Now that Anwar has been sent to prison, and with Nik Aziz’s recent death, BN supporters are hoping that Pakatan Rakyat will self-destruct as the opposition. They are also hoping that BN will continue its more than 50 years tenure as the ruling government for the next five years at least.
Will we see no end to this corrupt, crony-ridden, wasteful and authoritarian regime? In my opinion which I have expressed to PAS friends in a recent private discussion – PR can win the next elections. But it can also be destroyed by forces from within and not from the outside.
Why do I say this?
Firstly, public opinion is definitely against BN for the way in which it has pursued its political persecution of Anwar. There is no need to go into all the details of the so-called incriminating evidence against Anwar. All that is necessary is to ask the question why the so-called victim, Saiful met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Najib, immediately before the “incident” as well as with Najib’s special officer, and what took place during these meetings.
The Malaysian public is not stupid
In the coffee shops, the talk is that something must have been taken place at that meeting; and that it holds the answer to the chain of events beginning with the police report and the follow up charge by the Attorney-General which everyone knows is part of the Prime Minister’s Department!
Any other court in the world would have summoned the Prime Minister to the witness stand but this was not done by our ‘free and independent’ judiciary. Any other judiciary would have put two and two together and dismissed the charge as politically motivated and trumped up. This is the consensus of not only unbiased local but also international opinion.
Instead of throwing out the case right at the start, we have seen it dragged through the courts and exploited by the BN to put Anwar and Pakatan on the defensive. And now, the Prime Minister and his team will think that they have delivered the knockout blow.
But does this mean that BN will have it easy now that Anwar is out of the way?
Is there a Double Deal Between UMNO and PAS
If the Pakatan leadership stays united, I am sure that the jailing of Anwar can be the electoral issue that will finally kill off BN’s rule. In other words, by jailing Anwar, BN has opened the road to Putrajaya for Pakatan such is the public disgust with the way the BN has handled the case.
The key question of whether Pakatan can remain cohesive depends very much on what happens in PAS now that Nik Aziz has passed away from the scene. For some time now there have been talk from UMNO bloggers that PAS party President, Dato Seri Hadi Awang, is prepared to do a deal with UMNO.
According to them, if PAS joins BN it can count on the 21 parliamentary seats won by PAS during the 2013 general election. This will boost BN’s total to a comfortable 154 seats or more than the 148 seats needed for a two-thirds majority. Should this happen, Pakatan’s enemies in UMNO and BN are sure that BN will be in power for another 50-years.
I do not think these rumours of a double deal involving Dato Seri Hadi Awang and the ulama faction of PAS with UMNO are true. They have been spread by UMNO supporters who are getting more desperate with new disclosures almost every day of the rampant corruption, mis-governance and abuse of power of the current government.
These UMNO supporters see the writing of defeat on the wall and hence are resorting to their usual dirty tricks.
But in case there are opportunistic elements in PAS who are prepared to share the same bed with UMNO, let me remind them of the history of how UMNO first brought the party into the ruling Alliance coalition in 1974, then played it out and finally kicked it out during the time of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the present Prime Minister’s father.
They have also forgotten the reason why Kelantan has remained a backward state until today. And that this is mainly or partly because the state has been treated as a step child by the BN run federal government.
Finally, I am sure PAS under whatever new leadership it elects in June is not going to turn its back on Nik Aziz and his legacy. Nik Aziz will be remembered for his moral, just and non-materialistic vision for all Malaysians. It also includes his relentless opposition to any form of political collaboration with UMNO and BN parties that he regarded as beyond redemption. I am sure that his supporters in the party will not allow this moral vision to be undermined or sacrificed for short term political gain.
My advice to PAS conservative and “ulama” oriented or UMNO-friendly members is that if you desert the coalition – whether on the hudud or other issues – and if you link up again in one way or another with UMNO, then history will repeat itself. And this history is that you will kill PAS and whatever political and moral credibility that it may have.
The great majority of Malaysians are comfortable with the PAS and Pakatan ideology of social and economic justice for all Malaysians and the pursuit of human rights. This is why they voted for PAS in the last elections. It is in this context that they will support and vote for PAS candidates in the next elections.
Pakatan has spent a great deal of time putting together the Common Platform Framework. PAS should honour and work with the CPF whatever the faction that is in charge – whether “pemimpin ulamak” or “pemimpin Erdogen”.
“Don’t waver in the common struggle to take over Putrajaya. Reject UMNO and BN and change Malaysia for the better” was my advice to my PAS friends.