KeADILan (PKR’s predecessor) was formed with one single objective, to free an incarcerated Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar was then freed by former PM Abdullah Badawi. So, following that, what objective would KeADILan (by then transformed into PKR) have with Anwar already on the outside?
The party merely modifies its single Anwar-centric objective, this time to put him in the Prime Minister’s chair, full stop!
The revised intent was in all likelihood initiated by Anwar's coterie, if not by himself. Dramatically denied the No 1 political position in Malaysia on the very eve of his ascendancy, he has over the years been tormented to maddening levels by the saying, there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.
But incarcerated or otherwise, his reformasi was only a sham, a pretend battle cry to mask his less than admirable UMNO credentials and the current real intent of PKR.
Ask yourself really, how could a man who openly promoted party defections during the shameful spectacle of 916 be ever considered as a political reformer. By claiming a coup d’état with an invisible group of 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) defectors, he was even far more creative than in his UMNO mode of 1994 when he turned Pairin from being the elected CM of Sabah into an opposition leader with just a few froggie croaks up his sleeves?
However, such was the power of his mesmerizing silver tongue that even DAP Hannah Yeoh, a law graduate from the University of Tasmania, Australia and one I have great admiration for, was wont to write in defence of Anwar’s outrageous 916. Only Karpal Singh retained his sensible composure to dismiss Anwar’s mathematically-challenged argument that Pakatan’s 82 MPs entitled him to take over the 2008 government from BN’s 140 MPs.
916 - There was no greater audacious bullsh*t.
And what greater humiliation could there be to Anwar Ibrahim than for an intellectual pigmy like Abdullah Badawi to laugh scornfully at his desperate ambit claim!
Then there was the scandalous chasing of BN MPs all the way to Taiwan by a group of PKR politicians including Tian Chua. Was there no lower limit to PKR’s political immorality?
This brings me to my next point, that, perhaps it has been a blessing in disguise that Pakatan didn’t win federally in the last general election.
Just look at Pakatan today, daring to claim itself as an alternative ruling party for Malaysia, when it couldn’t even settle on the simple fundamental issue of a shadow cabinet. And let’s not pretend the reluctance to do so have nothing to do with sectarian interests more than anything.
While the PM-designate of Pakatan has been unambiguously agreed to as Anwar Ibrahim (not that I support him), the rest of the cabinet positions will represent significant, nay, acrimonious bones of contention among PAS, PKR and DAP. It’s not just the division of ministerial positions among the trio per se that is difficult but a whole host of sensitive factors that are haunting the respective leaderships of PAS, PKR and DAP.
One is instantly reminded of how the difficult the new Pakatan Selangor State government came to form its exco and its cowardice (and party parochial vested interests) in failing to strongly insist, on democratic principles, for Teresa Kok to be the deputy MB.
We also need to bear in mind the balance of powers within the Pakatan coalition is unlike the BN with a domineering UMNO. PKR is never going to be in a position to dictate terms to PAS or DAP. If Anwar Ibrahim is re-incarcerated, Azmin Ali should not imagine he will automatically assume Anwar's PM-designated position.
So, if in the relative calm of the interlude since March 2008, Pakatan can’t even arrive at a mature and comprising consensus to form a shadow cabinet, just imagine the chaos that would have reigned in the immediate aftermath of a Pakatan federal victory on that evening of 08 March 2008 as the three component parties fell upon each other in their scramble for choice ministerial positions. The centrifugal forces of sectarian interests would have led to the immediate disintegration and demise of the coalition.
Thus, Pakatan’s failure to win federally was a blessing in disguise. It also provided a Pakatan which was inexperienced in running a country much needed on-the-job training in the States they won.
Apart from the pathetic lack of a shadow cabinet, there is no overarching strategic vision of a Pakatan government, and please spare us the meaningless mealymouthed cries of reformasi. The way I look at it, PKR should adopt deformasi as a far more appropriate slogan.
PAS wants an Islamic State while DAP wants a nation where every citizen considers him/herself a Malaysian rather than of his/her ethnicity. Whatever pros and cons of these two political ideologies, with their warts and all, at least these two parties have a bearing for them to aim their political direction at.
But PKR? Alas, it’s only about Anwar Ibrahim becoming PM.
After that, then what? And that’s the frightening part!