One blogger that I have a lot of respect for is Dr Hsu Dar Ren - I call him Darren ;-).
Darren is a member of the Gerakan Party, once the natural party of Penang and the one my family (though not me) had favoured.
Though we have different political affiliation we have been good blogging mates - practising the sort of civility that would promote and sustain a 2-party system.
I favour the DAP because of its puritan integrity and socialist ideology, but unlike Darren I am not a member of any political party, so if the DAP pisses me off, I’ll flick it off without any qualms or regrets, though with some disappointment.
Darren has posted a worthwhile by-election eve article titled A message to Permatang Pauh voters, which I strongly recommend for your reading.
Darren advocates voting for Anwar because he believes “…the fight in Permatang Pauh is no longer about Anwar and Umno. It is no longer about Anwar the person, but about what he represents: A hope that finally raced-based policies can be done away with; a hope that there would be a better check and balance, the lack of which has been the main reasons why corruption and abuses have become so rampant; a hope that society would become more open, racial polarisation would be less and there would be more accountability and transparency.”
“It has become the fight for the survival of the still fragile two-party system. Many in civil society believe that everything must be done to nurture it so it will grow stronger and can play the role of an effective watchdog and be a counterbalance to the BN.”
Sterling declaration by Darren - thus I have no difficulty in agreeing with the principles espoused in his first paragraph above, though kaytee being kaytee, I do not trust Anwar Ibrahim as the vehicle.
Mind you, I have given Anwar credit where credit was due, as I did in A bouquet for Anwar Ibrahim, which understandably caused widespread consternation, confusion and even chaos in Anwar-ville – wakakaka.
Those poor anwaristas – they just didn’t and will never get it, about frank and fearless but balanced analyses!
Hell, I even defended the de facto PKR leader when a Malaysiakini reader, Joe Dhanaray, voiced his anger at him in Vox Populi on the issue of DAP Sivasubramaniam, a Perak ADUN who had threatened to resign during the formation of the Perak Pakatan exco – see my When a resignation is not a resignation.
;-) Admittedly it was on April Fool’s day when I defended him - wakakaka - and during a time when my matey kittykat criticized me for being a die-hard DAP supporter, before I turned (in kittykat’s eyes of course) into a paid BN writer – wakakaka.
Anyway, back to Darren’s post – yes, as I said, I support the principles of multi-ethnic democracy espoused by Darren but I am not confident of Anwar Ibrahim as a sincere champion of such idealism.
However, I am less confident of Darren’s second paragraph, namely, that the Permatang Pauh by-election has become "the fight for the survival of the still fragile two-party system", and therefore because of this, Anwar should be supported.
Yes, Darren may be correct in saying that “many in civil society believe that everything must be done to nurture it [that is, the 2-party system] so it will grow stronger and can play the role of an effective watchdog and be a counterbalance to the BN.”
But it is only theoretically true!
… because sad to say, Malaysian society, as exemplified by the fanatical behaviour of both anwaristas and UMNO-istas, is still very immature, yes too bloody childish, to support the development of a two party democratic system.
To both fanatic mobs, they don't even understand democracy (unless they can use it to win), let alone a 2-party system.
For them, it’s all or nothing, 'either for us or against us' a la low-brow Dubya, black or white, greedy or avaricious (wakakaka - ok, re the last one, just checking whether you have been paying attention), and a polity full of sickening sleaze, slander, slime, slugs and sh*t.
We get the dirt from both – poison penned 50 dalils, libellous allegations hiding behind the sarongs of Statutory Declarations, childish fake photo of French dinner, sodomy allegations, shameless boast to subvert the supremacy of the ballot box, closed one eye to thuggish misbehaviour in the name of some unfounded religious accusations, puerile Port Dickson threats, the ustaz who attempted to discredit an oath because an Arabic word wasn't pronounced correctly - wakakaka, etc.
With such immaturity and extreme adversarial politics (to protect the gravy train), how can we expect a mature Western styled two-party system?
As Prof Bridget Welsh wrote in Malaysiakini about the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign, she hasn’t witnessed from both parties any decent campaign policies that lifts the issue above the grubby.
Well … I am not sure what to say about my preferred choice but I’ll be consistent … I’d just say I don’t trust Anwar Ibrahim.