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Thursday, January 30, 2014

‘Wake up from your slumber, Pakatan’

Former PKR member Zaid Ibrahim says it is important for Pakatan Rakyat to act as a united political entity.
PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat leaders should wake-up from their slumber and start acting as a single organised group.
Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim in his blog today said that “it is not too late for the opposition coalition to do so”.
With regards to speculation that PKR want to replace the present Selangor menteri besar, Zaid said it was easy for the Selangor Sultan [Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah] to reject any request to remove Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
“Had the Pakatan Rakyat acted as a single and united political entity, then the change would have been an issue worth fighting for.
“It would have been a matter of the people’s democratic choice of a representative government and the role of the constitutional monarch plays in that choice. The people usually win such contests but the opportunity was lost,” he said.
Zaid said that it was Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s desperation with Khalid rather than his ambition which has led him to engineer the coming Kajang by-election.
He however said that the by-election’s outcome was unclear.
“Anwar might lose in Kajang; and even if he were to win, what makes anyone think the Sultan will appoint him menteri besar?” he said.
Therefore, Zaid reasoned that Pakatan’s top leaders must seek an audience with the Sultan, who will certainly not refuse them on such an important matter of state.
Zaid said they should also provide the Sultan with a list of prospective candidates for menteri besar post and the list should also not be limited to only PKR.
MB candidates
Other than Anwar and Azmin, Zaid recommended former International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer Abdul Aziz Bari and Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad as well as DAP’s Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz as potential candidates for the post.
“As such, Pakatan leaders must start trusting one another. They must behave like an alliance in fact, not just in name. In this sense, it doesn’t really matter which party ultimately contests the Kajang by-election.
“His Highness will also be required to make a stand on the matter, and any acceptable candidate will have a good chance of winning the by-election,” he said.
Although acknowledging that Anwar has sacrificed a great deal for the country, Zaid said the former deputy prime minister must first change his style of leadership to be successful.
“He must learn to trust his Pakatan Rakyat team and he must know that he cannot beat the Barisan Nasional by pandering to narrow party interests.
“He must galvanise the forces of change, for the rakyat will provide its support only if his intentions are clear,” he said.
He then urged Selangor Pakatan Rakyat to speak with one voice.
“It should ideally propose only one candidate for menteri besar and not lobby for different names from PKR as is being done now,” said Zaid.
He however pointed out that Selangor Pakatan Rakyat members must be prepared to break ranks in order to forge real political unity.
“Neither Anwar nor the Pakatan Rakyat can survive without that unity,” he said.

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