Thursday, 31 July 2014
by Dato Mohd Ariff Sabri of DAP
We can view this thing about Khalid Ibrahim and PAS’s conduct as being one of the nose not pointed, the cheeks being pushed forward. ( hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong-sorong).
Let me begin by saying that PAS is a valued partner within the PR fraternity. Its leadership, by and large consist of leaders with keen integrity and truthful people. We value PAS for its commitment to principles, the discipline of its members, the integrity and sincerity of its leaders. The conduct of its leaders and most of its members is exemplary. We can count on PAS a loyal comrade. If we leave them behind to guard our fort and city, we can be sure they don’t turn around, seize the city and drive us out.
Having said that, I am not going overboard to confer upon PAS members superhuman qualities more that they deserved. They eat, sleep, go to the toilets just as we do; we don’t know what is in their hearts. They may have thick faces and blackened hearts. Its only through action and conduct do we judge them. For example, PAS's DR Zuhdi may appear as pious as other PAS leader, but lately his action has revealed a darker side. The typical PAS member can also lie, not tell the truth, conspire like any other.
They can also go back on their words. Don’t believe me?
When Semangat 46 helped PAS win Kelantan, PAS promised the post of Deputy MB to Semangat. After elections, PAS went on to appoint a deputy MB from their side thus reneging on a promise. When Semangat 46 complained, almost like an afterthought and damage control action, PAS created a Deputy MB 2 post. Well, deputy MB and Deputy MB2 is not the same thing, is it?
So please keep this holier than thou image to yourselves.
And know this too. Members and leaders of religious based movements also display these finer characteristics. For that matter, members and leaders of religious fraternity not Islamic can also be described in the manner I just did. Within the circle of Islamic movements, their leaders and members too have the same characteristics. What separates PAS from dakwah groups or Islamic fraternity and collegiate groups, is that PAS is a political party. The means, it aspires to capture power.
This means one must have some political skill-sets. So, all these qualities must be leavened with political acumen and political wisdom. Unless PAS no longer wants to be a member of the PR Family, it must not think it is a party of Islamic missionaries. It must choose to be part of a bigger entity that can replace the corrupt BN government or it can opt to become a regional party controlling a single state such as Kelantan. You want to be a village champion or you want national presence where you can cultivate wider allegiance to your cause?
Among political comrade-in-arms, there must be tacit and implicit trust. We accept any decisions made by PAS regarding its members. When Husam was dripped from PAS's political mainstream, the other members of PR did not fret because they trusted in PAS's judgement. Also because it is PAS's business. Trust requires reciprocity. If we trust in PAS's decision and judgment, PAS must also do likewise toward its friends.
So if the conservatives in PAS continue to bully its partners with their misplaced and conceited over-estimation of their importance PAS will suffer these things:
PAS will be reduced to a regional based party, shouting and wailing from the fringes. Eventually they will be viewed as religious fanatics on the fringe of political mainstream.
It will lose the support of middle thinking Malays, the less pious than PAS people who would otherwise look at PAS as a means of political and moral salvation. Lose that and PAS becomes just a minor political player.
It will alienate the Chinese whose support and acceptance and tolerance of PAS thus far, has contributed to PAS gaining national presence.
The horror of horrors will occur if PAS decides to go to bed with UMNO and that would signal that PAS is really a party without principles. It will be seen as a hypocritical party that uses religion to bully others.
It will create tension and discord among friends and partners in Pakatan Rakyat.
Now this issue with Khalid Ibrahim.
Why is Khalid Ibrahim hawking around like a political prostitute soliciting for support from indirect sources to continue as MB of Selangor? If we were to believe what Pakatan is saying, the issue was resolved as early as March 2014. The position of MB isn’t for Khalid to keep. Like all other government posts, it is not directly elected by voters. Its tenure depends on the confidence of the political party from which he comes from. In this case PKR. If the confidence is no longer there, and the existence proven by winning a party position, the honourable step to take is to tender resignation.
Unless Khalid Ibrahim suddenly thinks he is a direct member of an organisation known as Pakatan Rakyat, then he has the option of going around soliciting for support.
So what is it for PAS? - The conservatives in the party ought not to overestimate their importance. Let us remind them, unless they exist as part of a bigger entity that includes the less pious than them, they are an isolated bunch. This assessment can of course be cavalierly dismissed by brinkmanship talk by the conservatives, but such arrogance will only result in PAS as whole being confined to a village party. Pas people can always say - so what?, but such haughty talk displays a sorry lack of political acumen and detachment from political reality. If PAS is in business not to get political power, then it should declare itself as a missionary group.
The exit of Khalid Ibrahim should be simple case of conducting oneself with honour and dignity. Khalid has shown he does not have both.
Khalid Ibrahim has lost in the PKR elections. He has lost the confidence of his party. He ought to conduct himself in a dignified manner and withdraw from the position of MB. Instead he goes wailing and barking to all and sundry narrating how he has been aggrieved. Khalid may have the corporate smarts which are really debatable, but politically he has shown artlessness. He has got no class. Having fought and lost in his party elections, it is now not open for Khalid to bring his case before the people. His party should not be forced to wash dirty linen in public. Khalid should not overestimate himself excessively.
This isn’t a case that ought to be brought before the voters at all. We can’t expect the pasar malam supporters, the hawkers to understand the reasoning behind Khalid’s recall. Khalid should be sensible enough to spare PKR from ridicule and should desist providing an opportunity for it to be attacked by opponents. Consider what Khalid has done as providing ammunition to UMNO, Perkasa and other UMNO friendly groups. In other words, once he cannot get his way, Khalid is willing to embrace the enemy and the same time destroy his benefactor.
The position of MB is not directly elected by the voters. His party has nominated Khalid for the post of MB and the other parties in PR at that time agreed to this nomination. As a result he became the MB. Now that the mandate from his party has been withdrawn, he does not enjoy the confidence. That confidence has been recalled- Khalid has no business to escalate and widen the issue by appealing to the voters. This is not right. Having lost the confidence, the correct thing to do, is to honourably discharge himself.
Did Mat Said, the pugilistic former MB of Terengganu made out a dare to his party colleagues to move a motion of no-confidence? In this case, the politically amateurish Khalid Ibrahim appears to challenge his party colleagues to move a motion of no confidence. What does this suggest? This suggests Khalid has no respect and inkling about political protocols. This means he does not care about what happens to his political benefactor as long as his personal interests are preserved. Why should we keep this type of person in the party?
PKR should expel Khalid in this case and see what he does. He can join UMNO for that matter.
So why does he go hawking around for support from other parties? Why should pas even support Khalid Ibrahim when this is a decision taken by Khalids’ party? This is not a difficult thing to understand.
No one from PKR needs to answer what sins and fault has Khalid committed. It is sufficient for anyone, from Haji Hadi and Tuan Guru Nik Aziz to have trust in the judgment taken by PKR people. That is the basis for a working relationship. In this respect, UMNO has proven to be better; when Mat Said was dropped as MB, did he go around hawking for support from the other BN parties? Because the other parties understand the unspoken rule of coalition politics- that if you no longer enjoy support from your own party, it is not open to the other parties to question the reasoning behind Khalid’s recall. Coalition partners place implicit trust in the judgement of the party concern.
This isn’t about PAS. This is about PKR. It is not open for any PAS leader to question the judgment of PKR on Khalid. It is also not open for Khalid to conduct himself like a political prostitute to solicit support from the other partners in PR. PAS should not entertain him in the first place and ought to have explained to him that since he no longer enjoys the confidence of his own party, PAS cannot interfere with that decision, even though it may have its reservations and sympathies.
That ought to be basis of trust among partners.