Friday, November 12, 2010

Putrajaya dream far-fetched for Pakatan

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today,

GEORGE TOWN: Opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat is unlikely to achieve its dream of capturing Putrajaya in the next general election 'under its current avatar'.

Hindu rights movement Hindraf Makkal Sakti, pouring scorn on Pakatan's aspiration, said as long as the coalition continued to ignore the people's demand for 'real change', there will be no win.

"Pakatan and Anwar Ibrahim will never capture their holy grail if they continue to fail to heed to the people's thirst for real change," said Hindraf adviser N Ganesan.

He urged all Pakatan-ruled states to overhaul their current political and socio-economic policies if the coalition was to get anywhere near Putrajaya.

“Pakatan states must restrategise their policies and structures to convince voters that the coalition is truly a people's alliance,” he said.

He pointed out that many people rejected Barisan Nasional and Umno in the last general election because they yearned for a new political entity with innovative ideas and reform policies to benefit all.
Sadly however the Pakatan-ruled states had failed to heed that call.

"Pakatan governments in Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have merely put in place cosmetic changes and are continuing with Umno/BN leftover policies.

“People wanted a new people's political alliance, but, two years on, they only got a carbon copy version of BN,” Ganesan told FMT today.

He pointed out that Pakatan's defeats in four of the last five by-elections were warning signs of a real shift in the voting pattern from Pakatan towards BN.

Pakatan recently lost Batu Sapi and Galas. They earlier lost Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor.

Except for Batu Sapi, Pakatan won all three seats in 2008 general election. To Pakatan's credit they won the Sibu by-election in May by a hairline majority of just over 300 votes.

Ganesan said given a choice, people would rather prefer to stay with the old wine BN than to vote for Pakatan.

Reminding Pakatan to 'walk its talk', he said the coalition cannot claim to represent the people and their demand for reform and change, when in reality it continues to recycle the same BN policies and programmes.

“Changes cannot be rhetoric . . . they must be real and touch the people's lives,” said Ganesan, who is also an adviser to the yet-to-be-registered Human Rights Party (HRP).

He suggested that Pakatan states carry out policies to stimulate economic growth, incomes, employment and business opportunities.

He called on Pakatan states to provide more affordable and comfortable homes, and upgraded educational facilities to the masses.

He said the coalition should also take pro-active steps to allay fear among non-Muslims against powers of the Syariah laws.

He said Pakatan should also stop BN-like mandore policies to address the marginalised Indian community issues.

He added Pakatan must take into account the needs and interests of all disadvantaged and minority groups, such as Indians in the Peninsula and natives in Sabah and Sarawak.

Be cooperative
He said Pakatan must come up with new socio-economic programmes, unlike the current pro-corporate policies, for development of all poor, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

“The development policy should be from bottom up and not top to bottom as practiced now,” insisted Ganesan.

He said Umno and BN would not be able to match this if indeed Pakatan went to the ground and provided a real reform alternative to the working class.

He said lack of a real reform-orientated Pakatan currently has given BN the advantage, dashing hopes of Malaysians for a political change.

He suggested for the current Pakatan warlords to set aside their ego to cooperate and compromise with other parties representing minority interests, such as HRP, SAPP and marginalised factions in Pakatan itself like Jeffrey Kittingan’s group in Sabah.