So Bayan Baru MP Zahrain has quit PKR. All I can say it’s no sad loss for the party – and instead it’s a blessing in disguise for Pakatan.
Quite a few Penangites are familiar with Zahrain and his Penang Port background, apart from the current controversy surrounding the golf club tender.
How did he get selected as an election candidate in the first place? Pity the voters of Bayan Baru who opted for change.
According to a well-placed PKR source, Zahrain, who is (was?) an old friend of Anwar’s, was likely to face punishment – probably suspension or the sack – by the PKR disciplinary committee, which was due to deliver its decision next week. And he would have seen the writing on the wall. “We are not afraid of losing people who do not share our vision or principles,” said the source.
Indeed, more MPs should quit the Pakatan if they are not committed to the reform agenda: the struggle for human rights, socio-economic and environmental justice, and a more inclusive, participatory, people-centred government that promotes democracy at all levels.
The last thing Pakatan should be doing is co-opting BN-types who are not committed to a more just and inclusive vision of Malaysia.
And it’s not just the BN types. I dare say there are others within Pakatan ranks who are just as uncommitted to this sustainable, alternative vision of Malaysia. Instead, they could be more beholden to other interests – personal, corporate or communal, for instance – rather than the people’s. It is only when they are elected or in power that we discover whose interests they are really upholding. But by then it would too late for the voters. These folks should do Pakatan supporters a favour and quit now.
That may not leave many left behind in Pakatan! But wouldn’t that be preferable to having to constantly worry about who is going to defect next and betray the voters’ choice of party?
The last thing Pakatan needs is for more BN-types to defect to its fold or to stand as Pakatan candidates in elections. Instead, Pakatan should encourage more of its members – including elected reps and leaders – who do not share its vision to leave the fold. Voters can then show them what they think of them at the next elections.