the misfortunes of an opposition front “on the verge of collapse”.
According to Mohd Sayuti Omar, a political analyst and author of several books on Malaysian politics, more damage is caused by too much publicity given to disgruntled Pakatan assemblymen.
“The mainstream media is going overboard giving space to these personalities when such publicity will not gain Umno or BN votes,” Sayuti says. “In fact, they give an advantage to (opposition leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.”
Seasoned Umno politicians warned of this with regard to Bayan Baru member of parliament Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim’s recent resignation from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to become an independent representative.
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak took the lead in cautioning BN supporters: “We should not be carried away with what is going in the opposition parties,” he said.
“It is important that we show that the party is capable of serving the public and fulfilling all the promises made, either by the government or the people’s representatives.”
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and supreme council member Datuk Mustapa Mohamed also reminded Umno and BN component parties not to be over-zealous in capitalising on the disarray in Pakatan.
Umno and the other BN component parties need only work for the people, said Shafie.
“It is important for us to deliver our promises and render help to the people who need them.
“The people will know we are a government that cares for their welfare and that we can be trusted, and doing so without having to tell them that the opposition cannot be trusted.”
Mustapa does not think BN should take advantage of the rift between leaders of PKR and DAP but should strengthen its own position instead.
It’s easy to see why people think Pakatan is crumbling, as all indications thus far show that all is not well within the opposition alliance.
Pakatan may have revealed too much of its weaknesses, affecting its credibility in the eyes of voters, but these internal conflicts could be turned to its own advantage if its components are forced to confront issues and find amicable solutions.
Many analysts see the disagreements among Pakatan leaders as part of the learning process of how to get along and that their alliance will get stronger as they learn to cope with one another.
To think that Pakatan is about to crumble is naive. To think that votes that had gone to Pakatan will automatically swing to BN is also off-track. Pakatan leaders will not allow problems to fester because its candidates may find themselves practically unelectable in the next polls.
A series of retreats has been slated for next month to brainstorm strategies to counter BN. The first is for Pakatan partners in Selangor on March 7, followed by the national-level retreat in Penang in conjunction with the coalition’s second anniversary of taking control of several state governments.
“We have to prepare ourselves to fight back,” says PKR vice-president Azmin Ali. “Now we are more determined than before.”
Ezam Mohd Noor, the former PKR Youth chief who is now with Umno, thinks BN should do more to gain the people’s confidence on its own strengths in serving the people well.
Unless BN can regain non-Malay confidence, says Prof Mohamed Mustafa Ishak of Universiti Utara Malaysia, things will not improve in the next general election.
“Umno has undergone some transformation but the MCA, MIC and People’s Progressive Party have not done much to regain their strength.
“These parties are mired in unsettled disputes that show no sign they can be resolved in time for the 13th general election.”
The disputes within Pakatan have unsettled supporters and left people wondering whether the component parties can function well politically and be a force to match the sturdy BN.
The resignation Zahrain, citing disappointment with the leadership of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, along with PKR’s troubles within the opposition pact, may have exposed weaknesses in the Pakatan linkage.
So have criticisms of Pakatan leaders from Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin, Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng, and Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong.
But resignations from PKR have been common, even when it was still Parti Keadilan Nasional.
Big names who quit the party include Chandra Muzaffar, Marina Yusof, Ruslan Kassim, Zainur Zakaria, Datuk S. Nallakaruppan, Mohd Annuar Tahir, Abdul Rahman Osman and, more recently, serving assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), Badrul Hisham Abdullah (Pelabuhan Kelang) and Mohd Radzi Salleh (Lunas).
Almost two years since the last general election, Pakatan has yet to come together as a political coalition with a common aim and leadership like BN.
It may have found rough agreement on legal and economic issues and a consensus on ethnic and identity politics, but doubts remain over its prospects for long-term survival.
The BN, which is showing signs of regaining support from the people following a series of new holistic socio-development programmes launched by the prime minister, has to strive to win back the hearts and minds of the people on its own merits.
The facts is that what is and has been happening to PR since their unprecendeted and totally unexpected win on 8 March 2008 is sustainable and now clearly showing digression. The failure of the state governments they managed to wrest is now apparently felt and even amongst PR leaders and supporters themselves have started to demonstrate their dismay in the open and rather loudly.
Even Chinese Chauvinist DAP Supremo Lim Kit Siang admitted the PR failure and slow but systematic death.
The Star report on 31 January 2010:
Sunday January 31, 2010
Kit Siang: Pakatan is bleeding
By NG CHENG YEE
PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Rakyat disciplinary committee must meet to restore public confidence in the discipline, commitment, cohesion and unity of the loose coalition, said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
The subject of holding a Pakatan disciplinary committee had been on the agenda of its leadership council since last year, he said.
The internal haemorrhaging, he stressed, must end particularly when Umno and Barisan Nasional were intensifying their political offensive.
“This will be the challenge of the Pakatan leadership council when it meets tomorrow,” he said in his blog yesterday.
His latest posting on the issue came close on the heels of the latest attack against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng by former PKR state chief Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim. Zahrain, who is also Bayan Baru MP, had called Guan Eng who is DAP secretary-general and Lim’s son a dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded leader who was unfit to lead the state.
If this is NST’s attempts to provide a ‘balance reporting’ for Malaysian political diet, then it is a very poor attempt to do so. The circumtance which PR is facing at the moment is purely self inflicted and like so many right wing analyst have expected that the self destruction of PR within and by their own in their fashion of ‘unholy marriage of (in)convenience between strange bedfellows’ has proven to be true and now evidently clear.
For one, Mohd. Sayuti Omar is the least respected political analyst to quote from. His writtings have never been regarded by any quarters except of political gutter and ghetto consumers. In this analysis, Sayuti’s thoughts given first referrence depicts that the writer is desperate to produce a piece to rebut for the PR hurriedly.
In the writer’s previous analysis, her attempt to spin that DAP is shedding their Chinese Chauvinist image and approach is really lame and now actually starting the get Malay support. The fact is that PKR MPs for Bayan Baru Zahrain Hashim and Nibong Tebal Tan Beng in their own words pronounce and confirmed DAP’s Chinese Chauvinism.
Evidently clear that NST editorial intentionally allowed such ‘skewed’ analysis to be published, which is actually giving the wrong impression of the current political scene and projections. These writings are laced with certain agenda which befits the flavour in alternative media such as Malaysiakini dan The Malaysian Insider.
If this low quality analysis attempt is NST’s effort to entice ‘the people from the other side’ in their effort to be the premier mainstream political and business daily from during the days where Tan Sri Dr Nordin Sopiee or Dato’ A Kadir Jasin were the journo supremos, then the NSTP BOD should really relook into their business model and approach. Recently regenerated and rebranded oldest English tabloid Malay Mail is doing much better in their political reporting and analysis, now starting to gain grounds.
Pakatan Rakyat is undoubtably on a self destruction mode and pattern and this has moved into higher gears of inevitability in the turning out of events which some might pessimitically regard as, ‘fate’. This is especially with the failure to deliver so many promises and expectations, led by partyless-Opposition-Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim and his sordid “16 September 2008 Federal Government take over” unrealisable wet dream. Of course, now his ongoing personal hedious sexual deviant criminal case is affecting PR as a whole and PAS already abstaining their suffort for a bretheren political-in-partner-in-crime. The party which was formed for and around the former-abuse-of-power-convict also saw themselves on an almost sure self destruction mode.
NST should also be mindful the ‘Middle Malaysia’ ground they are attempting to gain, which targets the more affluent, educated, professional and often, higher placed segment of Malaysians. These are the same people who actually have access to seamless streams of information, especially technology driven without even mentioning ‘market talk’. For NST to allow pieces with preferred referrences from political gutter and ghetto analyst should only be regarded as negative-counter-spinning. In time, this shall be proven equally as damaging when Riong Kali and “Serial Plagiarist” Perreira were there, spinning NST into oblivion and digression.