Thursday, March 12, 2009

Unity Government Remains a Dream

Tengku Razaleigh and several others have proposed a unity government to allow both coalitions to focus on the economy. Ironically, the proponent of this idea stopped short at proposing a mechanism to allow it to materialize. In reality, it is easier said than done.

Even Najib's tone when he spoke about putting aside political differences at his mini-budget speech sounded more sarcastic than sincere. However, this idea is not without its merit. I am sure many of us would rather to have both coalitions focusing on governance and implementation rather than unending political contestation.

However, it is will be a tall order for the coalitions to call a truce if they continue to go for each other's throat.

Can PR stop accusing Najib of being involved in the Altantuya's murder case? The coalition is not going to let Najib off the hook easily. Even if the incoming PM is safe from prosecution unless a solid evidence can be submitted there is no real need of an evidence to inflict political damage on him. Can BN and PR call a truce to focus on a unity government? No. I doubt some NGOs and individual activists will allow this to happen in the name of justice.

Can BN stop accusing Anwar of sodomizing his ex-aide? The same condition applies here. Unless the alleged crime can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, Anwar should be allowed to play his role as the Opposition Leader and a partner to the unity government. Seen as UMNO's No. 1 enemy, it is highly unlikely that Najib's men will trust his presence and involvement in running the government.

Can a fair, just and legal solution be brought to Perak? Can BN share power with PR by reinstating Nizar as the MB and Zambry as his assistant? I doubt this solution can be reached.

Can the federal government allocate more resources to all states including PR states to help stimulate the economy? Its Minister of Tourism Azalina Othman is more keen to allocate resources elsewhere than to these states to promote tourism. She has even directed the closure of a federal funded tourism action council in Penang. It will speak volume of Najib's administration if Azalina is retained in her cabinet position. Her performance as a tourism minister is lacklustre.

Federal-state power play is reaching its peak in some PR controlled states. I have heard how civil servants in these states have refused to work with the new state governments. There is a real challenge on the ground. The losers are the people. Perhaps, we should be the ones determining the kind of government we wanted.

Some of the proponents of this idea are seasoned politicians. They should know better not to propose for the sake of doing so. Can Tengku Razaleigh lead the way? Everyone can understand Anas Zubedy's frustration. Perhaps Anas should bring up his frustration with the Gerakan leaders, a party he was associated with, and get them to do something positive about a unity government. Gerakan is not even consulted on the latest stimulus package.

I attended a Penang government state briefing at Esplanade. I was disappointed with the performance of several excos including both deputy chief ministers who went up the stage and gave very little hint of what they have done in the government. Most of them wasted the opportunity to brief the people on what they have planned for the people and the strategy to mitigate the slowdown.

I was there in anticipation of a new vision and socio-economic development plan which may be announced by the government. I left half-way because I was tired and bored listening to political talks about Perak, Sarawak and more BN bashing.

The only exco who gave a short briefing of his portfolio happened to be the person who was recently criticized for his lack of English proficiency. I applaud Danny Law for doing his job and I could comprehend his speech in English although it was definitely not Queen's English.

The bottom line is there is no need for a unity government if both coalitions can respect the verdict of the people. They should exercise the mandate given by the people to rule for the next 5 years. They should respect the rule of law. I was tempted to be very critical of the Penang state government but I fully understand the limitations faced by the newly minted state government.

It is not easy to function under the current system where there is heavy centralisation. This system is designed to ensure the dominance of a coalition which has federal control. With the exception of Kelantan, this system will ensure a short tenure of any other opposition state governments.

Can you expect the people to feel confident of the economy if the government legitimacy is itself in doubt?

BN and PR should pull up their socks quickly!


Anonymous said...

We know the road with Najib at helm is doom.

We can only try to prevent it. It remains a dream that is worth to fight for all Malaysian.

We are fighting for a beautiful and progressing Malaysia instead of letting nightmare coming to us.

You should also support, although it is tough, but it is something worth fighting for.

I do hope Tengku Razaleigh can make it for a better Malaysia. You can keep pouring the cold water.

Anonymous said...

The PR government were hampered by BN from the word go. Federal tourism agencies were set up, federal village heads were appointed, development funds were held back.
BN never accepted the people's verdict and hoped to tarnish the PR governments in the hope the people will turn against them and return to BN. Fat hopes.
How can our economy cover when the Pakatan states contribute 60 % of the country's GDP?
BN was/is never interested in the people's welfare. All it wants is unbridled power, at whatever costs.
We need to sympathise with Pakatan governments, not accuse them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Khoo,
Hahaha! I believe you are making rhetoric statements. Having Zam Zam Ali Ka Zam as Nizar's Deputy Menteri Besar. Wah! It's like asking Tunku during the 60s to give LKY a Deputy Prime Minister or Sultan Bolkiah's father, Dual Agongship. Great!

Dear Khoo,
The problem here is Credibilty. No point talking about if you don't have credibility. Even bank won't lend money to people without good credit ratings. This is the problem. The problem is nobody seems to respect the constituition. If one can disrespect the constituition, talk rots about establishing unity government.

Dear Khoo,
Spare me your disappointment of BN bashing in PR's conference. Spare me your thoughts about less talk on real issues. Just look back at History 40 years, Singapore PAP government has been shouting for Common market, Common Market & Common Market. They were imposed poll tax. Aiyah, Khoo, expected one lah. This will go on till BN were toppled in the federal government.
The Great Lee & his impeccable team can't get things done when they were in Malaysia. You think our Pakatan state governments can.
Save your breathe on this. I would focus off ensuring this federal government, BN gone for good.
Just like in World War 2, stop talking about racial discrimation in USA when Nazi is still in power.


Anonymous said...

UMNO has never and will never be interested in unity! It learned to divide and rule, and divide and rule it did for 52 years. Incompetent people learn to rule by being even more controlling than it needs to out of fear of losing power. One can never, ever expect UMNO to share power. Look at BN, it doesn't really share power. So we can all forget that UMNO will ever allow others who are more competent than them to step foot into Putrajaya! ... unless we succeed in putting PR into power in the next elections... hehehe...


zozdaniel said...

A Unity Government may sound a forward paradighim shift for the good of the nation's progress. How does the mechanism works for the different ideology already entrenched in the various political parties?

A sincere sacrifice by the BN Government would be by way of Power Sharing or Rotation of leadership. If such a sacrifice could not be afforded then the Unity government would only serve to melt down the other fragmented parties, and the eventual evolvement of a Single Party Government, like in Burma.

The Burmese Model are a good reminder to Malaysians that deeper thoughts should be persued before moving into the direction of a unity government.

If there is any honesty and sincerity in projecting Unity, even in terms of a Uniting the Rakyats, those Leaders who are bend on Promoting KETUANAN should step down or else a Unity Government would have Brute Force in propagating JAGUH KEKUATAN.

Its Frighthening.

romerz said...

I was there too but left after Jeff Ooi spoke.

I agree with you that Danny Law seemed the most in tuned with what Penangites expected of the new administration.

Too bad the others have yet to change their mindset from 'opposition' to statesmen administrators.

anas zubedy said...

Dear Khoo,

How are you since our dinner meeting between DS Chia Kwan Chye (at that time the GERAKAN SG) you and I at Plaza Damaz?

I have to correct you. I am not associated with GERAKAN. The organization was my client. However, i must say that I have made a few friends in GERAKAN namely DS Chia, Stephen Doss, Paul Seah, Lee, etc.

If you remember well, you were pestering me to join GERAKAN over dinner. I just smiled.

I do not belong to any political party. If I remember correctly, you were a paid servant there for a good few years. In fact I would help any political parties in Malaysia if they ask me too. We only do not deal with the Tobacco, Gambling and Alcohol based industry. The rest we are game :)

cheers bro, anas

Khoo Kay Peng said...

Dear Anas,

I remember not only the dinner but also your workshops, talks and presentations at Menara PGRM.

But I cannot remember pestering you to join Gerakan. On a hindsight, it is good that you keep away from political parties.


Anonymous said...

This anas fella , I saw his ad in a newspaper. See he emplys Malays for low down work like office boy and tea lady but the cushy jobs to pendatangs from china and india. This is the type we call as ungrateful Malays - hope he looks around his family and relatives how well they succeed against the marauding pendatangs

Melayu Raya