Thursday, August 27, 2009

Of Hassan Ali and Ronnie Liu

I strongly disagree with with what Dr Hassan Ali said, but I also strongly support his right to say it.I also say that is not the weakness of Pakatan, but rather, our strength.
Many years ago, when I was with Project Disagree under IKD, I remember telling a friend of mine, Gwo Shin,from AMK , now an editor with a Chinese daily telling me that the ideal 'Opposition Pact' would have to be a loose, yet cohesive coalition.I also mentioned DAP and PAS would continue to be at loggerheads and that PKR would continually, uneasily try to mend our fences.I also jokingly told him, MDP, PSM and PRM would be virtually dysfunctional and get swallowed up by the three 'big' parties. That was in 1999. I never knew then how accurate these things would come to pass.
Fate has always desired DAP and PAS to work together. Our fates has intertwined as we both share a common history that neither side really realizes. People like Mat Sabu and Guan Eng has shared an ISA block with Khalid Samad,Lau Dak Kee and P. Patto. We have created 1Malaysia long before the overpaid people at the Fourth Floor in JPM Putrajaya coined the term.We are also bonded by the fact that we were, are and hopefully continue to be, vessels of the people's aspirations- PAS for the Muslim community, and DAP for the liberal community.And PKR for those in between.We've also survived 50 years purely on the goodwill of the people.The people kept us going when we were down and out and could hardly find people to fill in as vote counters.You can truly say PAS and DAP is a grassroots party, drawing strength from their people and supporters, all the more meaningful as the only payment you get, is seeing your candidate deny the other side a seat.
PAS has always stood for truth and equality, as has the DAP; though they both go about it in different ways, using different words.The problem has always been, the voices of Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz has always been drowned by the silly yells of the BN.
The image painted has always been the impossible-case-scenario. DAP supporters were told if PAS were going to rule Malaysia, we will all be forced to wear turbans and memorize the Quran, and PAS supporters were told if DAP ruled, pork and alcohol will be served in Malay kampungs.And along came RPK, and Malaysiakini, and blogs and told everyone how stupid they were being.People often believed what the needed to believe, and up till March 2008, people did not have a collective need to reject the government.Now they did; and they executed their collective need, with this new, untested coalition.
And so now the onus is on us to live up to their aspirations. The electorate of today is no longer the handlebar-moustache sporting,newspaper reading,Nissan Sunny driving, British educated BN-toting old people who thought that a government pension is the next best thing after RTM news. No, today we have the MyVi driving, degree holding, Starbucks drinking , Pakatan supporting young,who thinks RTM news is the next worst thing to a government job! And all of them are holding their cups of Venti Coffee Lattes, waiting to see if Pakatan sinks into what BN has become, decadent, vitriolic and archaic.
And thats why, what Ronnie Liu and Hassan Ali did keeps Pakatan on their toes, showing the electorate that,yes, we will continue to argue and bicker, and the formula will never be set, but that this is a good thing. This means your interests will always be at heart, whether your interest is drinking beer, watching MLTR, gambling or the prohibition of the mentioned, we will strive to find the correct formula to best serve the electorate.
And so, contrary to what our Home Minister had said, I believe the rakyat are not fed up of this brand of politicking, but would find it refreshing that in this coalition, every view matters.

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