Wednesday, June 15, 2016

By-Elections, Opposition Parties, Voter Concerns?

Well, two by-elections in Malaysia - but our worry is that it may fracture Opposition and 'decrease' Opposition support, but the focus should have been more on the defeat of the Barisan Nasional, shouldn't it?

Let's look at the Malaysian Opposition parties

PAS - well, that is maybe the biggest Opposition party in term of membership, and is the most active still at the grassroot levels as seen by the multitudes of ceramah and activities all over the country every week...But alas, PAS will suffer the effect of the demise of Nik Aziz, the 'sacking' of Husam Musa or the manner in which it was done, and most recently - that very bad timing with that 'Syariah Bill' (a private members Bill, that usually will never get to see the light of day but which this time 'smartly' the BN pushed up the list...and it has made headlines and became a 'major' issue according to the media at least...). PAS also made a large mistake by tabling and passing that Resolution at its AGM regarding working with DAP - they should have just stopped with words - but alas, a Resolution is binding.

DAP would be also a 'strong' Opposition with has been consistent historically - and as such has the trust of Malaysians. DAP also has the benefit of having a large number of prominent MPs and ADUNs who are active in not just responding to issues in their constituency but also with regard to national issues - a range of issues. They do speak out...

PKR - well, this would the weakest of the Opposition although initially there was a lot of hope. PKR seems to be more concerned with the Anwar issue, and safe for Rafizi seems to be not taking up issue. Their MPs and ADUNs also do not grab the limelight and at the ground level also there seem to be little or no activities. Is PKR growing in membership, branches and divisions? Well, it looks like it is not? PKR seem to be operating on a 'all MP/ADUN keep quite - let the leaders speak, and you all can simply echo that...' policy. Hence, how many PKR MPs do you know? How many PKR MPs stand out? Now with the Citizens Declaration - one wonders whether PKR now has a new defacto leader in Azmin? PKR also would be suffering by reason of the 'Kajang Move' and the ouster of Khalid - well, Khalid also did have a significant following

Amanah - well, a break away from PAS - but what really is the issue that made them break away from PAS? Was it a matter of principle? Well, sadly it seems to simply be those who stood for election and lost... Will Amanah survive? Well, in Sarawak Elections, where there were PAS and AMANAH candidates - the result show clearly that PAS certainly has much more support than AMANAH. 

These 2 by-elections is important for AMANAH - the results determine who has the more support PAS or AMANAH  - or really AMANAH(with the support of PKR and DAP) or PAS? Both DAP and PKR were smart not to go against PAS in these by-elections...they let AMANAH do it...? So the results may show this, would it not? In any even, I believe that Amanah will not survive long but will fade away - possibly absorbed by PKR at a later date, or maybe some choosing to go back to PAS.

Might have been good if the both PKR and DAP also put candidates - then, we would finally see which of the Opposition parties really enjoy most of the support...wouldn't we? But now...really no conclusions will be derived?

What was Pakatan Rakyat? A coalition like the Barisan Nasional or merely an electoral pact? Well looking at how the different Opposition States under different MB/CM from different parties were ruled, it seems that there is no common agenda or policy - it all seems to depend on who is the then Menteri Besar or Chief Minister?

Now we have a new 'Pakatan Harapan'? Any better? 

In these by-elections, it becomes obvious that PKR certainly do not want to break ties with PAS - just visit PKR media site - how many media statements or reports about support for the Amanah candidates...

DAP also is not too keen to worsen relations with PAS - after all, at the end of the day, come next General Elections, the chances of the Opposition would be slim if it is a 3-corner fight?

PAS is also weaker today, thanks also to the re-surfacing of the syariah or hudud law... PAS forgets how it managed to lose Trengganu because when that elections came around, there was also much talk about Islamic State. Was there a rejection of a more conservative Islamic State by the people?

But then, an observation of Kelantan will show that really PAS too does not intend an Islamic State - maybe the incorporation of more Islamic values and principles, which really is not that much of a problem because when it comes to values and principles, there so much in common in all religions and cultures.

Now, for the Opposition parties to move forward, there must be real policies and alternatives promised. Malaysians really do not just want a more 'clean, efficient and trustworthy' government compared to the Barisan Nasional ; they are looking for more...

Healthcare - Will the Opposition parties make heart healthcare once again affordable to the ordinary Malaysians who are not public servants? Now, for other than public servants, the charges are thousands and tens of thousands of ringgit?

Education - Will there be changes in the syllabus?  

Taxation - will there be higher taxes for the very rich? 

POOR and MARGINALIZED - will there be an option in favour of this category. It is disturbing that Malaysia may now have their own 'homeless'...

Labour - Will the Opposition abolish the 'contractor for labour' system? Will the Opposition promote regular employment until retirement - abolishing or restricting the use of short-term contracts?  

What are the laws that will be repealed? 

Worker Rights - Selangor, Penang and the Opposition States could have put a condition that worker and trade union rights should be respected as a condition for business permits, or permission to do business in the States >> but I do not think that they even did that, which was so simple...      

See also:-PKR,DAP,PAS,....- no clear policies or action plans? How do Malaysians choose?

Will Selangor amend its constitution, to be in line with the Federal Constitution, to enable the ADUN with the confidence of the majority to be the Menteri Besar irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender? Remember, the majority wanted Wan Azizah as Menteri Besar - but alas, they compromised, and now we have Azmin > was gender a factor?  

So, what should the voters in these 2 by-elections do?  

By 2018, we will be having our next General Elections - will that have a factor in these by-elections? Will the voters choose to express their feelings about the BN not now but maybe at the next GE?

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