Monday, March 10, 2008

A PAS MB: are you afraid?

....I trust a PAS politician more than a PKR revolutionist. PAS members are sold to religiosity, PKR members are bought over by money....

PAS MB: Are you afraid?

I was at the airport waiting for my flight back to Sabah when I received news that the next Menteri Besar of Perak may be from PAS.

It’s not exactly what I had in mind though not entirely unexpected.

Even with the DAP winning 18 state seats, making them the predominant voice in the new state government, it is possible but improbable for the DAP to put in place a Chinaman as MB.

The rural Malay folk might accept it, as will the more open-minded Malays in the city. The one group that might not accept it will the UMNO-associated Malays. These are the people that hold on to the view of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) as though it was a birthright and a edict etched in stone. Losing the state to DAP is already damaging enough to their over-inflated ego, losing the MB’s post to a mata sepet will invite unpredictable UMNO backlash.

It’s not that the new state government is afraid of doing what is constitutionally theirs. I believe however, that the last thing the new coalition government needs is UMNO baboons running around instigating Malays.

Having a PKR member for MB is even more risky and scary in fact. From 1957 till 1998, most current PKR members were in fact UMNO fans or strongmen. If there is one party that is ambiguous in its objectives and struggles and sincerity, it would be PKR. The recent elections saw one of its members going missing on the day on nomination only to be found in Langkawi holidaying with his family days later. If he was not bribed to refrain from contesting then I really have no idea what else could have taken place. To me, if there is one party whose members will emulate the notorious kataks of Sabahland, that party would be PKR. Even its own leader Anwar was once more famed for his nationalist and racist stands. The only difference is most of Anwar’s men have not been to jail for six years – circumstances that would have transformed most people and turned them remorseful.

In short, I trust a PAS politician more than a PKR revolutionist. PAS members are sold to religiosity, PKR members are bought over by money.

There really isn’t any logic to fear a PAS MB. The question of being deprived of pork, alcohol, karaoke and being forced to cover up from head to toe really doesn’t arise at all. I believe the DAP’s 18 state assemblypersons would have enough sense and courage to stand up to Islamization of Perak, if it ever takes place at all.

To predict what Perak may be like under a PAS MB is totally impossible. One cannot look to Kelantan and say that is how Perak might turn out to be five years from now. PAS is the predominant and sole ruling party in Kelantan. In Perak, it holds merely six party seats as compared to DAP’s 18. The racial composition of Perak too is vastly different from Kelantan, as is the state’s natural resources, demography and economic activities. For anyone to claim that Perak will end up like Kelantan is to say Nazri Aziz was very well educated by his mother in manners and all things gentle.

Even if the PAS MB does try anything apparently radical, like closing down the shady discos in Ipoh Garden East and raiding massage parlors on Jalan Yang Kalsom every other night, I am all for it. It’s only a hypothetical scenario though, because that will never ever happen, and I am disappointed to say the least.

The worst thing a PAS MB can bring to Perak is the swing of fickle Chinese votes back to wounded lapdog MCA. MCA was painting DAP as the running mate of PAS in the general elections. Nominating a PAS member for MB is but cementing MCA’s allegations. Such swing of voters can only be seen in elections. There is sufficient time for the DAP-PKR-PAS Perak government to prove its critics and skeptics wrong so they better get to work fast and effectively.

Unless someone dies or resigns or Pak Liar calls for general elections in April, the DAP has no excuse of failing to perform up to par and better the people’s general livelihood. If the new Perak government does a good job and lives up to the election promises with tangible improvements in the daily lives of everyday people, voters will see that a PAS MB is not eternal damnation.

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