| PSM's people power vs Pakatan's party power by Commander (Rtd) S Thayaparan formerly of the Royal Malaysian Navy
| Thursday, April 18, 2013
|They don't know who their allies and enemies are." - PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan (Malaysiakini)
better way to put it, S Arutchelvan, would be "with friends like this,
who needs Umno-BN enemies?" Under the title ‘PKR, you can't enter
Putrajaya with your brand of arrogance!' my comrade in this struggle for
regime change, blogger Zorro Unmasked, writes: "I will not vote
for Sivarasa in Subang, my parliamentary constituent, if PKR disturbs
with a three-cornered fight in Kota Damansara, my state constituency. I
have nothing against Sivarasa. I voted for him in 2008. It is the
posture PKR is taking that I vehemently am opposed to. This is
tantamount to bullying, Umno-style."
Now, R Sivarasa and his
wife are good friends of mine and Sivarasa is the kind of person we as
Malaysians need in the halls of power in Putrajaya. More importantly,
every single member of a political party like Parti Sosialis Malaysia
(PSM) should be considered as agents of real change in Malaysia and
should be ‘allowed' to do their work that goes far beyond the sordid
business of getting elected. It amazes me why PKR, or should that
be Pakatan Rakyat, would want to alienate allies like these? Where I
vote in Lembah Pantai, the incumbent is PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah
Anwar and it would be a waste if right-thinking Malaysians would render
these Pakatan candidates as collateral damage of political infighting by
abstaining to vote. Right-thinking
voters may do this simply because the power-brokers of Pakatan see fit
in their arrogance to dismiss a political party like PSM in order to
fulfill whatever cravings for power that has been slowly manifesting in a
party made up of former Umno exiles intent on reclaiming what they
think they are owed.
In these heady days, this close to May 5,
they assume that Pakatan is a force to be reckoned with and the
sometimes-blind hatred for Umno-BN of some of their vocal online
supporters would translate to a free pass in perpetuity for Pakatan.
But many, and not just partisan bloggers, have noticed the emerging
‘arrogance' of PKR, not to mention Pakatan, when it comes to the way how
they deal with issues concerning not only their allies but regarding
policy. Getting criticism from your partisans may be easily dismissed
but when middle-of-the-road Malaysians start making such comments, then
you had better pay attention. Moreover, if Pakatan is ignorant
of the existence of such criticisms, then I suggest they are not paying
attention to the ground and are drunk on their own kool aid.
The next big fight
However, Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim has never really known who his
friends are. The potential prime minister's career is littered with
former associates who have become mouthpieces for Umno. Even pre-tsunami
2008, defections seemed to emanate from his party of close cadres. Convential
wisdom goes that nobody expected the 2008 tsunami and Pakatan was
hustling for candidates, and the mood of the country was such that if a
monkey were offered up, it would be voted in. The list of pro-Umno-BN
friendly independent candidates who jumped ship is proof of this. Pakatan assured us that in the next big fight, they would only put up
candidates of ‘caliber' but instead of doing so; they seem to be
rejecting those candidates who have shown a commitment to working for
the Pakatan cause in the five years since the tsunami. Instead, what
Pakatan seems to be doing is offering up slick political operatives who
seem to have come out of the woodworks, now that Pakatan has a chance of
grabbing federal power.
Perhaps it would be good to let PSM
speak for itself. Here are the four major points in a letter addressed
to the leadership of Pakatan.
1. PSM menyokong sepenuhnya
Pakatan dalam PRU13 dan akan berkempen untuk memastikan kemenangan
Pakatan disemua kerusi. Kami cukup jelas bahawa musuh politik untuk
ditewaskan adalah Umno-BN.
2. PSM akan bertanding di hanya 4
kerusi (mengikut status quo) PRU ke 12. Untuk makluman, sejak PRU pada
tahun 2004, 2008 dan kini 2013, PSM hanya bertanding di 4 kerusi
meminjam logo parti pembangkang. Justeru itu tidak ada persoalan PSM
tamak kerusi atau mahu bertanding di lebih kerusi. Yang beza adalah kali
ini, PSM sudah berdaftar dan dalam keadaan sudah berdaftar PSM akan
menggunakan logo sendiri untuk bertanding seperti mana parti-parti lain
yang sudah berdaftar dalam Pakatan.
3. Demi solidariti dan
semangat perjuangan, PSM meminta Pakatan untuk tidak bertanding di 4
kerusi ini atau menjadikan 4 tempat ini 3 penjuru. Andaikata Pakatan
meletakkan calon di 4 kerusi ini, maka PSM akan masih menyokong Pakatan
disemua kerusi lain kecuali 4 kerusi ini.
4. Namun demikian kami
sedar bahawa isu DUN Jelapang adalah lebih rumit lagi kerana dalam
PRU13 kerusi ini memang 3 penjuru. PSM menuntut kerusi ini kerana
setelah calon DAP yang dipilih lompat parti, calon PSM yang kalah masih
menjalankan kerja sehingga diakui ramai sebagai calon yang paling ketara
(visible) dan rajin membuat kerja dikawasan tersebut. As
far as the Jelapang seat is concerned, PSM has said that it would abide
by the decision of a group of selected NGOs who would mediate between
them and DAP. How is that for consensus building? What is
disheartening about oppositional politics and perhaps an indication of
the shape of things to come is when Pakatan partisans heap scorn on PSM
by referring to them as a "mosquito" party. This really goes to the
level of thinking of your average Pakatan supporter.
Post-tsunami 2008, the ranks of the so-called ‘giant' parties like PKR,
PAS and DAP have swelled to include charlatans, would-be messiahs and
host of other opportunists eager for a ride on what they believe would
be the new gravy train. Meanwhile a party like PSM has been
diligently attending to the business of making people's lives, mostly
the disenfranchised, a little better through the arduous task of
negotiating through the political process, mindful of the giants in
their midst. New form of tyranny
My reasons for supporting a party like PSM and the work they do is
selfish. I want other people to commit to the work of actually helping
people who live in the margins. The consequence of democracy and
realpolitik are often felt by the disenfranchised. The work of political
groups like the PSM is to attempt to remedy such flaws in the system. PSM has since relented on running under its own logo but Pakatan still
needs to meet them half way and give them the seats they ask for, which
would ensure that Pakatan has at least some candidates who would bring
integrity to an alliance mired in many of the same problems as BN. As for the Cameron Highland's seat, this is what Arutchelvan had to
say, "(It) goes against the PSM's election standards where candidates
must have worked in an area for five years and must be endorsed by the
local branch. PSM does not allow parachute candidates."
I do not
know about anyone else but I think the folks in Cameron's deserve a
candidate who has worked the ground and belongs to a political party
which attempts to hold themselves to some standards when everyone else
is rushing to the altar of political expediency to make a sacrifice for
the supposed greater good. We should never forget PSM leader Dr D Jeyakumar's (left) speech
at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People's Uprising Rally) three
months ago, where he warned that we should be ever vigilant less we
replace Umno with a new form of tyranny. Pakatan partisans always scream
about the enemy on the outside, but Malaysian political history is
bloated with enemies from within.
What Malaysians need, are
leaders who are cognisant of such a reality. PKR, DAP and PAS should
stop being intransigent and allow PSM to contest under their own banner
in the seats they want. They should stop stonewalling PSM and get into
the real business of ‘ubah'.
S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.
|posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:15 PM
Like I have always said,when Warthamoothy made his announcement in his land of exile,he has sold his soul to Umno.That guy has been bought.Months before he walzed his way across the crossway.
After swimming across the ocean infested with sharks to safe haven,the UK,after years of self exile escaping the comforts of Kamunting,he suddenly made a u-turn.Volunteering to come back and face the thunder and lightning,come what may.Even a kindergardener may be wondering out loud who this moron is trying to fool.
PR,especially PKR better pay attention and better respects to PSM.To push this small political party which is better known to the estate Indians to the sidelines will sent the rest of the Indians deserting the PR like a sinking ship.It will only serves them right if at the end the difference of sitting at Putrajaya or the opposition bench comes down to the Indian votes.