Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Dream is Failing

I have had a long suspicion that Lim Kit Siang, one of our most prominent opposition leaders for the last few decades, has gone senile. Now, I believe that I have confirmation that he really has. I'd like to dedicate this open letter to him:

Dear Uncle Kit,

I know that I do not have any authority to speak on this matter but I thought that I should just let you know what I think about what's happening in Perak. I can assure you that I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Obviously I'm not privy to the matters behind the scenes but I'd like to raise your attention to the harm that's potentially being done there.

I read with consternation a MalaysiaKini report that you are asking Perak DAP to boycott the Menteri Besar swearing in ceremony. I think that this action will cause more harm than good for everyone in the long run.

The Perak Regent had selected whom he felt would be best suited as the MB. From what I have read from the report, the person seems to be well educated, a professional and a businessman. At face value, the credentials seem to put him in good stead to run the state. PAS obviously knows that they cannot go overboard in Perak simply because DAP gets the bulk of the state seats.

Before the decision, all sides had said that they would respect the Regent's decision and work together on common ground. But now that the decision has been made, you comes out to make harmful statements like this. This calculated boycott does not only make DAP look like sore losers but also disrespectful children. It seems like you are giving the Regent "the finger" and I doubt that it will go down well considering that many people like the Regent and think of him as a well educated, moderate and sane person. You want to have that man on your side.

DAP is probably trying to show that you are not in bed with PAS but it doesn't work because it is obvious to everyone that you need to work with PAS in order to run the state as you do not hold enough seats in the assembly. And it won't work with any voters older than 25 who still remember 1999 when you openly worked together. So, I don't really know who you are trying to send the message, of distancing yourself from PAS, to. If you are worrying that the MCA will make an issue out of it, don't. Don't let them pull your strings.

By doing things like this, you will make it seem like the Perak state government is weak and divided and that the opposition parties cannot work together. Perak should serve as a model of how racial politics isn't an issue, but it's turning into a disaster. It should be evidently clear by now that the average Malaysian voter is not entirely stupid. This simple act of sabotage may come back to bite all of you later.

I hope this makes sense. Please do not ruin this beautiful opportunity given to you by the rakyat.

with metta,
Shawn Tan.
Perak was supposed to serve as a shining beacon of what Malaysia could be. The state has a sane and well educated royal family whom everyone loves. There is a good mix of the major races in the state and the political parties are not able to monopolise the government. Please do not shatter this dream.

2 comments:

flygoon said...

LKS do have a point. In a true Westminster Democratic system, the most represented party should be given the chief minister post. In the newly formed uneasy alliance of DAP/PKR/PAS, DAP did won the most seats. Also, succumbing to a state constitution that is racist and discriminatory is not what most DAP supporters are voting for. We voted for a change, remember?
However, having said the above, calling for a boycott of the swearing in ceremony is not a good political move. Since they have just formed the government in Perak, they should show that they could work together despite their differences. Voicing out displeasures is good but not acting out in an uncooperative manner.
IMO, what DAP could do is to issue statements that the state constitution is discriminatory and racist and it disagree to it. However, DAP is willing to work with the new CM in Perak to form a more people oriented government. As for the unsaid part, just work to ensure that in the next election you won enough seats to change the state constitution. Yeah, I know, these are easier said than done.

KC said...

Some updates since your article has been posted:

1. Kit Siang Apologised
2.PKR just threatened to pull out of the swearing ceremony
3.The whole swearing thing has just been postponed

See...maybe the whole thing happened coz of PAS not wanting to give up the idea of non-muslim joining the party. Problem will be solved if only PAS shed a little more of its skin besides the islamic state thingy. Anyway, this will just be used by some unscrupulous quarters to stir up unrest and racial sentiments...