ADUN SPEAKS | As Martin Luther King Jr said, either learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. We have really gone too far this time in the PKR elections in going for blood, especially in the contest for the deputy president’s post.
So much so that this has not only seriously undermined Anwar Ibrahim’s public image in the country, as the leader of our party and incoming prime minister, it has also damaged Pakatan Harapan’s credibility to govern our country.
Yes, we are the biggest party in the Harapan coalition, and hence what our leaders say publicly matters and will reflect on Harapan’s ability to govern.
How can Anwar be expected to govern this country as prime minister if the country and our partners in Harapan see us as bickering fools, factional, and self-destructive? We will only be seen as the weakest link in Harapan when we should be working hard to earn the respect and trust of our governing partners.
After the 14th general election, the stakes are way higher for our party. In the past, there were many instances where because of our internal bickering, we had failed to come together on many important issues facing the country, especially when Anwar was incarcerated in prison.
Some would even argue, but refuse to say it out loud, that because of deep in-fighting within our party, we could not provide the leadership role desperately needed for the opposition after PAS left, and hence Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu had to come in and fill in the leadership vacuum left by our party.
But that’s all in the past now, and Anwar is now free and has once again assumed the leadership role in our party.
All this talk about questioning loyalties and who are the real or fake reformists in PKR in the past 20 years is complete horse manure.
What our party had set out to do 20 years ago – our reform agenda – has already achieved it, by overthrowing the Umno-BN regime in GE14. What our party urgently needs now is a new reform agenda and direction, post May 9, or 509.
The new 509 reform agenda of our party must first and foremost be to strengthen the Harapan government.
In order to achieve this, our party must be able to gain the full confidence of our partners. They must be made aware that they have our undivided support and backing just as we have theirs, to eventually support and assist Anwar to continue with Mahathir’s work after he steps down, on the arduous task of rebuilding our nation by carrying out the aims and spirit of our Harapan manifesto.
So this party election will be pivotal in how we want to move our party forward post 509. As party members, we must realise that we have a greater responsibility and duty not just towards our own party but to our nation especially post 509, as the outcome of our party elections will no doubt have an impact on the Harapan coalition government.
Hence, this party election must not be about a contest of personalities, whether one supports Rafizi Ramli or Mohamed Azmin Ali. The goal and objectives of our party elections must be to emerge as a stronger and united party, not divided and broken, to serve the ends of our new post 509 reform agenda, that is to make Harapan stronger so that it can stay fully focused on delivering the mandate given by the people in the 'new Malaysia'.
As an outgoing member of the central executive committee who is not seeking another term, I have to have faith that our party members, regardless of the outcome of our elections, we all have to come together, victors and losers alike, to work towards a new 509 agenda in the best interest of our party, Harapan and our beloved nation.
GOOI HSIAO LEUNG is the state assemblyperson for Bukit Tengah.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.