Time and again, Pakatan Rakyat is blamed and ridiculed for harbouring the desire to helm the nation.
That Pakatan has such a dream is not the worry; what is troubling is the fact that the country’s “grave” is hurriedly being dug and that too by its leaders, Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin, both who are busy pursuing their own respective agendas.
Where Prime Minister Najib is concerned, the unexpected and humiliating defeat by the Barisan Nasional in the 2008 general election has shaken him to the core. And in his own “style”, Najib believes it is payback time as seen from his jet-speed delivery of one initiative after another.
Suddenly, there is so much good tidings in store for the rakyat. There was the much-exaggerated Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia and just recently Najib announced the 1Malaysia People’s Tuition Programme that would offer free tuition to 10,000 students in Selangor.
The premier has also promised to look into awarding licences directly to the nation’s 70,000 cabbies besides giving them an annual tyre allowance of RM525.
In short, whatever works in winning the heart and votes of the people, the premier is all for it. As to where the means justifies the end, the nation’s “khalifah” or leader seems indifferent to that.
The goodies galore is BN’s way of trying to wrestle as much, if not all, power back from Pakatan. The recent overwhelming generosity of the BN is definitely not about caring for the welfare of the rakyat, much less paying heed to the people’s concerns.
Had BN been the people’s “party”, it would not have played dirty to cover up the truth behind the death of an aide to an opposition party. Likewise, had BN meant business, its chief Najib, 59, would have deliberated on pressing issues instead of playing “Santa Claus” delivering goodies every other day.
The outstanding issues that require the premier’s attention are many: from the much-needed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to the clean-up of the electoral roll to making sure corrupt politicians receive their due to the manipulation of democracy and denying the rakyat the right to excercise their fundamental rights. But none seems worrying enough to the premier.
What seems more urgent to Najib is time and money spent on buying over the rakyat’s trust to serve as an insurance for BN come the 13th general election.
While Najib keeps busy wooing the rakyat with his tales of “good things” to come should BN win the next polls, his deputy Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, is making the most of his position to put in place a “Malay” structure, be it via the education system or through the workforce.
Instead of supporting Najib’s “1Malaysia” approach, Muhyiddin, 65, has embarked on an agenda to put in place an all-Malay foundation, making no room for the other races of this country.
From his defending the controversial novel “Interlok”, which demeaned the Chinese and Indian communities, to the controversy surrounding his decision to revert the teaching of Mathematics and Science to Bahasa Malaysia from English, Muhyiddin has revealed his real “intention”, that of lending support to causes that strictly “champion” Malay interests.
It truly is scary when a leader like Muhyiddin identitfies himself based on his race instead of patriotism, saying there is nothing wrong if the other races were to do the same, that is, the Chinese can claim they are “Chinese first and Malaysian second”.
Just as troubling is Muhyiddin’s July 13, 2010 remark that anyone was free to form an association along the lines of the the Malay right-wing Perkasa. That itself revealed the racist nature of this deputy prime minister who unfortunately also holds the education portfolio.
Should both Najib and or Muhyiddin retain power through the next general election, it would not be long before they “bury” while busy pursuing their personal agendas.
Before that happens, the rakyat must arrive at the realisation that it is not a “Santa Claus” or a racist leader that will take this country to greater heights.
Rather, it will be a leader who lets his work do all the talking; he will best occupy the seat of the prime minister. And consciously or sub-consciously, the people know who they want as their leader and making that call will determine the rakyat’s fate.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.