Anwar Tidak Dengar
Nasihat Raja Petra
Rupa-rupanya Raja Petra sudah menasihatkan Anwar Ibrahim sembilan tahun yang lalu. Anwar tidak belajar daripada sejarah. Hakikatnya PKR hampir hancur dan musnah sembilan tahun yang lalu. Tetapi ia hidup semula, sewaktu Malaysia ditadbir di bawah kepimpinan Pak Lah yang sangat lemah. Justeru itu, Anwar Ibrahim tidak boleh menyalahkan orang lain, sekiranya PKR semakin lemah dari sehari ke sehari. Baca tulisan RPK di bawah, yang ditulis pada 1 November 2001.
1. From the 8th to 11th November 2001, the National Justice Party (keADILan), which was two and a half years old on 4 October, will be facing its first party election. As anticipated, as soon as the Sarawak State Elections ended – and with less than desired results, may I add – the campaigning heated up.
2. Deputy President Dr Chandra Muzaffar’s decision not to seek re-election, followed by Hamdan Tahar’s resignation from the party under unhappy circumstances, cast a glum scenario indeed. Earlier, one of the party’s three Vice Presidents, Zainur Zakaria, who is also one of Anwar Ibrahim’s solicitors, announced his withdrawal as well. Zainur had, in fact, filled that post when another Vice President, Marina Yusoff, resigned in a huff a year or so earlier.
3. Less publicised was Johari Abdul’s resignation from the Supreme Council, a personality strongly linked to the Reformasi movement and regarded as one of its masterminds. This further widened the gap between the party and the Reformasi movement that claims it is being sidelined though the party would not have existed if not for the movement.
4. Rumours are rife that further resignations are in the cards and time will testify to this speculation. But people come and people go and, at the end of the day, one has to subscribe to the philosophy that no one is indispensable. If keADILan falls apart because of the exit of a few key figures, then it is no party to start of with, as a political party cannot revolve around a handful of people. At first glance it looks bad. KeADILan appears to be breaking apart. And, from the feedback received, this is certainly the perception of those on the outside looking in.
5. The party supporters out there are extremely disappointed. Some are even angry and speak about the present goings-on with a bitter tone in their voice. They ask, were they wrong about the party and have they wasted the last three years supporting Reformasi and the party just to see its demise even before it can make inroads into Malaysian politics?
6. This is understandable. They had heralded keADILan’s birth as the coming of new politics for Malaysia. They saw this new party, mothered by Reformasi and made possible due to the Anwar Ibrahim political crisis, as the future. They saw change and reformation on the horizon and the end to corrupt and racial politics - where nothing is regarded as immoral - that has been the accepted norm for Malaysia these last three generations.
7. Also understandable is the fact that keADILan’s supporters are idealists. They had always shunned politics and politicians. But when they saw what they thought was the purity of the new party, they rallied forth. Some never voted in their life and now, for the first time, they actually registered as voters to play their role in ensuring the new party garnered enough votes to make a difference – maybe even enough votes to form the next government.
8. Now they realise that keADILan is…well, just another political party, and they are disappointed. They do not want just another political party. They want a different kind of party, and they stood up to be counted because they thought it would be a different kind of party.
9. Well, welcome to the real world! KeADILan is just another political party, but with a slight twist. To be realistic, keADILan needs to be another political party to last the distance. If it was that ideal, straight-laced, and an almost virtuous party that many thought it was and wish it would be, then it would be doomed from the word go.
10. Let’s face reality. KeADILan is up against UMNO. UMNO is no saintly organisation. UMNO fights dirty. Anything goes as far as UMNO is concerned. UMNO will stoop to anything to win the elections and, given half a chance, will wipe the still-wet-behind-the-ears keADILan from the face of this earth.
11. Can keADILan withstand UMNO’s onslaught if it fought with kid gloves? KeADILan too needs to be devious, street-wise, and blood thirsty to beat UMNO at its own game. So, keADILan too needs to be another political party to do this. We are presently seeing what we believe is turmoil in the party. We are seeing factionalism and groupings formed - each trying to outmaneuver the other. We are seeing battle lines being drawn. We are finally seeing the aspiring candidates behaving just like any normal politician would.
12. But what is so wrong with this? What’s wrong if keADILan’s leaders and aspiring leaders act like politicians? This is, after all, what politics is all about. Politics is about contesting, and winning. It is about maneuvers and strategies. It is about outdoing and outsmarting your opponents.
13. KeADILan has so far never held any internal party elections. Seven months after it was formed, it faced its first general election, followed by a few by-elections and, most recently, the Sarawak State Election. There was nothing clean about these elections. As Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad promised in November 1999, the Tenth General Election was the dirtiest in the history of this country. And keADILan was ill prepared for all this.
14. KeADILan needs to learn how to fight, and how to fight dirty. If it cannot even get through an internal party election, how does it face UMNO in the next general election? Contests are good. That’s what politics is all about. How one prepares for this contest is also very important. Slogans alone are not enough. Idealism does not cut any ice with the voters. One needs to do more than that to make any headway in Malaysian politics.
15. We should not look at the impending party contest as something negative. KeADILan needs to go through this and the faster the better. As it is, the contest is already too long overdue. The present crop of leaders was never elected, they were all appointed - the President included. They now need to legitimise their positions by getting elected into office.
16. So, the fighting is intense. Well, as they say, if the fire is too hot get out of the kitchen. If you think it is hot now, just wait until the next general election comes around. It’s going to be worse than this and worse too than the last general election in 1999.
17. So, there are groups and camps. So what? Politics is about allies. Show me one political party that does not work on the principle of allying yourself. Some members and aspiring leaders feel that it should be a “clean” fight. What do they mean by clean? Do they mean everyone should be an “independent” candidate and not belong to any team?
18. Politics does not work that way. If every soldier were to do battle as Lone Rangers, without being part of an army, he would die the first day into battle. Have you even seen a football game won by a bunch of Prima Donas? If there were no team and no teamwork they would never win the match.
19. On whether the candidates badmouth each other and use money to win, I suppose the members will have to decide on this one. Fighting is one thing and slandering is another. The members will have to demonstrate their maturity by rejecting uncouth aspirants. And if they still get elected into office nevertheless…well, then probably those that left before this knew what they were doing.