PR leadership council should meet to restore public confidence

By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah

pkt convensionIt is now two weeks since the PKR Deputy President Mohamad Azmin has been sworn in as the Selangor Mentri Besar but the question whether Pakatan Rakyat is still relevant to the hopes and expectations of Malaysians who had looked up to PR for political leadership and change have yet to be answered.

There can be no denial that Pakatan Rakyat suffered its worst crisis and haemorrhage and the most serious blow of public confidence in its six-year existence as a result of the protracted Selangor Mentri Besar crisis, and the jury is still out whether PR can recover from such a major crisis in the 14th General Elections.

The saving grace of the protracted and avoidable Selangor Mentri Besar crisis is that the Selangor Barisan Nasiona/UMNO was so weak that they could not exploit it to their advantage.

I can understand Tun Mahathir’s disappointment, frustration and anger that Selangor UMNO was not able to capitalize on the PR “disarray” and “imbroglio” in the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis – but the next time, the PR is not going to be so lucky.

The Pakatan Rakyat component parties of DAP, PKR and PAS owe to the 52% of the electorate who voted for the PR parties in the 13th General Elections a clear and unequivocal answer whether the coalition proposes to address the critical issue of whether it is capable of closing ranks or whether we are at the end-game stage of the PR coalition.

This is why Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council, which was virtually crippled because of the breakdown of one of the two basic principles of PR, i.e. consensus principle, must meet urgently during the budget Parliament session starting tomorrow to reaffirm the component PR parties’ commitment and adherence to the PR’s two founding principles – upholding the PR common policy framework and abiding by the PR operational principle of consensus among the three component parties.

These are the two principles on which Pakatan Rakyat had developed into a formidable force within the span of one general election and would have replaced the Umno/Barisan Nasional coalition in Putrajaya in the 13GE if the electoral system had been a fair and democratic one without any gerrymandering, founded on the principle of “one man, one vote, one value”.

A working committee with three or four representatives from each PR component party should be entrusted with the urgent responsibility to formulate recommendations as to how the PR could learn from the recent PR crisis as another repeat of such a crisis would spell the end and demise of the PR coalition.

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