Both PKR and UMNO are the culprits in Perak. It is disappointing to note that both parties have failed to perform the duty of governance. So much energy and time are wasted on unhealthy politicking while the economy is plummeting.
Ex-UMNO Bota assemblyman Nasarudin's reason to defect is not justified and petty. He defected because he was not happy with Tajol Rosli's leadership and lost in the divisional party's election. Being an UMNO man for over 20 years, Nasarudin should have known the real face of party politics. It's a dog eats dog world.
The Bota assemblyman announced that his decision was supported by his constituents. The best way to know that is to face a fresh by-election. General election is a sacred mean to allow the flourishing of a democracy. The focal point of an election is to allow the public to choose. In the case of defection, the public are mere by-standers. It is not democracy at work when the right to choose is no longer made available to them.
It would have been more bearable if Nasarudin defected because he can no longer stomach racist politics practiced by his former party. PKR should have been more selective. Granted that political parties should expect competitive politics in a healthy democracy. But the end results of politics is to provide leadership. It is leadership that we need in such trying times. Not endless politicking.
It looks like PKR is stricken by the same illness affecting UMNO. If this kind of political culture continues, voters will lose trust of elected representatives because they can't be sure if their choice will remain committed to his/her political struggle. Often voters voted for the political affiliation of a candidate, very seldom solely for the candidate. Policies are made at the party or a coalition level.
Both PKR Perak state executive councillors, Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering), are a big disappointment. Yet both held important portfolios of entrepreneur development and tourism in the state. Osman said he wanted to quit the party and become an independent. Both Jamaluddin and Osman owe the voters an explanation. Politically, it does not make sense for the two to take a self-demotion. Their action is going to arouse suspicion of guilty conscious since the two will be facing the court on Feb 10.
The state PR leadership went all out to defend the two and blasted UMNO for framing the duo. If the two were proven guilty, the state government's credibility will be in jeopardy. Can Perak Menteri Besar Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin come clean and transparent on this issue?
BN leaders are no better. Gerakan's Koh Tsu Koon blamed PKR for starting the defection game. It is not about the question of who started it first but whether it is morally correct to do so. Needless to say, Gerakan was the main beneficiary of defections in the past. MCA's Ong Tee Keat is keeping his party's doors open. Several leaders including Muhyiddin and Joseph Pairin were against defections. There is no use of BN to blame PKR if its leaders are supporting and even encouraging defections.
On the economic front, BN continues to disappoint. Finance Minister and PM in-waiting Najib Razak has proven that he belonged to the old school politics. Najib's decision to channel hundreds of million through the BN parliamentarians as part of his stimulus plan is a complete let down and an abuse of public funds. Economic stimulus must be carefully managed. It does not matter if some of the states are controlled by the other coalition because the federal government is responsible to ensure the stimulus works for the entire nation.
Channeling funds only through BN parliamentarians is a blackmail and an irresponsible decision. Many of the elected representatives are not trained economists. The funds should be coordinated by non-political institutions.
It looks like the people's patience will soon be tested. Many are forced to vote for a lesser evil and not necessarily for a political organisation which is the most efficient and responsible.
This is the day I cry for Malaysia.