03 July 2009
PAS-DAP Kedah - Strange and undisciplined bedfellows.....
The Kedah DAP has dropped a bombshell on the Malaysian political stage by announcing that DAP had withdrawn from the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Kedah state government. This is the latest open bickering between component parties of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, following their confusing controversy over the secret unity talk between some top PAS leaders and Umno.
For a nation that is used to the united facade of Barisan Nasional, the constant verbal scuffle between member parties of the PR coalition may give people the impression that they are indeed a union of undisciplined and strange bedfellows. They seem to love to wash their dirty linen in public. What is obvious is that PKR, DAP, and PAS are still adjusting to the new reality of coalition politics after one year of experimentation. They have yet to realise fully that any political coalition of unlikely partners is a marriage of convenience. Like any real life marriage, their political marriage requires them to work hard and learn the art of give-and-take.
These parties are just discovering that governing a state is a far more difficult proposition than shouting from the wilderness as opposition parties. Ideological differences are magnified many times when they now shoulder the responsibility of delivering on their election promises. Their spate of public animosity in Kedah and elsewhere is also an indication that the three component parties of PR have yet to work out the internal channel for rapid consultation between them to sort out the inevitable kinks that must plague any new political coalition in Malaysia. Apparently, the internal struggle for dominance within the PR coalition between DAP, PKR, and PAS is the root cause of the discord that propels many issues to surface in the media. Internal factionalism within each component party further erodes the basis for harmonious relation at many levels.
The Kedah DAP decision came after the destruction of the only pig abattoir in Kampong Berjaya in Alor Star. While the Kedah DAP has emphasised that the issue is not about race or religion, and that it is about food production, the demolition of the abattoir may entrench the old prejudice among the Chinese that the PAS-led government is trying to ban the production and consumption of pork which is considered haram in Islam. The Kedah DAP’s action is understandable because they must feel accountable to their Chinese constituents in Kedah and elsewhere. Their withdrawal from the Kedah state coalition government is an ear-splitting voice of protest against the PAS led government over an issue which could have been resolved by skilful administrative measures by relocating the abattoir to another suitable site.
The DAP has only one seat in the Kedah state legislature, in which PAS has 16 assemblymen, and PKR holds five seats, against 12 for Umno and two for Gerakan. So the DAP withdrawal will not cause the PR state government to collapse overnight. But the scar left from such a drastic rift could be felt nationwide, and jeopardise the prospect of PR taking power at the national level in the next general election. But the Kedah DAP have left themselves a lifeline, by stating that their withdrawal was made at the state-level only, leaving the national DAP leadership to pick up the wreckage and work out some compromise with the PAS and PKR national leadership. The PR coalition is unlikely to crack as yet over this local issue in Kedah. The whole incident could very well end up as another mini-storm in a tea cup. But from the way things go in recent days and months, the Pakatan Rakyat will need a very big, thick, and strong tea cup.
Sebagai sebuah gabungan yang longgar Pakatan Rakyat tak dapat elak daripada berlaku salah faham antara satu sama lain. Apa yang berbeda antara gabungan PR dengan BN adalah, PR adalah lebih terbuka dan parti-parti dalam gabungan boleh menyatakan ketidakpuasan hati secara bebas dan terbuka, sebaliknya ini tidak akan berlaku dalam BN, kerana jika ada perkara-perkara yang tak puas hati timbul dalam BN,semuanya akan disapu dibawah permaidani saja dan senyap begitu saja.
Keterbukaan PR ini mengundang reaksi yang berbagai-bagai daripada parti-parti gabungannya. Maklum saja selama ini parti-parti dalam gabungan hanya tahu berfungsi sebagai pembangkang saja, tiba-tiba hari ini mereka jadi pemerintah.
Kes yang berlaku di Kedah,bukanlah sesuatu yang baru. Selama-lama 30 tahun isu itu berlarutan, walaupun gomen-gomen BN dulu tahu bahawa tempat persembelihan itu adalah haram kerana tiada berlesen, namun gomen BN dulu hanya tutup mata sebelah dan membiarkan ianya beropersi sungguhpun dibantah oleh masyarakat tempatan.
Memang menjadi adat gomen UMNO/BN ini untuk tinggal tahi mereka dan suruh orang lain tolong basuhkan. Lihat saja apa yang berlaku di Kampung Buah Pala di Penang, isu bekalan air di Selangor dan sebagainya.
Harap isu ini akan diselesaikan dengan cara yang elok untuk memantapkan Pakatan Rakyat, kerana musuh kita bukan PKR atau DAP atau PAS tapi UMNO/BN...............