Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Politics of Skullduggery and...?

Hantu Laut

We need not tempt ourselves to such prolix and discursive explanation of what happened in PKR elections.We are not dealing with children or people with lack of education.These are grown-ups and mostly educated people.

As adults, we expect maturity,discipline and self-restraint.There is no need to send squad of enforcers to oversee proper conduct of the elections.You do not expect mass hysteria of bad and disrespectful behaviour in adults

When greed takes over everything else take a back seat.What happened in PKR is nothing less than the epitome of greed.

The thuggery for positions in PKR were nothing less the dream of Putrajaya's bounty, the El Dorado, the money on the brain.For all that matters, it may as well be an elusive dream.

Save Malaysia Today have found what went wrong in PKR and, as usual, at the end of the day, blame the culture of skullduggery, thuggery and violence as inheritance from UMNO. The writer, presumably, either younger in age than UMNO and did not know better or a greying adult with short memory, UMNO wasn't like that in its infancy years. If it came from UMNO, than did they not learn it from the grand master who refused to be the elected leader but yet still want to hold the whip.

In UMNO, the less than sanctimonious behaviour started less than three decades ago when cronyism and nepotism created the monster called 'corruptions'. It happened during Mahathir's time.Although, without any doubt I think Mahathir himself is not involved in personal corruption, he chose to close his eyes and ears to its existence in his pursuit of greater progress.

I am not sure whether I can agree with this and not sure what to call it, an editorial or an opinion, didn't say what it was nor a name to it if it was an opinion.

The full article below:

The ugly side of PKR

PKR took great pride in holding its first direct election for party posts, a practice never seen in other political parties. But it turned out to be a shameful show of democracy turned topsy-turvy. In several divisions, the elections descended into rowdy scenes, which do not bode well for a party aiming to capture the heartbeat of the nation in the next general election. Vandalism, verbal abuse and balloting irregularities were the order of the day, causing some divisions to postpone their AGMs and division polls. What went wrong?

In large measure, the blame can be pinned on poor preparations. PKR was all heady when it spoke about its transparent democratic voting process but gave little thought to the reality on the ground. The party should have realised that with 400,000 members in its fold, it would not be an easy walk in the park to carry out direct elections without encountering daunting hurdles along the way. But perhaps blinded by over-confidence and creeping hubris, the top leaders did not see the need to sort out the nitty-gritty of an electoral process, especially when the nationwide operation involved massive infrastructural and logistical problems. Perhaps, PKR assumed that its right-thinking members will do a mature job or that all's well that ends well.

PKR should have mobilised an army of workers from both camps – contenders and incumbents – to oversee the smooth running of the operation. But shockingly it failed to do so. Unsupervised, the field was left wide open to gross abuse: voters were intimidated, ballot boxes were switched or broken, phantom voters were brought in, votes were rigged, names had gone missing, bankrupts had been allowed to jump into the ring. Worse still, violence erupted in several divisions: in one incident, a candidate vying for the chief post was beaten up by a well-known medical doctor although it was denied. In another division, groups of men wreaked havoc when they smashed the ballot boxes, chairs and tables in a thuggery attempt to disrupt the meeting. It also defies logic when only one election official was sent to collect election fees from thousands of eligible voters. As a result, many were left out of the democratic loop because they could not produce the official receipts to cast their votes.

If PKR had done its homework properly, it would have ensured that things would have proceeded smoothly. Election fees could have been collected and receipts issued well in advance of polling day. The list of candidates could have been vetted thoroughly and kept safe in some strong vaults of the PKR headquarters. Bigger halls could have been rented to accommodate the large crowds. Volunteers or even the police could have been roped in to keep out mischief makers and disqualified candidates and keep in eligible voters. The grassroots members should have been left in peace to perform their democratic duty. Sadly, PKR missed the golden opportunity to prove that the party can conduct free and fair elections.

The fingers must also be pointed at seasoned politicians like Anwar Ibrahim who have created an unhealthy climate with their partisan politics. The whole world knows that Anwar is all for Azmin Ali in the latter's quest for the number two spot in the party hierarchy. And the whole world knows that Zaid Ibrahim, the other title chaser, is out in the cold and the target of character assassination. It is an open secret that the intense rivalry between these two political pugilists has spilled into the divisional contests and fuelled the squabbles between the followers of the two factions. When the ballot box is defiled, democracy is thrown out of the window.

PKR is in the dock in this “show trial”. How it performs is crucial to its chances of forming the next federal government. But the party which took the national stage by storm in 2008 is showing all the classic symptoms of the Umno malady – internal spats, political skullduggery, factionalism, smear campaigns, back-stabbing, unrestrained greed for power and glory. This is not a promising development for Anwar's “child” for the child is already becoming wayward and ill-mannered. Suddenly, the scales have dropped and people are seeing the true colours of PKR. If the party cannot put its own house in order, it cannot claim the right to put the whole country into better shape.

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