Once upon a time, I was a bright-eyed and bushy tailed opposition supporter. I even considered volunteering at the office of my local representative, so caught up was I in a rush along with millions of other Malaysians who were elated by the change in the status quo that we grew up in. Everything seemed so different the day after the political tsunami of 2008.
But the day after came, and the day after that, the week after that, the month, the year, and it seemed like the strong start of Pakatan Rakyat had devolved into politicking and internal politics till, finally, the tension between DAP and PAS broke the opposition apart. Of course, Pakatan Harapan was swiftly assembled once PAS had finished its little civil war between the conservatives and the progressives, but the problems have just not stopped coming.
So much for real, tangible change.
Last Monday, it turned out that DAP and PKR couldnâ€™t even agree on the simple but important matter of filing a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, something that we thought had been planned weeks ago. They were at odds over Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sianâ€™s decision to submit the motion on his own.
Now, this sounds preposterous, but Lim Guan Eng feels that the Opposition Leader should be the one to submit the motion. He said he feared that if anyone else were to do the submitting, it would leave the impression that Pakatan Harapan had no confidence that the motion would be successful. But PKR itself seemed to have no objection to Heeâ€™s action. One of its vice-presidents, Tian Chua, said Hee was exercising his right as a Member of Parliament.
For a while, Hee stood by this right, saying he believed his constituents would demand action from their representative. For that motive alone, he must be vindicated of this imaginary sin of daring to take the spotlight.
Guan Engâ€™s assertion seems rather petty considering that the motion will probably fail despite itâ€™s historic significance.
The answer to the question of why the Opposition Leader or Guan Eng himself did not submit the motion to the Speaker before Hee did could perhaps be the key to understanding this particular little problem.
But really, is this what our Opposition has come to? Squabbling over small details like children when the ruling government is at itâ€™s most vulnerable? This only deepens the impression that Pakatan Harapan was dead on delivery.
This is not the time for politicking and bickering. The opposition has a lot of work to do to ensure victory in the next general election, and that starts with putting things straight in the coalition itself. The downfall of the old Pakatan came because communications broke down between parties, and the same is happening again with the new Pakatan.
According to the Merdeka Centre, only a third of Malaysians still support the Prime Minister, meaning that the next election will be about capturing the disenchanted. If our other option is just as chaotic as the ruling government is, then what option do we really have?
Enough already with the politicking and drama.- byÂ Scott Ng/Image: Free Malaysia Today