A storm is blowing over Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor and the mainstream media are going to town over it.
One of the issues that was bound to crop up sooner or later revolves around the Pakatan Rakyat leaders’ relationship with the the business community including developers. PR representatives need to keep the business community at arm’s length to protect the interests of the public. It cannot always be a “win-win” situation. Sometimes, PR leaders have to choose whose interests they want to protect and uphold – vested business interests or the people’s interests (e.g. workers’ rights, public safety and environmental protection). For instance, PR leaders need to respond decisively to the people’s demands for a ban on all steep hill-slope development.
The other issue is whether CAT is really being put into practice – or is it just a slogan? For instance, why haven’t Pakatan leaders declared their assets publicly? Pakatan reps were elected to power in five states because people felt they would be different from the BN folks. The non-declaration of assets so far is a major letdown.
I made a quick call to economist Charles Santiago, the DAP MP for Klang and one of the more principled politicians in Pakatan, to find out what was going on with the move of the main bus station to Klang Sentral, about 15 minutes away.
He explained that there had been public protests and opposition to the move to Klang Sentral. In view of this, all he was asking for was for the concession agreement between the Klang Municipal Council and the developer to be made public and for a public inquiry to be held before a final decision was made. Sounds reasonable to me.
Pakatan had better resolve this quickly, but I suspect this is just a symptom of a much deeper problem that is bound to manifest itself in different ways and on other occasions.