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!