Friday, 15 August 2014

Selangor MB crisis: All in disarray in Pakatan Rakyat

Selangor MB crisis: All in disarray in Pakatan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR: The tussle as to who has the legal mandate – Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim or Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail - to rule Selangor has irreparably damaged Pakatan Rakyat as a political coalition.

Many quarters now wonder whether it will ever get back the former camaraderie that had existed between the parties.

It was the camaraderie between the grassroots of the three parties that allowed it to achieve so much in so short a time.

Pakatan managed to deny Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority in Parliament, captured three state governments and ushered in a two-party system for the country.
Only a few months ago, before the infamous Kajang Move, everything was balmy with Khalid in his seat as Mentri Besar of Selangor and the three parties were working together and well as the voters wanted it to.

Now everything is in disarray in Pakatan.

The once famous friendship between the parties has been replaced by mistrust and suspicion with friends and allies accusing each other of deceit and betrayal.

The long unwinding is starting for Pakatan; a coalition of three dissimilar parties brought together only because of their mutual enmity of BN.

The dramatic changes started suddenly after the Kajang Move was initiated by Pakatan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had ordered incumbent Lim Chin Cheh to resign as Kajang assemblyman.

In addition to the near total breakdown of the once cordial relationship, PAS has also permanently damaged the three-party coalition by steadfastly supporting Khalid.

Khalid has virtually taken over the Pakatan state government by sacking five executive council members from PKR and DAP and with the resignation of another PKR assemblywoman.

The fact that Khalid legally continues as Mentri Besar is because of the support given by the four PAS executive councillors, who form the minimum requirement of a government under the law.

Without the support of the PAS councillors, Khalid's government would collapse immediately opening the way for either an election or for a new candidate to take over.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang could not have summarised the whole situation more succinctly when he said in his blog, that Khalid has destroyed everything that Pakatan has achieved.

“In four days (Khalid) has destroyed much of the hard-fought gains and hopes for political change (that was) achieved by Pakatan Rakyat, the civil society and Malaysians as a whole, in the past six years,” wrote Lim.

Can Pakatan ever go back to how things were before Anwar initiated Kajang Move?

By most counts the political coalition could not set the clock back – the solidarity that had existed between PKR and DAP or one side and PAS on the other, is forever lost with the nasty events of the past week.

“From now on they will spew mutual suspicion and distrust on one another,” said a PAS vice-president who decline to be named.

“I feel sad that things will never be the same but my party leaders in supporting Khalid are saying no to Anwar and are thinking for the long term,” he said adding, “Sunday’s meeting may signal a parting of ways.”

He was referring to the PAS central working committee meeting slated for Sunday in which the decisions made would signal the end or a new beginning for Pakatan, minus PAS.

“It was the Kajang Move that broke the camel’s back,” he said. “They were shoving their decisions down our throats.”

Sunday’s meeting may also see a clash between the Ulama conservatives, who are sick of the compromises that PAS, as an Islamist party, had to make for Pakatan, and the liberals and progressives who want the party to stay in the coalition because that's the only way they could win the non-Malay support.

The Pakatan coalition had worked well in the six years it existed and mainly because it was kept to a moderate policy and eschewed extremism especially of an Islamic kind from PAS.

This moderation had generally benefitted the DAP and PKR and they had worked to keep PAS extremism in check. But as the events in Selangor shows, that old formula is no longer viable.

“The coalition becomes untenable with conservative PAS Ulama’s increasingly forceful and insistence that the party must have a bigger say,” said a DAP leader.

“Their assertiveness has been piling pressure on the coalition,” he said adding the frayed sides had begun unravelling after the infamous Kajang Move.

source : the star

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