Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Federal gov't: Should Pakatan go for it?

"Topeng Perak" poji2ya@gmail.com

Apr 8, 08 9:35am

vox populi big thumbnailReaders views' seem to be spilt on whether the coalition should accept cross-over MPs from BN to allow it to form the new federal government with a simple majority.

On Defections � Why Pakatan should wait

Yow Lop Siaw: To a large extent, I do agree with Ong's and Onn's view. The component parties of Pakatan should formalise the coalition first and get on with regular meetings with all the state heads (MBs and CM) and exco members with the aim of streamlining and enhancing their administration. In this regard, Anwar, being the former DPM, could take the lead by offering advice and guidelines on good governance and policies.

As for defections, I feel that Pakatan should not pro-actively pursue BN MPs and state Adun but rather accept them if and when they approach Pakatan component parties. I am very sure that if Pakatan can show everyone that they keep to their promises and administer the five states well, this by itself will attract the BN's YBs. Moreover, this will dispel all allegations with regards to 'buying over' elected representatives and Pakatan will also be perceived as a party with dignity.

SK Sivananthan: I support the writers' stand. Pakatan Rakyat should concentrate on their five states rather than overthrowing the current government with a simple majority to form a new federal government. This will lead to more chaos, economic instability, an inexperienced government, an investor loss of confidence and which will have a direct impact on the rakyat.

Even for now, the shares have dropped for more than 12% and will take a year or more to bounce back. Politically, having PR as the federal government might create a 'BN - Part Two' and it will be take another five years to decide who will lead us again.

Slow change is much more welcome rather than immediate crown chasing. Pakatan Rakyat should inject themselves more slowly into parliament as how BN did for past 50 years.The current parliament and state government are much more balanced now and each coalition can check each other for the betterment of rakyat and for this country's struggle to emerge as a developed country.

Peter Yew: I agree. Change must be gradual. The opposition parties have no experience even in governing at state level. Suddenly, they have four more states to rule and all the top leaders are engaged there. If they were to press on to snatch majority control by encouraging party-hopping, we will not have a good team at the federal level.

Pakatan should spend the next four years learning and grooming potential leaders. It is a good strategy. During this period, show the rakyat your ability and sincerity. Their goal should be to take control after the next general election. Watching how Umno and MIC are hardened towards reform within their parties, there is a very good chance voters will again give their choice to Pakatan. Be patient and the reward will be yours.

R Rama Chandran: Party-hopping is not moral. Now that we are evolving into a two- party system, we are at a threshold of talking about principles in politics. The corrupt administration of the BN government may prick the conscience of some decent BN MPs and state assembly persons to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for the good of the nation.

But in accepting them into PR, Anwar and company must make sure that they are right people and not vultures coming to prey on some new pasture. Anwar may get offers from many BN men and women but PR should vet every case thoroughly so that only those who are corrupt-free and with conviction and commitment to serve the rakyat are selected and accepted by PR.

Anwar should not accept anybody just for the sake of forming the federal government as this will backfire later when their characters are exposed and PR's image would then be tarnished making it no different from BN..

Vincent Chun: 'BN must down!' my 68-year-old mother claimed loudly. It was a few days back, after she was reading Ong Ka Chuan's statement in the newspaper that the federal BN government would set up some so-called central development department' to override and by-pass the five state governments in the funding of local development.

Yes! I urge the Pakatan Rakyat, try all you can (include getting BN MPs to hop) to bring down BN as soon as possible. Then when PR is in power (federal government), make changes in favour of the people. Abolish ISA, OSA and many other 'evil' laws. Bring back the local government elections. Set up a really independent Anti-Corruption Agency. Replace the infamous race-based NEP with the fair and just MEA (Malaysian Economic Agenda).

Build up the education system that is fair to Chinese/Tamil schools. Set up an independent body to watch the police force. Give fairer treatment to all states including Sabah and Sarawak..And many more. Do all good things and then call for a general election for the people to decide who they want.

I was helping to campaign at a Perak DUN seat for a PKR candidate. I witnessed that there was 'evil' calls from the BN losing candidate offering the PKR new assembly person (started even within 30 minutes after the polling result was announced). There were also cases where Umno/ MCA strongmen lobbied DAP-PKR-PAS's assembly person to cross-over with a 'more-than-a- very-good" offer. And I understand that some of the YBs have taped it.

TrigeM: Yes, I would be the first to support such a notion of Pakatan learning the loop of running the five states before taking over the federal government in five years time. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that the Pakatan does not have. BN, with tremendous influence on government machineries and with its hoards of cash, will do all it can to strengthen its position.

Dealing with such a crook, the Pakatan has almost no options. They may have to take the federal government first and worry about managing it later. Yes, we may have to go through an uncertain period of time and even may suffer an economic downturn, which I doubt. But as stakeholder of Malaysia, I am willing to accept this collateral damage for a better Malaysia.

Meng: I understand that there are many reservations from the rakyat about having a change in government and this article states the fear of a Pakatan Rakyat government. Crossing over is not a good culture although started by the BN government and I agree. Nobody expected the Pakatan Rakyat to go so far and even BN supporters who wanted to teach BN a lesson felt that this result has already gone too far. Many of their fears are of instability and turmoil in the country.

However, the federal government as it stands now is in turmoil and the very party leading the government coalition, the BN, is now in jeapordy of imploding. With all the infighting and finger-pointing and rush for power, the coalition party might just fall apart.

If the BN falls apart, we cannot afford to have a fragment of governance. Naturally there will be well-meaning MPs who now cannot see the BN taking the country anywhere and will therefore defect to Pakatan Rakyat. This will happen all by itself simply because the BN is collapsing. In other words it's the push factor and not the pull factor of the Pakatan Rakyat.

GH Kok: The full realisation of the change should not be delayed any further. The people wish to see that the problems of crime, a lack-lustre economy, unemployment, pollution, corruption and abuse of power be tackled now. The people's wishes must be realised and the only way to effectively realise it is for Pakatan Rakyat to coopt the necessary number of BN MPs and take over the federal government.

This will enable Pakatan to immediately address the problems at hand - for example to cancel wasteful mega-projects, to cut unnecessary government expenditure, to balance the budget in order to lower personal and corporate taxes thus lowering the cost of living for the people and spurring corporate investments. Other things that need to be done urgently - re-negotiate the toll, water and electricity agreements. Remove protection for Proton and push for full compliance with Afta for cars. Re-negotiate with Volkswagen for the takeover. Re-visit the justification for the purchase of submarines and take appropriate action - sell the submarines if it make sense. Cancel the Malaysian 'space programme'.

There is so much to do and so much for the country to gain by doing it now. If we wait five more years, we all stand to lose so much more.

Joseph Soon: Whilst I have always held dear to the principles of fair play and hence find party hopping to be not only abhorrent and utterly disgusting, yet the overwhelming need for reform compels me to overlook this disgusting practice just this once in the name of good governance and true democracy.

I believe in the dictum, strike while the iron is hot because if we do not take advantage of the winds of change that are blowing strong at present, Pakatan may never have the chance to do what has to be done. This opportunity may come just once.

If Pakatan is able to get over 30 BN MPs to cross over, why, this may yet trigger the 'sinking ship effect' causing many more BN MPs to cross over until we have the vital two-thirds to undo all the unnecessary amendments to our beloved constitution and institute safeguards.

Key articles that go to the heart of our fundamental rights must be protected at all cost and key positions such as the IGP, the chief justice and the Anti-Corruption chief should be subject to a mandate from the people in other words, elected. When all these safeguards have been put in place, Pakatan may want to seek a fresh mandate from the people. Think about it.

On Azmin: 'Close to 30' BN reps in the bag

Kamen Lee: Do you really believe Azmin? Any wise political player would have kept this a secret. BN would have ample time to counter-react now.

Ranjinath: My point of view is that PKR or any other party should not accept the dissidents of any party. In Malaysia, we do not really vote for the person but for the party. And whether BN won the seats in a just way (God only knows), some people voted for them and it is the responsibility of the elected to service to them under the same banner.

If you want to show you disagreement, resign from the seat, return any monies paid by the party for the election. And if PKR picks this people up, my vote goes elsewhere next election

Baiyuensheng: I say let's do it. Persuade them over and form a Pakatan Rakyat federal government. The BN members, especially those in Sarawak should really go over to the PR camp and really help Sarawakians to gain back their dignity. This if those elected politicians really have Sarawak at heart and are really true blue Sarawakians.

There is really no shame if the cross-over is done with the best intentions for the people, especially for those in Sarawak. It takes courage and clarity to do so - people will remember this defining moment for Sarawak. Seriously, what has the BN federal government done for Sarawak besides stripping it clean?

Lcsoon12: 'To them, even the non-Malays - the Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans - accept the fact that the leader has to be a Malay Muslim, but at the same time, that particular person has to be accepted by the other communities' .

I, as a Chinese in Malaysia (where I should have call me self Malaysian) totally disagree with the statement above. First of all, I do not agree nor accept that the fact that the leader has to be a Malay Muslim. There are no reasons for others not to be the leader as long as he or she is Malaysian - whether it is a white cat or black cat, as long as it can catch mice, then it is a good cat.

We need to remove all the barriers for Malaysia to move forward. Furthermore, there are no shortage of bright and capable Malays. They can and will be our future PMs but let it be on merit.

David Yoong: Mohd Azmin Ali said 'even the non-Malays accept the fact that the leader has to be a Malay Muslim'. Before the elections, we heard politicians (including the PKR candidates) addressing the electorate as Anak Bangsa Malaysia, and making all kinds of promises that equal rights shall be given to all Malaysians, irregardless of race, creed or religion.

Why is that just weeks after the elections, we are stuffed with the same old talk about race and religion-related issues in relation to appointments of the menteri besar, and choice of state leaders? If this has to do with constitutional provisions, why wasn't the plain truth said at all the pre-election ceramah?

I am also beginning to wonder very seriously whether Malaysia is ever going to be ready for non- race based policies and rule. Instead of 'majoring on the minor issues' of which race or what religion qualifies one as a leader, why can't these politicians just focus on the major and necessary prerequisites of integrity, non-corruption, just, open and transparent rule and most of all a genuine love of the rakyat? And why not choose a leader via a purely meritorious process?

On Syariah lawyers back action on khalwat against non-Muslims

DelCapo: What narrow-mindedness! And these are people qualified in law? Firstly, is anyone proposing to 'give the right to commit khalwat' to anyone? No! Are non-Muslims walking around saying they have immunity and are blatantly 'committing' khalwat all over town?

Khalwat is not even a term understood nor adhered to by non-Muslims. Non-Muslims have their own set of morals and teachings and incidentally, none of which encourage the equivalent of khalwat. For civil and criminal matters, we have the civil and criminal courts.

You want Syariah laws to apply to non-Muslims? Get a referendum and change the federal constitution.

Ionna: The comment by Zainal: 'The proposal does not touch on constitutional rights of non-Muslims as the action will be taken in a civil court and not Syariah Court,' is false as it does touch on the constitutional rights of non-Muslims.

In essence, non-Muslims will be subjected to the Islamic code of conduct as determined by them; how does this NOT contravene the constitutional rights of non-Muslims? It doesn't matter where the case is heard; non-Muslims will still be subjected to a code of conduct not according to their religious beliefs, and this, I believe, does infringe on the constitutional rights of non-Muslims.

The Eye Of Times: These Syariah lawyers who are so insistent on punishing khalwat on non-Muslims need understand one thing. Non-Muslims are not for the sin of khalwat per say but the act of enforcement of khalwat. The problem here is that the definition of khalwat is way too broad, highly suggestive, open to millions of interpretations and open to infinite abuse.

As proven by the many enforcement efforts of the religious police, they had indiscriminately caught people with no regard to what really was the case. So what now in the current situation? I can be with my mother (of whom many had mistaken to be my wife) and I can be accused of khalwat for that. I can be alone with a girl who is a friend (with full knowledge of spouses) just catching up with old times or for whatever non-sexual reasons, and it can be narrowly defined as 'illicit' by the religious authorities and arrested.

Time and again it has been proven that there is such narrow-mindedness with our religious authorities ( read this).

I for one, a non-Muslim, do not find this ruling fair even to the Muslims. It's open to abuse. These syariah lawyers should seriously stop looking at the splinter in the eye of others when there is a massive tree growing out of their own eye.

Source: Malaysiakini


Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."

(Muttafaq 'alaih)

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