Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lompat Katak tidak berEtika ...

This is a good overview of the Frogging saga...


Wednesday February 4, 2009
A blowback for Pakatan

The Star

PR has found out the hard way that defections can work against it as one defection has led to another, with one more in the offing. The Pakatan government in Perak is now staring at a collapse.
IN the CIA’s dictionary blowback is a term used to describe unintended consequences of covert operations, meaning that things do come back to haunt you.

Likewise political defections can work both ways and return to haunt the perpetrator as the crisis in Perak shows with the Pakatan Rakyat coalition government in danger of collapsing after two PKR exco members as good as defected, leaving it holding on precariously by a one-seat majority.
In Kelantan between 2004 and 2008, PAS ruled admirably without fear of losing the government simply because Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, enjoying a huge mandate, let it be.

The current defections were sparked off after PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won over and paraded an Umno assemblyman and shook the Barisan coalition to its core.

But now it is Pakatan’s turn to shiver after two PKR exco members – Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu – went into hiding. Jamaluddin has now quit PKR and will remain Independent and Osman is likely to do the same.

Their move caused widespread panic among Pakatan leaders who all scrambled to account for all their elected representatives in the state.

When the DAP’s politically-estranged Jelapang representative Hee Yit Foong disappeared for several hours, there was mass consternation with even secretary-general Lim Guan Eng issuing an unusual statement that if an assemblyman could not be contacted for 24 hours it was deemed that he or she had defected.
It was a day of pressing the panic button in Pakatan and ended with the announcement by Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar that he had “received” the resignation letters of the PKR duo when in fact the letters were over 10 months old, pre-signed and stashed away for a stormy day.
The PKR duo surfaced hours later to refute the letters, saying they had signed them under duress after the March 2008 general election.

The Election Commission has responded by not calling for by-elections.
Meanwhile, Anwar will find it hard to live down the damage done to PKR and PR for championing defections as a legitimate political tool despite serious criticism from academics, political scientists and even PR leaders like DAP national chairman Karpal Singh who had consistently opposed engineering defections for numerous reasons, all well known by now.

The tragedy is that the ill-conceived strategy has come home to roost affecting the Pakatan government in Perak which was doing an admirable job but now faces collapse because of PKR’s inability to prevent its representatives from defecting in a “blowback” it had not expected.

The reaction on the ground among ordinary Malaysians is reproachful, that this whole game of defections that was favoured by Anwar is one big waste of the trust voters had placed in the Pakatan Rakyat.

Jason Tan, a computer salesman, is clearly unhappy.
“Our economy is in bad shape, we are losing jobs and investment is drying up. People are hanging onto their old computers and not buying new ones and that has hit my income,” he said.

“Politicking and defections are the last things we need now.”
Blowback time can be hurting as it opens the way for political opponents to attack PR for its inconsistent policies – on one hand claiming a moral high ground and on the other doing the things that are repugnant in a democracy like defections.

When he was briefly the de facto Law Minister, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim had proposed an anti-party hopping law but could not get it past his other Cabinet colleagues. He had said that such a law could stop elected officials from betraying the voters, an act which he felt had no place in a parliamentary democracy.

The Perak crisis tells us that we cannot rely on the “goodness” of individual politicians and their promises to do the right thing by the people.
Therefore, a tough law is needed to punish elected representatives who betray the people’s trust by switching camps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think M'sia is one of those very rare countries that allows party 'frogging' after the election. In many other countries, the elected MP can jump ship but cannot bring the seat with him.

People vote for the Party and not the individual, so if the elected MPs wants to jump ship, please do so by all means, but we must have a law that prevents the Party from losing the seat.

I don't know why M'sia doesn't a law on anti-frogging. This is most undemocratic and the people feels cheated by all these politician crooks. The people are at the mercy of such crooks. No wonder many don't even bother to register for voting, when our politics is such a sham!