The loser in Se­lan­gor

PKR’s leadership in the state has never been on shakier ground

New Straits Times - - Viewpoint - The writer feels in a dig­i­tal world, the win­ner does not al­ways take all

In other words, the Umno-led BN must con­tinue to en­sure that the peo­ple’s wants and needs are taken care of.

These in­clude ad­dress­ing the bread-and-but­ter is­sues that af­fect ev­ery Malaysian.

Po­lit­i­cal rhetoric alone is not enough. The gov­ern­ment of the day must match its words with ac­tion.

Peo­ple are now con­cerned with job op­por­tu­ni­ties and se­cu­rity of jobs, lack of af­ford­able hous­ing, ed­u­ca­tion, health­care, ris­ing cost of liv­ing and high rate of street crime.

Value sys­tems such as trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity and good gov­er­nance are no doubt very im­por­tant too.

But ask any one on the street. One of the most wor­ry­ing is­sues is the ris­ing prices of food and other main essen­tials. RM100 can’t fill up your su­per­mar­ket trol­ley these days.

I asked some­one the other day how much he spent on a sim­ple lunch of rice and two dishes to take away. The re­sponse was RM7. That’s what he could af­ford for lunch.

There are some re­tirees who com­plain that gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals are short of funds to stock cer­tain pre­scrip­tion drugs.

More work­ing peo­ple now worry about their take-home salary, as costs are ris­ing much faster than wages.

If you are sin­gle and live in KL, you need at least RM2,700 per month to sur­vive. Many turn to do­ing a se­cond job to earn an ex­tra in­come.

More omi­nously, a re­cent Bank Ne­gara sur­vey showed more than 75 per cent of Malaysians find it dif­fi­cult to even raise RM1,000 to meet emer­gency needs.

On Malaysians’ prepa­ra­tion for re­tire­ment, only 40 per cent are fi­nan­cially ready.

The cen­tral bank’s sur­vey also showed that a mere six per cent of salaried Malaysians are able to sus­tain them­selves for more than six months if they lose their jobs, the main source of their in­come.

The gov­ern­ment has been push­ing hard to bol­ster the econ­omy, draw for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments and in­vest in big in­fras­truc­ture projects to help cre­ate more jobs and raise in­come.

The pri­vate sec­tor, too, needs to help. We can’t del­e­gate the task of job-cre­ation just to the pub­lic sec­tor.

Any un­nec­es­sary red tape that hin­ders busi­ness must be done away with too.

THERE is sup­pos­edly a chat group in­volv­ing a few ar­chi­tects work­ing to iso­late Pas from the main­stream op­po­si­tion bloc. Among the no­table names claimed to be in­cluded in the group are PKR’s vice-pres­i­dent Rafizi Ramli, DAP’s pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary Tony Pua and Parti Amanah Ne­gara’s (PAN) com­mu­ni­ca­tions supremo Khalid Sa­mad.

“Skin­nies are only re­layed in the group, with a few ex­changes of ban­ter and lat­est news that could tie in with the ob­jec­tive,” a source from PKR said.

Their machi­na­tions are said to be so good that through a few ex­er­tions, the out­come of a mis­sion will be handed in by Pas; pre­vi­ous re­ports on the crum­bling af­fairs seem to al­lude to this.

Some quar­ters are say­ing that the fi­nal break-up be­tween Pas and PKR is the crown­ing glory of this group.

True enough, the dis­so­lu­tion of the pact was an­nounced by Pas.

Rafizi and Khalid were said to be smil­ing with a twin­kle in their re­spec­tive eyes af­ter read­ing Pas Syura Coun­cil sec­re­tary Datuk Dr Nik Muham­mad Zawawi Nik Salleh’s state­ment, which was re­leased on Thurs­day in Jalan Raja Laut.

Pua, on the other hand, could not con­tain his ex­cite­ment.

“Ha­ha­ha­ha­haaa­ha­hah­haaaaah­h­haa­haa... aaaaa ahh hh (Takes deep breath). If no po­lit­i­cal re­la­tion­ship, then why are you in a coali­tion gov­ern­ment? Sit in op­po­si­tion with Umno la. LOL,” Pua said in a Face­book jibe against Se­lan­gor Pas com­mis­sioner Salle­hen Mukhyi. vested in­ter­est in oust­ing Pas — Rafizi gets to tick off PKR No.2 Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Pua’s plan to re­move Pas for not kow­tow­ing to DAP, and Khalid’s de­sire turn PAN as the Malay bloc in Pakatan Hara­pan.

If there is any truth to the pur­ported machi­na­tions, such is a cat­e­gor­i­cal norm in the cloak and dag­ger as­pect of pol­i­tics.

But with all in­tents and pur­poses, or what­ever the ob­jec­tive re­al­ity is, who is now the big­gest loser in this lat­est ruckus?

All eyes are turn­ing to PKR in Se­lan­gor, where the blow is ex­pected to hit the hard­est, noted Pro­fess­sor Datuk Seri Dr Mo­hamed Mustafa

Ishak.

“Ob­vi­ously, PKR would be the big­gest loser in this sce­nario,” the Univer­siti Utara Malaysia vicechan­cel­lor said.

“There will be no more sup­port for Pas on which PKR could be rid­ing on. It is in dan­ger of los­ing some Malay mar­ginal seats in Se­lan­gor.”

PAN and Pakatan Hara­pan’s lat­est mem­ber, Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia’s (PPBM), may only posses nom­i­nal weight in gar­ner­ing votes from ru­ral Malays.

“It is still not clear how many Malay votes PBBM and PAN can de­liver for their pact.

“But, it may not be able to com­pen­sate what is be­ing lost from Pas.”

Mustafa’s view is not far off based on stats and fig­ures.

Re­search firm Politweet is a non-par­ti­san re­search firm analysing in­ter­ac­tions among Malaysians through so­cial me­dia.

It said dur­ing the 13th Gen­eral Elec­tion (GE13) in Se­lan­gor, Pas’s seats, on av­er­age, gained the high­est sup­port across all age groups at 54 per cent and be­low, with those aged be­tween 38 and 45 top­ping the list.

And in an over­all pic­ture na­tion­wide, Politweet said PKR and DAP may not per­form bet­ter in ru­ral ar­eas with­out Pas’s in­volve­ment.

But, it must be noted that the re­search was made be­fore the pos­si­ble im­ple­men­ta­tion of a re­de­lin­eation ex­er­cise and for­ma­tion of PPBM, whose met­tle at the polls is yet to be tested.

“PKR and DAP have not had as much suc­cess win­ning ru­ral seats as com­pared with Pas and Barisan Na­sional.

“With­out Pas con­tin­u­ing to rep­re­sent (now-de­funct) Pakatan Rakyat in those seats, a new coali­tion will have dif­fi­cul­ties win­ning the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion.

“The pos­si­bil­ity of three-cor­nered fights be­tween Pas, BN and Ger­akan Hara­pan Baru (now PAN) in­creases the like­li­hood of BN win­ning seats with less than 50 per cent of the vote. This could hap­pen even in Ke­lan­tan and Tereng­ganu, if enough Pas lead­ers and mem­bers leave to join the new party.”

There were re­ports that Azmin had to let go the Pas ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil mem­bers — Datuk Iskan­dar Ab­dul Sa­mad, Datuk Dr Ah­mad Yunus Hairi and Zaidy Ab­dul Talib — due to pres­sure from his col­leagues in Pakatan Hara­pan.

Nev­er­the­less, a lit­tle bird said mo­ments af­ter Nik Zawawi’s an­nounce­ment, Azmin had an au­di­ence with the Sul­tan of Se­lan­gor and con­veyed that the sta­tus quo — with re­gard to the Pas ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil mem­bers — would re­main.

The sul­tan had agreed that at least un­til the gen­eral elec­tion, Pas would con­tinue to be part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Hence, Pua’s lack of know-how on the in­tri­ca­cies of gov­ern­ment­palace re­la­tion­ship could have led him to over­step his bound­aries con­cern­ing the ruler’s power in ap­point­ing state ad­min­is­tra­tors.

Pro­fess­sor Datuk Seri Dr Mo­hamed Mustafa Ishak

Pro­fes­sor Dr Az­izud­din Mohd Sani

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