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Friday, January 31, 2014

FACTS ARE 1. Anwar will sweep Kajang 2. Umno can forget about Selangor with him as MB

FACTS ARE 1. Anwar will sweep Kajang 2. Umno can forget about S'gor with him as MB
Camelot!
The end of 2013 saw Malaysians hit with multiple price hikes and subsidy removals. The BN government, through its incompetent administration of the economy, was squarely responsible for these outrages on our wallets.
Perhaps to distract attention from these economic difficulties, religious tension was released and used to pit Muslims against Christians. It is worth noting, at this point, that it has been the political practice of the ruling BN, for decades, to use race and religion to divide the people, so that they may continue to remain in power.
The doctrine of ‘Divide and Rule’ has been made dull by BN’s formulaic use of it as elections approach. This formula will fail once Malaysia reaches the right level of urbanization and as more people have access to information.
It was against this gloomy backdrop that Anwar Ibrahim made his announcement that he would be standing for the state seat of Kajang in the state of Selangor.
Selangor had been plagued for some time by tensions between the MB, Khalid Ibrahim, and Azmin Ali. PKR had 14 seats and DAP and PAS had 15 each. Khalid had clearly been exploiting these numbers to ensure Azmin did not replace him, playing off PAS and DAP against PKR.
It was a most unhealthy state of events. The problem appeared insoluble, a Gordian knot. With his announcement, Anwar has presented us with a most Alexandrian solution.
Dull performance from Khalid
Yet, it is a shallow analyst who would conclude that the Kajang by-election is simply PKR’s way of solving an internal problems.
The fact is that Khalid Ibrahim’s performance as Menteri Besar has been a most pedestrian one.
The people’s expectation, when they unexpectedly found themselves presented with a Pakatan government one morning in 2008, was that they would soon be living in Camelot. Or that Pakatan would soon turn Selangor into a Silicon Valley.
No such thing has happened. Five years later, Selangor is little different from how it was under the BN. The town councils remain indifferent and apathetic. PJ’s restaurants remain filthy, offering watered-down dishwashing liquid to those who want to wash their hands. There is little new development.
Lots of money also equals lots of wasted OPPORTUNITIES
Apparently, there is more money in the bank as Khalid Ibrahim is a frugal fellow. This would no doubt be a most useful skill if one were an urban housewife confronted with endless price-hikes.
Also, he is touted as incorruptible because he has already made his money as a businessman! While this is excellent news, if that were the only measure of evaluation for an MB, we could replace him with a cigar-store Indian, or a clump of bananas.
Selangor has 2 Billion or so in the bank, representing not savings, but opportunity lost. Investments would have generated and increased revenue for the state, and put more disposable income in the pockets of the people.
Unable to manage infighting not just in PKR but within Pakatan Selangor
To be fair to Khalid, he has been best known for managing plantations, and that is poor preparation for a globalized world where technology and high-end services are key drivers of growth. Naturally, Pakatan continues to praise Khalid as a good manager, but these are political statements.
Khalid has also been unable to manage the different groups of stakeholders within Pakatan, witness the endless squabbling. Further, Khalid had led PKR Selangor to a poor showing in the 2013 elections. Under his leadership, PKR was left with 14 seats against the 15 of its coalition partners PAS and DAP.
The lesson of Kedah must have been a factor in the calculations that led PKR to the decision to replace Khalid. The people will not hesitate to punish those who do not deliver. In the case of Kedah, PAS failed to act on the infighting within PAS Kedah. Development had come to a practical standstill as the other Pakatan partners appeared helpless to solve the problem.
Yet Pakatan hubristically assumed that the people of Kedah would still vote for them. Such assumptions were proven wrong when Pakatan was roundly trounced in the 2013 elections.
And so, perhaps, PKR has acted to put an end to the Selangor conundrum. 4 more years of lacklustre rule and infighting in Selangor will simply not do.
Anwar in a class of his own
The people of Kajang can look forward now to be served by Anwar Ibrahim, who will, denials notwithstanding, be their new Mentri Besar.
Combined with the poor management of the economy by BN, Anwar can look forward to a much-improved majority in the coming by-election.
And we can all look forward to having Anwar Ibrahim play the role of chief executive. For Umno, this is their nightmare scenario. Selangor, which Umno so desperately wants to regain, will be untouchable once Anwar becomes Mentri Besar.
Meanwhile, some have argued that Anwar should not take the post of Mentri Besar as he is meant and has all the capabilities to be the new Prime Minister after the next election. Well then, why are we wasting the talents of such a man for four years? Jerry Brown was Governor of California, then mayor of Oakland, now he is Governor of California again at 75. Oakland has 400,00 residents and California has a population of 40 Million. And he is defeating the Californian budget deficit, where even the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, failed! The important principle, clearly, is to serve the people, not to be concerned with one’s personal status.
Pakatan, and Anwar, have most certainly made the right move with this decision. They have shown that they can think out of the box. It cannot have been an easy one, and would not have been lightly made.
Nevertheless, it is a wonder they did not think of this earlier! In business, this would be called a game-changer. Pakatan takes the initiative, BN is left stunned and defensive!
And in Selangor, Anwar Ibrahim will surely deliver to us, finally, Camelot! - Malaysia Chronicle

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