Is this Umno’s knockout punch for Pakatan Rakyat? But then Pakatan Rakyat is already lying sprawled on the canvas, after it “ceased to exist” yesterday. So is this a blow after the bell has rung and the towel thrown in?
The private member’s bill towards hudud laws is listed as the last item in the Order Paper, according to an MP in a text message from Parliament at 11.20am. He feels it is unlikely to be debated though.
“Theoretically, the government could vacate the rest of the Bills ahead of Hadi’s and move his up. But very unlikely.”
So is this just a wayang?
Meanwhile, what do you think of Nazir Razak’s reported plan for a new party? (Nazir has since clarified he is setting up an NGO to advocate moderation.)
While some may welcome a more moderate approach to politics, we should be wary of the top 1 per cent and those pursuing the corporate agenda stepping forward to ‘hijack’ the movement for real change during the current realignment of politcal forces.
PKR for its part held its political bureau meeting last night but did not reveal the outcome to waiting journalists. It is possible that the party will make an announcement later today, after consultation with party leaders.
We are also watching to see what the Pas ‘progressives’ have got up their sleeve. The 18 ousted Pas leaders are mulling over a new platform, either by setting up a new party – perhaps an Islamic democrats party? – or an NGO, aligned with PKR and DAP.
Pakatan may be flat on the canvas, a white towel covering it, but the way things are shaping up, we could well see a new coalition emerging: Pakatan v2.0.
Many are also watching Razaleigh’s next move as some have speculated that he could turn out to be an interim leader in whatever realignment that takes place.
Some analysts are seeing the current realignment of political forces as the drawing of a line in the sand between liberal, ‘moderate’ Malaysians on the one side and conservative, nationalistic right wing forces in Malaysian society on the other.
Let there be no doubt where we stand: for a progressive, democratic Malaysia that upholds international human rights standards and empowers ordinary people.
In the midst of all this realignment, concerned people must insist to the political parties that people-centred policies should be their priority:
- the abolition of the regressive GST
- the introduction of a more progressive tax system
- improvements to the conditions for workers and unions, including raising the minimum wage
- really affordable housing (not RM400,000 ‘affordable’ housing)
- universal quality health care in the public health care system
- radical improvements to education in government schools and public universities
- a revamp of the judiciary, MACC and Election Commission
- the repeal of all oppressive laws and
- the protection of the ecology.
That will do nicely for starters. Under no circumstances should the people’s movement for change be hijacked by anyone or any party, existing or new.