Wednesday, April 18, 2007

PKR - 'losing before winning', or 'winning before losing'?

PKR’s selection of Khalid Ibrahim as its candidate for Ijok has been expected. That has been also been the subject of recent analyses and warnings by some political observers. The situation for PKR has been aggravated by the Barisan Nasional picking an MIC (Indian) nominee as its candidate for Ijok.

But as I mentioned, PKR is now striving for survival, credibility and renewed morale, the last of which is at an all time low, after its pinup boy had failed to make any impact in three elections, namely the by-election in Pengkalan Pasir while campaigning for PAS, the Sarawak state elections and recently the by-election in Machap in his campaign for the DAP.

Therefore it has abandoned its claimed ideology and principles for expediency in selecting a high profile Malay to capitalise on the Malay majority in Ijok.

Most visitors to my posting Ijok Indians racially marginalised by PKR? seemed to agree with my assessment that the principal aim, the urgent priority of survival, for PKR is to win, and if fielding a candidate at the expense of putting its multiethnic credentials into question, and offending its Indian supporters, so be it – that seems to be the higher policy.

But PKR is now in serious damage control. Its president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail unfortunately made it worse by saying that “race was not a factor in the decision to field party treasurer Khalid Ibrahim”.

Of course it has been!

I would have omitted that and just focused on her second explanation, which was “Khalid was chosen based on eligibility and the party believes that he is the best person to represent the people in this constituency.”

PKR bigwig and a personal buddy of Anwar Ibrahim, Nallakarupan had also been touted as a possible PKR candidate. He put on a brave face to hide his personal disappointment and did the honourable thing by supporting Khalid’s candidacy and pledged to campaign for him.

Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who was also present at the ceremony of naming the PKR candidate, endorsed Khalid’s candidacy and promised his party president Abdul Hadi Awang and spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat will come to the ground to campaign.

But Dr Chandra Bose accused the PKR of giving in to PAS in selecting a Malay candidate because he alleged that PAS had warned it would only support PKR if the latter fields a Malay.

Bose asked:

Why is the party not keen on fielding an Indian candidate? Is it because the party cannot locate a capable Indian leader or is it because it does not want to disappoint PAS? Apparently, PAS has made it known to PKR that it would only support a Malay candidate and not a non-Malay one. This kind of attitude on the part of PAS clearly reveals the hypocrisy and contradictions of PAS, a supposedly universal champion of Islam.

If PKR prioritises winning in Ijok by placing a Malay candidate, then there is no strong evidence to indicate that a Malay candidate fielded would be able to win. Furthermore, there is no evidence to indicate that an Indian candidate would lose the election. Given this, it appears that PKR and some of its leaders have succumbed to the cheap thrill of racism at the expense of its multi-racial slogan. The possible decision to deny an Indian candidate seems to represent the continuing practice of PKR to deny Indians an opportunity in the party to contest in elections.

That feeling of ‘marginalisation’ that I alluded to in my previous posting!

[…] blah blah blah so on so forth

He ended by stating: Ijok will be another tragic event for the party if it does not address the problem of Indian participation and contest.

PKR must now win or lose more than just Ijok. Maybe it already has!


  1. Yos seemed trapped in to Barisan Ehtnic-based politics. If so you cannot see the trees for the forests. And this is not unique just to you. All those promoting pluralism and meritocracy need to explain their approach in the light of the Malaysian Ethnic-based politics. Hence Wan Azizah's fisrt and second explanation.
    It is so easy to look for points to csitize harder to find ways to move forward with a Malaysia for All Malaysians agenda. If you cannot help the process, do not hinder it.

  2. It'd be more productive if you focus your analysis beyond the race issue. There's always going to be an issue no matter what race the chosen candidate is. Rather than harping on it, and extending your trapped mentality to your intended audience, why dont spend your intelectual capability to highlight real issues, local and national, and the stated or perceived stand of the candidates and party they represent, such as their stand and (for the governing party) actual performance on eradicating corruption, crimes, cost of living etc.

  3. I suspect KTemoc brings up the race issue not so much because of his "trapped mentality", but because our lovely Opposition keeps making an issue of it.

  4. is it not just as racial if an indian is put in as a candidate just because BN does? seems you just have the liking to hit Anwar for the sake of doing it. come on, give this guy a chance. he is no saint but at least he went thru real agony because he stood his ground. how many would dare?