Reading Naomi Klein’s “No Is Not Enough” is an eye opener to just why we need to move on to a policy battleground rather than just the acceptable “mud wrestling” spectacle that is Malaysian politics.
Klein points out something that is similar to Malaysia in what happened to Hillary Clinton – while she did win the majority vote, Donald Trump won 2,600 of the 3,000 counties in America.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
More to the point, Klein raises the problem she had with Hillary – namely, her corporate backers to the point of alienating the pro-environment lobby by taking money from the fossil fuel corporations.
Yes, Klein is very much into environmental policy and the drastic need for America to address climate change.
But more importantly, it is that the voters no longer saw a difference between Democrats and Republicans with the nomination of Hillary over Bernie Sanders – something in line with how Pakatan went with Tun Mahathir Mohamed rather than letting others lead the way, even after the federal opposition coalition vilifies him for two decades as “the main enemy”.
Thus the #undirosak movement was established – to point out Pakatan’s hypocrisy, an anti-Mahathir gang, and also the allowance of a racial party into the mix of Pakatan politics which sacrifices racial equality principles for “hopefully” a win in rural areas.
For others in the movement such as myself, it is the need for Pakatan to list out what they wish to do with a win in the upcoming 14th GE. Insofar, talk is cheap and their manifesto has been delayed.
Dr Wong Chin Huat brilliantly captures this need for policies in this week’s copy of The Edge.
Quoting him on Page 57:
“Pakatan Harapan needs to offer an honest yet pragmatic narrative about the country’s present and future,”
“Too sweeping changes will scare people to cling onto the status quo, while too little changes will see the nation gradually sinking into quicksand,”
“Pakatan Harapan needs to outline, first, basic institutional reforms – electoral, judicial, legislative and administrative – that must be implemented after GE 14 to make government responsive and accountable to the people, and secondly, the more difficult issues – involving ethnicity and religion – which must be inclusively and patiently discussed so that new solutions might be implemented after GE15,”
Another point I’d add is that thus far, Pakatan has yet to discuss proper policy initiatives that would win or keep their urban voters happy – PPR reforms, public transport, OKU rights, even environmental issues are all on the back burner in hopes to cater to win back the rural voters first while doing nothing for urbanites other than to guarantee an abolishment of the GST.
And this is why I will personally say No, and ask them to produce a manifesto detailing what they wish to do in government.
The fact that they’ve delayed their release goes to show that they had initially wanted to overpromise and underdeliver.
This is evident in the statement last week when Tun Dr Mahathir said the coalition was reviewing their manifesto promises – some 60 promises – because “if they take over government, there might not be enough money to keep the promises”.
While I personally see it as a cop out, I’ll wait and wonder just what they’re reviewing – is it the GST, the debt restructuring, or even the Felda money and raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 and creating 1 million jobs with RM2,500 salaries as per their youth manifesto.
No clue, as nobody bothered to ask.
So the #undirosak move still stands as of now, because yet again, Pakatan shows it isn’t ready for governance.
And this yet another problem – we set a really low bar when it comes to Pakatan Harapan.
Perhaps if we were to ask them to come up with a shadow cabinet – something needed in 2-party democratic systems – come March 5 when Parlimen reconvenes, it won’t probably be able to with 1,000 excuses.
Or maybe urging so will be the kick in the rear that they really need. I’ll think about this for a while.