I was about to post a blog on stimulus packages, the inept delivery of even the modest RM7bn initial stimulus announced last year and how we can emulate some of what Singapore proposed in its Budget for 2009. But the turn of events in Perak makes this moot.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) is quite clearly still focused on politicking and seeking to wrest, by hook or by crook, what the people don't want it to have – the right to govern in 5 states in Malaysia. Rather than using its vast majority in Parliament – just 8 seats short of 2/3rds! - and all the resources it controls as Federal government to help Malaysia navigate this global economic storm, it is still politicking, nearly one year after the general elections.
Some would blame Anwar and PKR for starting this cross-over nonsense. I agree, and it is also the DAP stand, that individual cross-overs are unethical and a betrayal of the will of the people. In our political system, we vote for the party as well as the individual.
The mainstream media is trotting out comments by various “experts” justifying party-hopping. Their logic is it can be OK for MPs and assemblymen to hop because it is difficult to tell what exactly the people voted for – whether the individual or the party.
Against this argument, I have one simple question: Would these cross-over reps have been elected had they stood as independent candidates? Highly unlikely. Therefore, if they had truly lost faith in their respective parties, the honourable thing to do is to resign, join the new party and seek re-election again.
Right now one could be forgiven for casting aspersions on their motivations for hopping. We might be able to accept the hopping if they gave good, clear reasons why they chose to hop. What has changed in PKR and DAP between then and now to cause them to revisit their allegiances? Are they privy to bad practices that we, the rakyat, do not know about? In that case, it is incumbent upon them to bring these to light. But there have been no such statements.
Also, consider the willingness of BN to accept two assemblymen with pending corruption charges. What signal does this send?