Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat Must Buck Up

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib has good reasons to be in happy moods these few days.

Two weeks before his 100 days as PM , a survey conducted showed that his approval rating had increased to 65%.

This is a big increase from the 42% he scored just when he took office.

With the slew of goodies announced in conjunction with his 100 days as PM on 11.7.2009, his approval rating can only go up.

The unexpected slim majority win by PAS at the Manek Urai by election, which UMNO has claimed as a moral victory, is another reason for Najib to be happy.

Some political observers will even say that the by election result is an indication that UMNO has won back the support of the Malays.

I will repeat that we can and should not rule out the possibility of the Parliament being dissolved at the of this year or early next year.

Hence, Pakatan Rakyat must buck up . In fact, there have been political observers' comments that PR is losing momentum.

Some PR supporters have recently expressed to me their unhappiness about the various recent internal spat among the PR parties.

We must not underestimate the disastrous effect of such ceaseless internal spat on PR credibility and image, especially when our problems are exploited in the BN controlled electronic and printed media.

The voters have placed great hopes in us in the last general election and we must not let them down. Time to back up.

In this regard, Sdr Lim Kit Siang's call that the PR leadership Council set up a disciplinary committee to restore public confidence in PR cohesion, unity and common sense of purpose is timely and ought to be acted upon.


  1. YB Kula,

    I suggest DAP pull out of Pakatan if the public spat continues. At least if you are not in the Pakatan, you can shoot all your rockets at each other, and the BN-controlled media wouldn't give a damn about it.

    BN is exploiting your self-inflicted wounds and they did it pretty well. Remember, why did March 8 2008 political tsunami happened? Because the opposition parties doing so many things for the people that it gets stronger? Hell no! It is because of the self-inflicted injuries of many outstanding issues yet to be address by the previous Abdullah Adminstration. Then one after another issue came out and angered the people more. Then it exploded into political tsunami in March 2008 General Election.

    The public perception is this - If you can't manage your brothers and sisters in your house and always quarelling, how do you expect you can manage the nation?

    Something for you to think about.


  2. Dear YB Kula,

    It has been a long time since we last met. I hope you and your family are well. I have been meaning to contact you lately over this matter. It is very true that PR need to buck up. The signs are all there.

    After the euphoria of strong wins in the last GE, PR have bogged down with internal issues and damaging disputes and arguments among DAP, PAS and PKR.

    It is one thing to say that allowing open arguments is a sign of democracy but it also shows the deep divisions among the parties concerned. In a coalition, disputes are settled at the highest level quietly but too many politicians in PR want to have their 15 minutes of fame in the media.

    The most damaging disputes are between DAP and PAS, two parties whose ideologies are at opposite ends. Whenever such disputes happen, those who voted for DAP and PAS in the last GE are made to question if they made the right decision.

    More and more Chinese and Malays who had doubts about DAP and PAS working together in PR but voted for PR anyway against BN are beginning to think that PR is not going to work. When DAP and PAS have disputes, it is not just between two political parties but also seen as proxy between Chinese and Malays.

    Another weakness of PR is the non- or weak performance of elected representatives, with PKR and more so with DAP. I had many coffee-table discussions with people and this is one issue that is most striking. The agreement is that many PR YBs are ineffective and not serving the people.

    Many of PR YBs simply don't have a clue of what they want to do. I said that candidates must expect to win when they stand for elections and the common response is that many PR (PKR and DAP) candidates were there to make up the numbers and weren't expected to win at all. And when they won, they weren't prepared and have no idea what to do.

    Frankly and sadly, I agree with this statement. The non-performing YBs are making a bad name for PR. DAP won 18 state seats in Perak. Sorry for saying this but many DAP YBs are not up to mark. I predicted that DAP would lose at least 2 to 3 seats in the next state elctions. The good news is that voters may be still angry about the power-grab by BN and vote to return all DAP YBs to the State Assembly simply to punish BN.

    PR YBs must spend more time at their constituencies and touch base with the people. One common complaint is that many PR YBs have not been visible to the public since the last GE. It doesn't matter if these YBs have been doing good work behind the scenes. It is no point having a service centre, sitting in the office and expecting people to go there. In politics, visibility is very important and voters must be able to connect with their YBs. Otherwise, bye bye!

    The Malay political parties seem to realize this fact. UMNO has a policy where their YBs must return to their constituencies every Friday for Friday prayers with their constituents. PAS also use Friday prayers to build relations with their supporters.

    I agree with the observations made by Khoo Kay Peng in his recent article on PR's downslide. Najib's popularity rise was inevitable but also hasten by the missteps of PR. Problems like Kg Buah Pala won't be settled simply by blaming the last BN government. Like it or not, Lim Guan Eng has to settle it, not Koh Tsu Koon or Najib.

    The recent statements by Azmin Ali and Wee Choo Keong were very harmful to PR. But I think the responses to them are equally as bad. When someone made an accusation, don't bad-mouth them back. Instead get the facts and evidence and settle the issue. Open arguments are gleefuly pounced on and made worse by the mass media that supports BN.

    What were these PR politicians thinking? What good can come out of their actions? Any whatsoever good will be negated by the bad press given to the situation.

    I will stop here for now. When you are back in Ipoh, maybe we can have coffee and chat a bit. Take care.

    Steven Lee

  3. The proper way forward is for PR to be registered as a political party - like BN. Otherwise you remain just a loose alliance of convenience. The only way to convince the rakyat that the three parties are serious about working together is to register PR and fight under that banner. Also invite PSM to join lah. You share the same socialist philosophy as them - except they are purer socialists than you guys (capitalists in socialist clothing).
    Of course PPP will want to join also ha ha ha - Kayveas must feel like a football; kicked around by his fellow BN partners. That man has no shame or dignity, I'd would have left long ago.

    From, Yin Ee Kiong by email

  4. Spot on, Kula. PKR must buck up. Internal strife must be settled amicably. Loyalty is paramount. And this must be instilled in all members, DAP included.

    The rakyat still has faith in the coalition. All they want is a strong and solid party that can take the challenges thrown by a re-energised Umno with Najib at the helm. Pls remember Najib is no pushover.


    Fathol Bukhari by email

  5. Dear Sdr Kula,

    You have my support. It is the right time to us all to focus on our work - governing, and no more politicking.

    Weng San by email