Sunday, August 03, 2014

The end is near, Pakatan Rakyat

In the Barisan Alternative's manifesto in 1999, the Opposition pact included a call to end BN’s Oppression, Corruption, Cronyism and Nepotism. In this manifesto, Barisan Alternative said "From the 1980s, the NEP has been an excuse to practise cronyism and nepotism in business and politics. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism under the BN government has served to cripple our economic competitiveness and mortgaged our future".

This was despite the fact that when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was in office, none of his children held any positions in the government or in the party. Dr M was strongly against his family members from pursuing a career in politics when he was the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

In the recent 13th GE, there was no mention or use of the word "nepotism" in Manifesto Rakyat. Why? Is nepotism endorsed and accepted as a political culture in Pakatan Rakyat?

Say what you like but look at UMNO again. The party did not accept the combination of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Khairy Jamaluddin in Government at the same time. Pak Lah faced a series of attacks and resigned to make way for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be Prime Minister. Najib did not appoint Khairy to any Government positions until the recent 13th General Election. Today, KJ has risen from the ashes with a firm grip as MP of Rembau and he is popular in urban areas with youths.

Clearly, UMNO has demonstrated maturity in politics with no room for patronage and nepotism.

Nepotism is intolerable.

When Greek MP Byron Polydoras used his brief tenure as Parliament Speaker to make his daughter a permanent employee in the Speaker's Office, there was uproar in Parliament and the public.

In France, when former President Nicolas Sarkozy's son Jean Sarkozy was in line for a job in a GLC that manages a major financial district in Paris, the Opposition and public were outraged and cried nepotism.

Last year in Germany, when Bavaria's State legislature released a list of 79 lawmakers who employed siblings, spouses or children as staff at public expense, criticism was loud and clear. In fact, Georg Winter from the ruling Christian Social Union had to step down from his post as chairman of the budget committee because he employed his wife and her salary was paid by the State Parliament.

Historian Patrick French's book India: A Portrait has some interesting data on Indian politics. In India, more than 65% of the MPs below 40 are hereditary MPs. He classified 27 MPs as hyper hereditary including 19 from the Congress Party. Patrick French concluded that if this trend continues, there is a possibility that India will return to where it started, with rule by a hereditary monarch and assorted Indian princelings. In the recent elections, Narendra Modi’s BJP Party was voted into power to replace the Congress Party. After he was sworn in as Prime Minister, Modi was stern in his message to his BJP MPs – avoid nepotism.

Today, the Selangor MB tussle has exposed a series of criticisms on Pakatan Rakyat, the loudest of all is nepotism. In DAP, Lim Kit Siang and the late Karpal Singh’s families are firmly in power. In PKR, Anwar Ibrahim and family holds the top 3 posts in the party.

UMNO has seen a change of leadership 6 times (3 times since Anwar Ibrahim entered politics), MCA is currently with its 10th President (5 Presidents since Anwar Ibrahim entered politics). And today, we are still talking about democracy and principles with Anwar Ibrahim and family?

The voters are not blind. Direct nepotism that involves immediate family members is a subtle form of corruption and it must not be taken lightly.

The end is near, Pakatan Rakyat. Nepotism is intolerable and if UMCEDEL’s polls that support for Pakatan Rakyat Selangor is at 35% only, then Pakatan Rakyat’s mandate in Selangor will not go beyond two terms.

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