Communication breakdown?

It was reported yesterday that PKR was having ‘negotiations’ to meet up with Pak Lah. I think the reporter quoted Tian Chua. Of course, Pak Lah denied that there were such arrangements.

And I thought, well, all in a day’s work. It’s been like this for weeks now, where PKR says something, and Pak Lah says there’s no such thing.

But then of course, it has never been the case where Anwar Ibrahim himself says he knows nothing of these ‘negotiations’.

From Malaysian Insider:

Opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was unaware of any negotiation between the Pakatan Rakyat coalition and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Yesterday, PKR information chief, Tian Chua reportedly said that the federal opposition has been negotiating with Abdullah through intermediaries; the Prime Minister later issued a denial.

“I am not aware of any negotiations taking place between Pakatan Rakyat and the Prime Minister-statements made yesterday suggesting that a line of communication was open were misinformed,” said Anwar in a statement.

Sounds unnervingly like Pak Lah at times, when he himself is also all blur about what is happening within Barisan Nasional and UMNO.

Hello? Tian Chua said it was the ‘Federal Opposition’. Shouldn’t Anwar know something about it, especially since he’s the leader of PKR?

Or is Tian Chua moving by himself?

Or maybe Tian Chua just jumped the gun and said something that isn’t real?

Or maybe there is such a thing going on, but Anwar just doesn’t want to admit it for whatever reasons he may have?

Tian Chua and Anwar both lost their cell-phones? No communication?

AH, there will be countless reasons/excuses that we can come up with. We ain’t with the ‘big boys’, so we ain’t got no details. But whatever it is, this looks like a communication breakdown, big-time, during a time when there shouldn’t be any at all.

UPDATE: I left a comment on Din Merican’s blog in regards to this. His reply:

Su, no talk with Pak Lah. Anwar Ibrahim, Ustaz Hadi and Lim Kit Siang wrote officially seeking an appointment. When he turned it down, we made no new attempts. It is Tian Chua’s cock-up, that is all.—Din Merican


I have the numbers (and more). You scared or not?

UPDATE: The press conference at 2pm Malaysian time came and went. Anil Netto has a more concise overview of what transpired. Read HERE. Incidentally, it seems that NST has chosen to title their article “No names. No list. No crossovers. Anwar fails to form next government.”

No need to continue reading the body of the article, it might seem. It’s all there in the title, which seems rather too conclusive. I’m a little lost on whether it is a news report, or an editorial, or a commentary, because the entire article is riddled with ‘if’s.

But technically the gist of the PC, which I watched online, also thanks to Anil, is that Anwar has sent a letter to Pak Lah requesting for a meeting to discuss “transition of power”, not unlike the one between Pak Lah and Najib. Meaning, Anwar has sent the ball flying into Pak Lah’s side of the court.

So, is a new Malaysia born on 916? I’m afraid not. A few days, or a few weeks after this? We’ll have to wait and see.

But a major question would be, what if Pak Lah refuses to play ball a.k.a. grant permission for the meeting?

A text message from Christopher, who’s doing such a wonderful favour for me in keeping me updated, said:

Pakatan leaders to seek audience with the king should PM decline to meet them to discuss a smooth power transition – PKR’s Tian Chua

A more up-to-date email from Chris sets the deadline to be within this week.

So whatever it is, 916 is now. It is today. And it will come to pass relatively uneventfully. But will the wheels be kept in motion? Will the waves keep on rolling? Will the support continue?

Or will Anwar lose credibility?

We’ll have to wait and see.

*********

Earlier I wrote:
Today is 16 September 2008. Malaysia is officially 45 years of age today. Politically, it is Anwar’s D-Day.

I woke up to an sms text this morning which I received from Christopher. His text read:

Anwar Ibrahim told a mammoth rally tonight in Kelana Jaya Stadium that he had the numbers to form a new government 2moro & will be calling for a PC.

I jumped out of bed.

After having read some of the news articles on the Star, Malaysian Insider, and other blog posts, seems like my initial conclusion after reading the text was more than just jumping “out of bed”, it was a little “jumping the gun”.

Anwar said that he has the numbers. He’s been saying that for the past… I don’t know, 2 months? He said that again yesterday. Okay, so what’s new?

Only difference is, today is D-Day. The deadline that he set for himself and Pakatan Rakyat to form the new government. Will it happen today?

I don’t think so. Or perhaps, it was Anwar who said that he won’t be Prime Minister TODAY. He said something along the lines of meeting with Pak Lah to ensure a smooth transition. Sounds vaguely like the “power transition” between Pak Lah and Najib…

It sounds a little like “I got the numbers Pak Lah, you takut or not?”. Funny, because it was also yesterday, albeit earlier than Anwar’s speech in Kelana Jaya, that Pak Lah and Najib agreed yet again to the power transition to happen in 2010.

Did Anwar “cut-line”? (‘cut-line’ was an expression we used in school, which is equivalent to jumping queue)

But anyway, don’t want to speculate too much. All I’m waiting for now is the Press Conference. And I hope he says much more than just “I have the numbers”. He has reiterated this long enough for it to be a mantra.

Enough of talk. Today is D-Day. Let’s see some action.

*In case anyone’s confused with what I’m writing today, don’t be. I’m still all for the forming of a new government. It’s time for change.

Islam over party. Anytime.

…says Zulkifli Nordin.

He’s up to face the disciplinary board on 9 September.

If PKR asks him to apologise, I think he wouldn’t, based on what he has written on his blog post. And if he doesn’t, I’m guessing that he’ll resign from PKR.

If that happens, I’m not going to feel sorry about it. Other than being a Muslim and a member of a political party, he is also a Member of Parliament. He is supposed to be a representative of his constituency, which I’m sure is made up of different people of different religions.

If PKR decides not to take any disciplinary action, then I would be disappointed.

As I’ve written in a letter to Anwar before this, he and his party need to prove that they are really a party that upholds justice for all. Especially at a time like now.

I’ll hold on to my other thoughts until the verdict is set.


If 916 really happens…

… UMNO Youth Secretary predicts THIS:

“If Sept 16 does occur, it will not be a surprise if Barisan supporters go to the streets to challenge the legitimacy of a government formed through undemocratic means. And all this is because Anwar wants to be Prime Minister.”

Okay…

So.

The PROTES rally: Illegal
The Penguin March: Illegal
The BERSIH rally: Illegal
The Hindraf rally: Illegal
The Black 14 rally: Illegal

The BN “challenge of legitimacy of Anwar’s govt” rally: Legal?


916…. 916?

I read with amusement, this statement by UMNO Youth Secretary:

“Where are the voices of NGOs, Bar Council and bloggers who had voiced loudly the need to protect the rights of people?”

“Why are they not coming out to criticise Anwar and tell him it is morally wrong to grab power? Does their silence mean that they are being used by Anwar?”

More HERE.

I’m a little lost on why he “concluded” that their silence is tantamount to being “used by Anwar”, simply because I see no relation at all. To assume that the many NGOs and bloggers are “silent” because Anwar is controlling them from behind is absurd, to say the least. How Anwar as an individual, or even PKR as a political party is able to control the diverse crowd that is the NGOs and the bloggers is beyond me.

That being said, perhaps it is worth thinking, what exactly does 916 mean to you?

Perhaps, too, the “silence” can be translated into approval? Although I cannot speak for those “voices of the people”, as the UMNO Youth Sec has called them, I can most certainly speak for myself as an individual, and hence make up one small but significant part of the voices of the people.

I was asked a question through an email recently:

Everybody’s waiting for 16th September. Are you?

My answer in general was that I’m not too comfortable with the idea of “hopping politicians”.

My answer now, after having the privilege of time to ponder over this question, seems to remain the same. I’m still not comfortable with the idea, nor the image, of politicians “jumping”.

There have, of course, been tons of articles and views questioning the morality and ethics of getting the BN MPs to defect over to Pakatan Rakyat to form a new government. Chandra Muzzafar has been one of the more vocal ones who have made known their piece.

However, there have been equally strong arguments for these defections, among them Irene Fernandez, who had her letter published in Malaysiakini not too long ago. The question of ethics and morality of defection was seen to be overshadowed by the ethics and morality (or lack of them) by remaining in a political party that was essentially robbing the people of their wealth.

From recent events, like the “running away” of the 40-odd BN Backbenchers for an 8-day study-trip overseas that so ‘coincidentally’ coincided with the September 16 deadline, to the ‘apology-no apology’ of the Ahmad Ismail saga, to the blocking of Malaysia-Today and arrest of Penarik Beca, and the threats of using the Sedition Act and ISA, I’d say that I’ve had enough of BN rule. (Add to this list the latest about the BTN and what they’re doing to our young minds, and you might be convinced that we do need a change, badly.)

But does all this give warrant to massive defections from the BN camp over to the Pakatan camp?

In all honesty, I don’t know. I don’t even know if I’m for, or against the idea.

Perhaps Lim Kit Siang’s stand is a good one to put in mind:

The DAP will not accept Barisan Nasional (BN) members of parliament crossing over to the opposition to form the next government on Sept 16 if they are driven to do so by money and power.

Its advisor Lim Kit Siang said the party would only welcome BN MPs into Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition pact, if they decided to cross over on the principle of wanting to bring about change to improve the lot of the people, and not for their political rice bowl.

However, one very difficult thing about this proposal is, how does one determine the “real motive” behind the defections?

I have but one strong stand amidst all this, and that is that I am FOR the formation of a new government.

However, WHEN this happens, is the main question.

September 16 2008 would be a good time, really.

However, if I had things my way, I would probably require that all the MPs who wish to defect would have to first relinquish their position in Parliament, and get re-elected by the people under a new flag.

This, unfortunately, is not doable. Basically because the law states that any MP who resigns cannot contest as a candidate in the same constituency for the next 5 years.

Then perhaps the MPs who want to defect could go back to their grassroots and get the response from them. Whether or not they are willing to support his/her defection to the other side.

This, again, is unfortunately, equally not plausible. Showing their hand prior to any real action to defect would only further jeopardise their chances of defecting successfully.

So then, how do I propose that this gets done?

I have no idea.

Perhaps, instead of the BN MPs taking the initiative step to defect, the people of the constituency can be the ones to start the motion. Perhaps they can collectively start a signature petition, and get the constituents to sign their approval of the defection of their representative. Perhaps in this way, the people can show their solidarity behind the defection of their MP, should that take place. And this would also ensure that the people’s concerns are not “tossed to one side”.

Perhaps, this is doable. But it would take guts from the people to start it, and get the ball rolling. One petition for one individual MP. Anyone game for it?

You would realise that I’ve started almost every other sentence with ‘perhaps’. It’s because I myself don’t know how plausible this is.

If we live in a democratic country, we must prove ourselves to adhere to democracy. We live in a land where the ‘majority rules’. If the mandate that was given to the BN government has significantly changed since the March 2008 General Elections, the people must let their voices be heard. If they want a change of government, perhaps they should take up the initiative to say so.

Tell the BN government that the majority is no longer on their side.

Otherwise, 916 will just come and go like any other day. (Though the date is not really all that significant for me – It may be important for Anwar)

**Note: I may be viewed as some sort of “hypocrite”, seeing as how I’m sitting some 8500 km away from the heart of all the action, and dishing out opinions and ideas on this issue. Know, however, that it matters not where the physical body is, but where the heart and soul is. If anyone else is game to taking up this initiative of doing the groundwork for this petition, I’m more than glad to do the write up. I just need some guidance on how to do it right.