Saturday, April 30, 2016

This is what Zaid Ibrahim has to say about the current Opposition pact.

In the run-up to the 13th General Elections (GE14) in 2013, Lim Kit Siang apologised for the failure of the opposition pact to remain united and again when it failed to retain PAS within its fold.
Now he has apologised yet again for the failure of PKR and DAP to ensure a straight fight between the Opposition and Barisan Nasional in the Sarawak state election.

The opposition has always been fractious but to show its penchant for disunity in the way it has in the Sarawak election is unforgivable.

To see my friend Kit Siang having to grovel before Sarawakians because PKR would not do a deal with DAP is quite sad, so I have decided to invite Kit to a special dinner of Brittany oysters, Boston clam chowder and charcoal-roasted young lamb from Spain after the election.

During the dinner I will suggest the following:
1. Forget about electoral pact altogether. It did not work in GE13 and it has not worked in the Sarawak election. The best hope for a truly believable opposition pact is between DAP and Amanah. The two parties have a close affinity and should constitute the core Opposition. Any discussion on seat allocation will thus be more meaningful and the chances of both parties honouring the arrangement are better.
2. A DAP-Amanah pact can also have a loose arrangement with PKR (like ASEAN+2) for the purposes of organising joint-ceramah and to agree on some key areas for reform. Having a larger crowd can be morale-boosting for the Opposition and its followers but to have an electoral pact where seats are agreed beforehand between DAP-Amanah and PKR will be a waste of time and can lead to worse acrimony, much to the delight of the Barisan Nasional.
3. PKR is a party that believes one of its leaders will be the next Prime Minister after UMNO’s downfall. Some believe that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be Prime Minister. If that happens, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Mohd Rafizi Ramli and Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail will have important key positions. On the other hand, we have Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali and friends who believe that PKR today is not the same as PKR in 2004 and that the party is already under their control, so they will make sure key decisions will be decided by them. PKR under Azmin will be flexible and it is not inconceivable that PKR+PAS or PKR+UMNO deserters will be on the menu for the consideration of voters.

Politicians must start offering Malaysians a credible political platform that has regard for the interests of the people. They need only form alliances with a view towards forming a government after they have obtained the mandate of the people when the General Election results are known.

There is no need to follow the Barisan-Nasional formula of ganging up to win as many seats as possible regardless of party manifesto. Horse-trading should be done only when the results are known.

Of course Kit Siang is a shrewd and wily politician of many years’ standing and it is possible that he will dismiss my arguments as out of hand. However, all I ask is that he should just listen to me for an hour or so over a nice dinner.

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