Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PKR Dynastic 'Democracy'?

Today I see Malaysiakini with its premier headline as Election debut for 'Puteri Reformasi'.

There are many things wrong with such an extragavant proclamation.

In Indonesia when you ask someone as to his or her daughter, you use the honorific word ‘puteri’ to refer to the female offspring (and ‘putera’ for the son).

But we aren’t in Indonesia. This is Malaysia where ‘puteri’ means princess. Thus, ‘Puteri Reformasi’ means the ‘Princess of (political) reforms’, suggesting either that her father is the King of (political) reforms or she herself is the mover of amazing political reforms. But I believe the title alluded to the fallacious fable of her father's so-called refomasi movement.

One - Is PKR or Malaysiakini proposing cultism, a cult of Anwar Ibrahim as the Raja or Sultan (monarch) of whatever, and his family then as the royal family of politics?

Are we then to bestow upon Dr Wan Azizah the title of Ratu (queen) Reformasi and consequentially Anwar's daughter as what the Malaysiakini headline screams out, ‘Puteri Reformasi’?

I hope Malaysiakini can moderate such headlines and refrain from this sort of pompous piffling pronouncement before readers begin to believe it’s a PKR mouthpiece in the same manner as we sneer at the Star Online and NST as the mouthpieces of the BN.

It’s only in Malaysiakini that we constantly see Anwar Ibrahim referred to his own claim, the ‘de facto’ leader of PKR – not realising what a shameful title that is, bespeaking of dictatorship of the party by an unelected person.

If you note very carefully, the DAP has never referred to him as the ‘de facto’ leader of PKR, but rather correctly as the ‘advisor’ to PKR. Yes, one may say the DAP are full of prim and proper prudes who are tight ass-ed with the use of words, but at least they aren’t given to shameless claims as some PKR members. Even as a non-PKR person, I cringe each time I hear PKR members refer to Anwar as the party’s de facto leader.

Two – what justification has Anwar to the claim of reformasi (political reforms)?

This has been a man who has never mentioned a single word of political reform until he was outside UMNO – rather au contraire, remember Apcet II?

Not one word, nay, not a microscopic speck of hint of such, when he was in an actual powerful position to effect changes for the better. But now, outside UMNO, he’s suffering from verbal diarrhoea about democracy, reforms and various other sweet meaningless nothing.

Guess what will happen if/when he returns to UMNO? You work it out!

Three – What claim does his daughter, Nurul, have to the title of Puteri Reformasi? Visit a few squatter huts?

I know I am being unfair to her personally as she’s not the one who has laid claim to such a title, OK, so I must ask Malaysiakini! Sorry, Nurul, I am not directing that remark against you - just consider yourself as collateral damage.

Four - Is his daughter the only suitable candidate for Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur?

Well, according to Malaysiakini, PKR’s KL elections director Salehuddin Hashim admitted that Nurul Izzah is not a senior member, but insisted that she will be the best candidate for Lembah Pantai.

Why is she the best candidate?

No answer!

But Salehuddin Hashim said he would personally manage her election campaign with a ‘special’ team. Wow! Needless to say, royal treatment appropriate for a party princess who has been leapfrogged (like dad in UMNO) to the frontline.

It’s little wonder that such PKR party decision saw Nallakaruppan, SD Johari Yasin, Ezam Mohd Noor, Abdul Rahman Othman (KeADILan party membership No 3, immediately after the PKR royal couple), PKR Baling chief Radzi Md Lazim and the entire 1000 strong Baling branch and hundreds of Indians leave the party.

Yes, they did so because of one particular person, none other than Anwar Ibrahim.

Please read:
(1) The 8 D's of DSAI
(2) Anwar Ibrahim interferes with PKR polls?
(3) PKR's Sepoy Mutiny?
(4) PKR meltdown - the Anwar Ibrahim factor?
(5) Members abandoning PKR ship

Anwar Ibrahim’s erstwhile good buddy, Nallakaruppan left in disgust because, according to him, Anwar instructed him not to contest the party's VP position. Well, that's Anwar's (de facto) style of democracy, I suppose.

Predictably the PKR devotees lambasted Nalla for being greedy, self-centered, poor performing, etc as if anyone had expected those PKR diehards to lament his departure.

But as everyone knew, Nalla's acrimonious leaving had cast serious questions about Anwar Ibrahim's commitment to the PKR's claim to multi-ethnic policies and proclivities. We have just seen how the Chinese section of PKR has recently wrestled bitterly with DAP over seats allocation despite Anwar’s agreement with Lim Jnr/Snr. The Chinese section of PKR must have realized that they were ‘forgotten’ or not considered in the Anwar-Lim seats negotiations – ha ha ha! - and decided they have to take matters into their own hands.

And it’s not just the Indians (or Chinese) because prior to the last PKR party polls, the former PKR Youth secretary SD Johari had also accused Anwar Ibrahim of
meddling with party polls.

Johari who received the highest number of nominations was so disgusted with Anwar’s meddling that he withdrew completely from the party polls and then left the party with Ezam.

Now, we see a certain junior party member catapulted to a prime parliamentary seat ahead of more senior people who had strived hard and sacrificed much for Anwar.

And why? What's so special about her?

So, is PKR a democratic party?

How then can we expect PKR to be worthy of our votes if it’s not?


  1. Kaytee Moc, you and Anwar Ibrahim are both on my list of Facebook friends. I'd vote for Anwar Ibrahim and PKR anytime (or the DAP or even PAS, as I did in the last election). What Anwar was prior to September 1998 I have deleted from the record. In my consideration, from the day he was fired, right through his arrest, mock trial and unwarranted imprisonment, Anwar Ibrahim conducted himself with impeccable dignity, courage, and a warrior's spirit. This man is a career politician and that's all he wants to be. He has sworn to abolish the ISA, OSA, and all the other oppressive acts when his party or the opposition coalition takes over from the moribund BN. Once that is achieved the mechanism for removing lousy managers from office will be restored - and it really wouldn't matter who the Dickens wears the bus driver's badge. We're in trouble - just like the Americans - mainly because all the mass media is controlled by BN or billionaire BN balls-carriers, the police are crooks, the judges bent, the A-G is a sleazy turd, and the ACA has been hijacked by BN backbenchers. And opinions like yours are certainly NO HELP at a crucial time like this - when I would vote a TOAD into office if that would take a seat from the BN. As far as I'm concerned, Anwar Ibrahim has more than paid his dues as a professional politician. For fuck's sake, give the man a chance to achieve his lifelong ambition. And if he doesn't deliver on his election promises (like all BN flers) we'll just have to remove him.

    Last week I told myself the next Malaysian who attempts to sabotage any of the Opposition candidates - whether Anwar or Kit Siang or Karpal or Nik Aziz - and whines on about "why didn't Anwar abolish the ISA and corruption when he was DPM?" will get a tight slap from me.

    You want yours couriered or Poslajued?

    P.S. What IS your problem with DYNASTIES? It's an ancient tradition. If there's a good king or queen we hope they produce a good heir or heiress so there will be a continuance of good management. Only if all the children turn out to be idiots or rogues do we elect a leader from a different bloodline. Dammit, if you were a goddam tycoon with an empire to bequeath, the first people you'd consider would of course be your own kids. Something unnatural about that???

  2. There's this thing about cult of personalities in politics anywhere in the world, where people vote the person (brand), rather than on past service records.

    Personally, I think the Puteri headline is quite harmless and possibly quite catchy (as long as it is not taken literally), cuz after all, she was the poster child back in the days of the Reformasi movement.

    For example, Elvis Presley was the "Cat King", but you won't refer to Lisa Marie as "Cat Princess" :P

  3. dynasty?
    common, KT your views are now clouded by your hatred towards Anwar.
    DAP has its dynasty. Gerakan has it too. So does UMNO if you include in-laws.

  4. now now, KT, don't be so picky. (you tend to be picky where anwar/PKR is concerned). like klaw, i agree the word 'puteri' is harmless.

    haven't you already heard of 'puteri umno'? surely they are not all princesses!

    nah, sure you heard of 'bumiputera' right? surely they are not all princes!

    tsk tsk, don't tell me you are again into this thingy of 'what belongs to rome, let it belongs to rome', since you picked you picked on the part where 'puteri' belongs to the indonesians where it refer to as female offspring, thus ok to use... BUT only in indonesia.

    that was what you did with your argument on the word 'allah'.

    i'm so disappointed. :(

  5. Thanks for all your comments, particularly Anatares' - ouch matey, a slap from a dear friend is doubly painful! ;-)

    But you all miss the point - we condemn BN for being undemocratic yet we choose to 'close one eye' to Anwar's alleged undemocratic conduct within his own party. This issue plus his UMNO record (not so easily erasible, my dear Antares, if you had been affected) shows he is not the best choice to replace UMNO, for the simple reason I believe he IS (still) UMNO (at heart and behaviour if not legally as a member).

    If the UMNO-led BN loses its current 2/3 majority and the Anwar faction within PKR (yes, there are the inner and outer factions) holds the balance of power, he will use that to leverage his way back to where he wants to be, UMNO!

    And my dear Antares, re your "... if you were a goddam tycoon with an empire to bequeath, ..." we aren't talking about personal wealth; we are talking about democratic principles, (supposedly democratically run) political parties, people's elected representatives for parliament, etc!

    Does such a Malaysian political domain allow for Kim Jong-il like dynasty?

    Why should I vote for him (or his family and close ones like Azmin Ali) then?

    You choose who you want to vote while I'll do so - it's called democracy, and my democratic beliefs don't include the likes of Anwar, but not necessarily the non-anwarista PKR members like the admirable Dr Syed Husin, Elizabeth Wong etc.

    And I ask again, where was Anwar when he was in a position of power to do all that he now promises - talk is el cheapo! Besides, he did the exact opposition. And he has shown he still has that inclination. A leopard doesn't change its spots.

    Lucia, yes, we are all "disappointed" but my disappointment is I see some of my friends so consumed and blinded by hatred for BN that they're prepared to leap from the pan into the fire.

    Hey, vote for DAP, PSM, PRM, PAS and the good guys (non-anwaristas) of PKR lah, but not Anwar and his 'chosen ones'.

    Hope we are still friends, especially you, my dear mate from Magic River ;-)

  6. Come to think of it, the only major political party here which hasn't shown dynastic tendencies has been PAS.
    UMNO, MCA, MIC, DAP etc. all have had leaders quite obviously smoothing the way for their family members.
    Would Lim Guan Eng be holding his position in DAP if he weren't LKS's offspring ? No doubt he has shown a high level of courage and ability, but that's still a fair question to ask. I definitely know of DAP members would quietly whisper "No"

  7. wow KT that's quite a hard hitting but interesting comments hurled at PKR/Anwar.

    i do agree that he shd be call the "advisor of PKR" rather than the "de facto leader" - why relegate the importance of the wife position when she has done quite a good job in his absence and importantly he has never stand for an election in PKR?

    The general perception of a de facto leader is someone with strength and leadership quality which is not in itself bad but if PKR is touting transparency, integrity and democracy he should stay with the advisor post till he is legally elected.

    the term advisor potray deep experience and in his case humility to follow the system rather than like the BN ride roughshod over the system.

    On the other hand, i dont see the problem with nurul contesting for a parliamentary seat.

    just becos she is anwar daughter and is ask to contest doesnt mean there is no democracy.

    she still need to win to prove her worth!

    there is no democracy when councilors are appointed and they dont need to prove themself to be worthy of the position given.

    maybe you are unhappy with PKR candidate selection process. We dont know how they select their candidates but isnt it true to most political party over the world?

    most voter vote either based on the party or on individual.

    Maybe Nurul is more well known than the more experience people working for PKR. Maybe that's how candidate are selected in PKR.

    If your assertion that becos Nurul is leapfrogged to the front thus PKR is forming a dynastic party is true then it would mean that the end is very near for PKR as a party.


    Yes. Why would someone want to fight a war he cant win by sending out a weak general?

    Dr M pluck Toyo from nowhere and gave him a post and BN can do that. They have plenty of resources to tide over anything.

    But can PKR do the same?

    If PKR inner council dont have the confidence their candidate can do well and with their limited resources would they want to field an inexperience candidate whom they know wont be able to win?

    I am not a PKR apologist. But I do know PKR have a good, highly educated and independent thinking team some of whom are bloggers and I am sure these people would be the first to raise the red flag if they detect discrepancy like favoritism or such in the top leadership.

  8. KT, i don't hate BN, i only dislike BN (thanks to that er... whazzat name judge dzaidin... something).

    no i'm not blinded by my dislike of BN to support anwar. i have never and will never support anwar (because like you, i believe he is an opportunist... still an UMNO at heart, blah blah), but i do as you put it, support non anwaristas of PKR (and other opposition).

  9. Lucia, I agree with you.

    Not supporting AI for all the known reasons is not the same as acquiring the ADS(Anwar Derangemwnt Syndrome) which someone seems to be suffering from. LOL!

  10. Anwar Ibrahim is ancient history

    Vote BN !
    Vote BN !
    Vote BN !

  11. KT, i think you gotta put your apparent hatred towards anwar ibrahim, and take a more rational and thoughtful approach...as you did with all other issues. Yes, Anwar is a hypocrite..but at least, he is on the correct side of the coin. Will he flip again? we don't know. but at least, against badawi n co, he is not too bad a chap. just like how we accepted LKS and his son, najib-razak, hishamuddin-hussein-onn etc etc.

  12. kt, you once said that being 'critical' of anwar doesn't make you 'hate' anwar.

    sorry mate, not only do you hate anwar, you seem to hate this family too. give it a rest.

    try to attain some peace with yourself. good luck.

  13. I wish Nurul well in her political debut. She experienced first hand the injustice her family had suffered from, which imbued in her a genuine desire to bring about changes in our society. I salute her for leaving her comfort zone and fight in the dirty world of politics for what she believes to be right. I hope she will be an inspiration for other young Malaysians to come forward to make a difference. Bravo Nurul!

  14. I like what a commenter said even if a toad stands against BN, vote for the toad. Lets just see what denying 2/3 majority to BN can do for this country. What do we have to lose that we havent lost already.Enough of BN's 40 years of totalitarianism!

  15. You tend to harp on AI not able to change his spots. He was an UMNO politician; what did you expect him to do? You can't join Great Eastern Life and sell AIA life insurance can you?

    Anwar hopped on the UMNO bus to PutraJaya. Being the career politician he is, we cant expect him not to play the "game" to reach the pinnacle. We are all aware that to bring effective change to the country one has to occupy the PM seat. The 2nd in command is not good enough.

    I for one thinks he didn't play the game well enough and got carried away by his self perceived popularity. He should have had waited patiently...waited and waited...said yes and bow his head all the time. As they say politics is a very dirty game. Power, money, influence, networking etc are all powerful determinants who gets to the top.

    Imagine that our famous SIL becomes the PM one day and thats a real possibility mind you. On becoming PM he set about to abolish the ISA, OSA, etc, etc and do all the things we dream about. Will you blast him then as you do AI now?

    Lastly, if I may make a short comment on Dr Wan Azizah. She is a homemaker, mother and dutiful wife who was reluctantly pushed into politics to seek justice for her family. Looking at her warm and humble demeanour she is definitely NOT a dynasty queen as you put it. Please respect others as much as you want others to feel the same about you.