MCLM and PR: A tale of two cities?

There is a lot of buzz in the blogosphere (strangely quite little in the “real world”) about the role the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) will have to play in the coming elections. Some people say that if MCLM put up candidates to contest, it will create three-way fights that will benefit BN (on the assumption that votes for the MCLM candidate will be drawn from those who would otherwise vote for PR). Some people say that MCLM is a great boon for the Malaysian public as the candidates it will offer to PR to run for seats in the election are the very best people of our society. Quality, so to speak.

There are a few issues here that probably need closer inspection.

  1. Malek Imtiaz is the first MCLM candidate. A really smart guy, an excellent lawyer, and an all-around Mr Nice Guy Activist. The question is, if he is so good, why hasn’t he been tapped up for leadership before this? Why hasn’t BN recruited him, why hasn’t anyone in PR? Perhaps because, no matter how smart and good he is, he isn’t “electable”? Fighting a case to help a Muslim convert into Christianity. The sort of thing that i’m sure would make the Malay Muslims of both sides of the political divide twist their panties in discomfort. Imagine him meeting Nik Aziz and shaking his hand, “Good job there, mate. Love your work. Just hands off any PAS Muslim, alright?”
  2. Let’s not delude ourselves — PR is just BN-lite. Maybe even a bit less cohesive on the religious-cultural front, if the noises coming from Mr Karpal Singh are anything to go by; the issue of the Islamic state has to be settled sooner or later. Being BN-lite, it uses the same internal political structure in determining who gets what where and how when the General Election comes about. Generally, the people who get tapped to run for federal seats have done their time for the party, and hold party positions of leadership in their constituencies. Here we come with MCLM and their list of “30 candidates”, “Here you go Anwar, 30 great guys and gals. Much better than 30 of your people, who we’ll just bypass in favour of these 30, ok?” There is no way that will be taken well by the internal machinations of PR.

If PR refuses to accept these 30, MCLM will put some, if not all of them up for election, thus creating the 3-way fights PR is afraid of. To say that MCLM doesn’t mean much would be to underestimate it as an organization. MCLM has a legion of bloggers, social activists and commentators supporting it, because what it’s doing really does make sense: identify the best candidates and put them up for election. The impact this may have during GE13 is probably nil in terms of actually winning any seats, but those that support it will take it as a point of principle to proceed anyways. They would rather lose than vote for “Dumb and Dumber” that more often than not become the only choices available to the rakyat on polling day.

PR is in a hard spot right now, as MCLM gathers steam, and if the quality of the MCLM candidates all happen to be of the caliber of its first. Ignore MCLM, and risk 3-way fights, and a huge loss in terms of the cyber efforts that the MCLM can muster. Embrace MCLM and risk alienating their own internal political structure which rewards loyalty to the party, and perhaps a certain amount of patronage amongst its members.

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2 thoughts on “MCLM and PR: A tale of two cities?

  1. I guess I have a very small brain, hence I may not be capable of digesting the Charles Dickens master piece. I like to remind you the wisdom behind the adage “Be careful what you wish for”. I am scared that your “Great Expectations” would just be another unrealized expectations.
    Though both PR and MCLM may have intellectual characters in them to inflict their geniuses on the BN, I am scared that rather than London and Paris it is Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Will it not then pave the way for a BN resurrection? Don’t ask me. Who am I to predict the future. Perhaps you should ask the soothsayer.

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  2. I read these PR’s resolutions, but feel that its a case of the Pot calling the Kettle black:-
    1. A restructure of institutions including the Elections Commission (EC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Royal Malaysian Police. [In whose favour do you think the restructuring will benefit, will pakatan be fair and ready to lose the next GE. I dont think so !].
    2. A repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA). [Anwar could have done or proposed it when he was the DPM, why now when its convenient]
    3. Instruct Khazanah Berhad, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and other government bodies to take over highway assets from the concessionaires in order to abolish the toll system. [Use common sence, you sking them to but the concession with tax payers money and abolish the toll before they can recover their cost?. Great economic mind]
    4. A restructure of the country’s subsidies, to lessen subsidies given to the private sector (such as the RM19 billion in gas subsidies given to independent power producers) and transferring these to subsidies for the man on the street. [These agreement have already been entered into,does PR propose to re write the law that they can re negotiate the terms and conditions or go they proposed to nationalised the IPP and lose foreign faith in the administration of the country]
    5. Acknowledging the role and sacrifices of civil servant by studying the current pay schemes and increasing the incentives for teachers by RM500 a month
    6. Transferring private water concessions to the government
    7. Offering free wireless Internet access to those in urban and semi-urban areas [Was’nt this proposed in Penang by DAP? What has happened since, Is the internet available there for free? Promises…promises]
    8. Cancelling Felda Plantations and opening up its farms to second- and third generation Felda settlers.
    9. Increasing oil royalty payments to Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan to 20% cent from 5% currently.[ Esaier said then done! Like all promises, we will make it first, get into office and if we dont deliver it it does not matter, we are in control]
    10. Formation of a Royal Commission to solve the problem of illegal immigrants and citizenship issues in Sabah and Sarawak. [Wsa’nt Anwar responsible for this when the “won” over Sabah for the BN? Now he wants to clean it up. Hmmmmm]

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