Friday, July 3, 2009

1Malaysia vs 3Malaysia

Dari Meja Ketua Pemuda UMNO

The Opposition announced yesterday in Parliament the formation of 'Shadow Parliamentary Committees' in an effort to divert the attention of the public from the serious cracks emerging in Pakatan Rakyat, on the same day that it cancelled the leadership meeting reportedly meant to discuss Kedah DAP's decision to leave the coalition. 

After numerous challenges by me and other political commentators for Pakatan to name a shadow cabinet - not forthcoming after more than a year since the 12th General Elections - Pakatan Rakyat has responded with nothing less than a joke by naming three MPs to shadow every Minister, except for the subcommittee shadowing the Prime Minister's Department, which has a shocking 18 members. 

If someone was looking for a definition of the word 'irony', one would find it by comparing YB Lim Kit Siang's criticism of BN's supposedly "oversized" Federal Cabinet (28 Ministers) with Pakatan's recently unveiled XXXXXXL-sized shadow government (90 ministers).

The way I see it, this shadow government is significant more for what it doesn't prescribe than what it does. The fact that it contains, for the most part, three names per Ministry suggests that there is still no consensus on who will be Prime Minister or who amongst PKR, DAP and PAS MPs will hold any given Cabinet portfolio should the Opposition form the Federal Government. 

I suppose if a PAS MP becomes Minister of Finance, DAP wouldn’t be too happy, whilst some in PAS (read: the pro-muzakarah faction) wouldn’t stand for the Leader of PKR as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

I must stress here that a these shadow committees does not constitute a Shadow Cabinet; in the case of the latter, one MP - not three - is placed to shadow one Cabinet Minister. Is this Pakatan's way of telling the people of Malaysia that it desires a system where there are three Prime Ministers, three Deputy Prime Ministers, three Finance Ministers, so on and so forth? Are these steps the hallmarks of a political alliance ready to lead our nation? I think not.

Their excuse that shadow committees are more practical because it allows Pakatan to pool resources is almost as absurd as the measure itself, and will not blind anyone from the fact that Pakatan is not at all ready to be honest to the people. 

Even if we accept this simpleton's argument of practicality, why couldn’t Pakatan elect the Chairman of the entire shadow committee structure - in effect the alternative Prime Minister - let alone a Chairman for any of the individual committees? 

The fact of the matter is, Pakatan does not dare commit to any list of prospective Cabinet positions. If they cannot even unite amongst themselves behind a candidate for Prime Minister, then perhaps they should quit preaching to Barisan Nasional about how to go about the agenda of unity, nevermind talk publicly about how they would be a better Government.

Upon reflection, perhaps these developments shouldn’t surprise us too much as Pakatan has never really internalised the spirit of unity as called for by Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak via

In BN, there clearly exists a working understanding between the component parties - this system has been the foundation of our leadership and the harmony within the coalition. 

On the other hand we see Pakatan, as a result of internal strife and conflicting ideologies, introducing a new political platform from which it presumably wants us to believe the nation can progress - the concept of 3Malaysia - 3 shadow PMs, 3 shadow ministers, 3 policy platforms, 3 futures - where fundamental problems are confronted with by half-baked, stop-gap measures that mask the simple fact that the coalition of convenience is imploding.

Khairy Jamaluddin

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