Pakatan’s march to Putrajaya paved with obstacles
COMMENT The road to Putrajaya for Pakatan Rakyat, if it wins the general election, is paved with obstacles – rough and rugged terrain – as Malaysia’s prime minister ponders deeply over some strategies to “defend” Putrajaya.
This was clear after a crucial question went unanswered last week, when Prime Minister Najib Razak officially visited the Royal Selangor Club.
In a speech to the club’s members and others, Najib (left) touched their hearts on some nostalgic and historical anecdotes about his association with the club as a youth when he followed his father, Tun Abdul Razak, on a visit to the club.
The Royal Selangor Club at Dataran Merdeka, he said is the birthplace of the nation. He recalled many other significant events had since taken place at the venue.
He also spoke of how his father worked hard in bringing the different races together, and his speech was well received by more than 200 multi-ethnic members present at the luncheon.
Overall, the club members praised him for his well-researched speech on the club, but were disturbed when he failed to answer a question from a member: “Mr Prime Minister, would you make the transition of the government for Pakatan a smooth one if the opposition wins the next general election?”
For a moment, he appeared stunned, speechless, and then hastened his exit stating that he had to leave for another appointment.
The person who posed the question is a senior member of the club and his father had served then prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein as a personal assistant for about 16 years.
Malaysians have not stopped in asking questions on deeper meaning of what Najib said at 2010 Umno general assembly with the declaration “even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya”.
When this quote appeared in the mainstream media, the nation was taken aback and in a state of shock. “What is our beloved prime minister who is supposed to protect Malaysians, fuming away,” was uppermost on the minds of the people.
Subject of conversation
The prospect of the leadership imagining it has the right to embrace bloodshed in its bid to retain power sent cold shivers down the spines of all Malaysians.
“Is the current government going to retain power at any extent? And, this must be condemned by Malaysians, otherwise the government may think the general populace condones its evil intentions,” said the lawyer, who was among several other lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects and other distinguished members who attended the club’s luncheon meeting with Najib.
Soon after the premier’s departure the club members were left wondering: “Why didn’t Najib answer the question?” And it was the subject of conversation over the jugs of beer at the Long Bar, inside and outside the club.
Downing pints of brandy and whiskey, members discussed issues concerning the forthcoming election. They argued any legitimately elected political party with a simple majority must be duly recognised as a victor in a democratic society and be allowed to take over the government.
Trying to defend Putrajaya after 55 years in power and managing the country is understandable, but to state that no other political party besides Barisan Nasional should be allowed to helm Putrajaya is naïve and not acceptable to people in a democratic country.
It is worse still, when questions are asked to clarify issues and no answers are given, and this is a “no, no” in public relations, especially when BN is trying to woo more voters through generous handouts.
“Are we saying that the ruling political party of the day will use all in its power, the police, army and civil service to not allow any other political party that has a majority vote to rule the country? We do not want to see another Burma, where Aung San Suu Kyi who won the election was not allowed to form the government,” another club member articulated.
Burma suffered for many years under a military regime and international sanctions brought the economy to a screeching halt.
Putrajaya belongs to all Malaysians
Assuming if any national leader said that he would defend the government and a takeover is only possible “over his dead body” he would turn out to be a laughing stock among the international community.
Arguably, there is something very disturbing when anyone states that Putrajaya is only the domain of the BN, particularly when the prime minister keeps repeating about defending Putrajaya.
It is time for Malaysians to be educated, please not another subject in school exams, that Putrajaya or the federal government is not an item or property that anyone claims, and that it solely belongs to BN.
Defending Putrajaya from what? From foreign invasion! Not at all… therefore, the talk of defending is irrelevant, especially to anyone saying: “We will defend Putrajaya…” until the cows come home.
Please remember that Putrajaya is a public asset that belongs to all Malaysians, and a legitimately elected party with a simple majority can be the government of the day.
Even the British were happy to give Malaya independence when they deemed fit it could stand on its own feet.
Our colonial rulers offered Malaya independence without any bloodshed after conducting local council election and general election before handing over the country to the Alliance party leaders.
And, it is at the Selangor Club padang (now Dataran) the British Union Jack was lowered and the Federation of Malaya flag hoisted on Aug 31, 1957.
M KRISHNAMOORTHY is a freelance journalist and local coordinator for CNN, BBC and several other foreign television networks. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and New Straits Times and has authored four books.
Short URL: http://www.freemalaysiakini.com/?p=11685