There is one thing I like about DAP Chairman Karpal Singh - his bluntness. Here, Karpal is calling a spade a spade when he openly demanded that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim quit as Pakatan Rakyat chief.
“He has created enough trouble and it is time for him to repent.”
Karpal said both parties had fallen sway to Anwar’s rhetoric, who had supported defections of elected lawmakers, even bringing in Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasharudin Hashim who later returned to Umno.
This is the same justification used by UMNO leaders to justify the fall of PR government in Perak. To jog back our memory, it wasn't Anwar who started the ball rolling on defections. It was UMNO leaders, both Dr Khir Toyo (Selangor) and Tajol Rosli (Perak), who started it first.
Even Gerakan Koh Tsu Koon is calling Anwar the "King of Frogs" and blamed him for starting the defection game. I was surprised that Koh, a Ph.D holder, was so childish to suggest that the defections were okay because Anwar started it first. Even if it was Anwar who started the game, it is still not okay to support defections. Just because someone you know starts to steal it does not mean that it is okay to steal.
Some sense and sensibility should be applied to evaluate the extent of damage these defections have done to our democracy and politics. General elections are about the people and not the politicians. When a mandate has been given, the politicians should respect it.
Yes, Anwar was calling a bluff for months and he broke all deadlines without much success. It was obvious that many analysts, like myself, have grown tired of Anwar's antics. I told him to strike a balance between governance and politics. Alas, he chose the later and did very little to help the former.
It was obvious that a number of PKR lawmakers and executives did not perform up to expectations. Yet, I heard a number of their state leaders were asking for more positions. Some wanted to be consulted on state appointments. Anwar should have worked harder to ensure that his people perform and fulfill their election pledges.
He should understand that it is not possible for the people to continue trusting non-performers. Some did not even set up their service centre until being criticized for failing to do so.
Anwar should not hope to continue riding on people's negative sentiments toward BN to keep on winning.
A number of PR leaders may not be comfortable with Karpal's outburst. No one will. Not even BN leaders when criticized. But Anwar wanted to show us a different kind of leadership. I was a victim too when I criticized UMNO leaders. I was reprimanded by my ex-employers.
PR leaders including Anwar should view Karpal's criticism constructively. Maybe it is a good idea for Anwar to adjust his leadership style. He should be thankful that it was BN which drew the first blood and it was ugly. The public is fuming mad about their democratic rights being robbed off. Civil rights organisations are critical of the BN. I think it is a distasteful action by the BN.
On the hindsight, these criticisms could be aimed at Anwar and BN could play victims. They would have inflicted worse damage on PR.
A less heroic and dominating Anwar would be good for his coalition. At present, nothing moves if Anwar does not. When Anwar sneezes, the whole coalition catches flu. He should consult more, communicate with his fellow comrades, get both DAP and PAS to iron out their differences and groom more leaders to take up important roles. It does not have to be a personality centric PR.
Anwar as a cohesive glue of the coalition has already played his role and it is time to move on to play a more important advisory role - to strengthen his fragile coalition.
Karpal's criticism is important for PR and it is up to its leaders to take heed or curse it to the dustbin. Remember, PR leaders can be quite arrogant too.