Malaysiakini Letter

The Pakatan Logic

Karamjit Gill  |  Published:  |  Modified:

When we first saw light at the end of the tunnel, it gave us all hope. As we progressed towards the light source it was initially getting brighter signifying an end to our journey in darkness. We kept moving further but the light never seemed to get closer. Suddenly now, the light is dimming. Are we going to lose our only light source again?

Growing from strength to strength, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition somehow had become suddenly so weak. New problems are emerging daily within the opposition. Bonds between them have become so fragile that a collapse is looking imminent. How did the tides suddenly turn? Things have become so wobbly that sometimes their logic does not make any kind of sense to the sane mind.

BR1M

Prior to the last general election, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who was the then Pakatan Rakyat’s member of the ‘Manifesto dan Dasar Pakatan Rakyat’ team said that Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) would be discontinued if Pakatan came to power post GE13. The opposition likened BR1M to vote-buying and condemned it out-rightly.

When the government later announced that BR1M would progressively increase over the years, DAP’s assemblyperson Lau Weng San said it does not make sense as increasing BR1M handouts will just increase unnecessary expenditure. Post-Budget 2016 when Najib Abdul Razak announced the continuation of BR1M and increased the amount, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is saying the increase is not enough and should be more.

Have the opposition finally accepted that BR1M is useful several years after the government introduced it? From alleged vote-buying to asking for more; two very contradictory stands.

Toll issues

For as long as I can remember the opposition has been harping on removal of toll charges across the country. When Najib announced plans for the Pan-Borneo Highway linking Sabah and Sarawak to be free of toll charges, Pakatan members are jumping again. How can the Borneo highway be free, they ask? Rafizi Ramli alleges that Najib is showing favourtism to Sabah and Sarawak by not charging toll.

So, what should it be? To charge or not to charge? Either way seems to be wrong for the opposition. The Sungai Besi-Hulu Klang Expressway (SUKE), Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (Dash) and East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) are three major highways approved by the Pakatan-led state government. Despite mega protests, plights of affected residents have fallen on deaf ears.

In the case of EKVE, World Wildlife Fund for Nature Malaysia said that the proposed highway will cut through two protected forests in Ampang and Ulu Gombak and this contradicts promises made by the state government. Worse still, these highways will bear toll charges. Pakatan condemns the government for charging toll but build highways and charge toll themselves. I do not understand this logic.

When the recent hike in toll rates took place, Rafizi said it is a suicidal action, as it will burden people further. They tried to harbour all blame on the government. However, when it was revealed that Pakatan MP’s were board of directors (BOD) in some of the companies that hiked the rates, MB Azmin Ali jumped to their defence and said he has issued a directive to all Pakatan MPs who are board members to review the toll increase.

Since that statement, everything has gone cold and there has been no follow-through with the supposed review and possible revision.

State administration

When PAS severed ties with DAP not long ago, PAS representatives in the state administrative office of Penang were forced to resign by CM Lim Guan Eng. Those who did not resign were sacked. However, when Azmin and Dr Wan Azizah said that PKR will continue to work with PAS in Selangor, DAP stayed put in the state office, saying their presence is required to ensure there are no wrong-doings.

With DAP being the watchdog it is a wonder how Azmin approved the construction of highways without notifying other PKR members. While Rafizi wants Azmin to explain his decision and reason out why the rest were kept uninformed, ousted ex-Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim has backed and supported Azmin’s action, saying Azmin need not inform other party members.

The same happened when Azmin formed Darul Ehsan Investment Group (DEIG) without prior approval of other coalition partners where DAP representatives themselves condemned him.

Religious homes

In the past when Barisan Nasional government demolished religious homes, opposition members would draw blood and stage protests. Now that BN has stopped doing so, the Pakatan-led Selangor state has stepped up demolishing temples. When questioned, their leaders claim the destruction was necessary because religious practices being carried out were wrong.

Is there a clear definition on which practice is right or wrong? Such justification baffles me.

Clare Rewcastle-Brown

Upon the arrest of former PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand, DAP’s Tony Pua shocked the nation when he admitted to meeting Sarawak Report’ s chief editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown several times for exact reasons unknown. He even admitted to connecting Clare to the Edge Media Publications Group’s Tong Kooi Ong and Ho Kay Tat. We all know what happened thereafter.

Alleged leaked WhatsApp chats from Justo’s phone revealed Clare’s close ties with Anwar Ibrahim, Tony and Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In one of the chat exchanges, Ho allegedly asked Clare on her article being editorialised in a way to oust Najib, to which she allegedly replied “I have done this story not you. Fulfill your commitment and I walk away and I tell nobody.”

Authorities also allegedly picked up another message where Clare alleged that she got stories through ‘Anwar’s people’ and used Mahathir to get other sources of information.

Tony strongly denies being part of a conspiracy to topple Najib’s government. From the released chat messages, if that is not conspiring then what is?

There have been too many instances where the opposition speaks a particular language that they themselves do not adhere to. When questioned, their explanation is illogical. Do they practice “Do as I say but do not do as I do” ?

Now that we are in a dark tunnel where the only source of light is dimming, I can only hope that there is no oncoming train. Our little hope of survival seems to be vanishing into thin air.

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