17 August, 2010

Opposition political camp in predicament ?

Pakatan Rakyat (PR), is dragged into another predicament when its leader, Anwar Ibrahim, failed in his bid to strike out the sodomy trial against him.

Anwar, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and current opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament, is deemed the most appropriate prime minister candidate should the alliance win the next general election.

Failing in his attempt to get the Kuala Lumpur High Court to dismiss the case means that Anwar has to inevitably face the tedious legal proceedings that will divert his focus and energy from managing the PR, or the People's Alliance.

The PR is formed by three parties, namely the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the People's Justice Party (PKR) where Anwar is the adviser, and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) after the last general election in 2008.

The March general election has resulted in the Barisan Nasional (BN), the current ruling coalition of the Malaysian government, losing two-thirds majority in the Malaysian Parliament.

Four other states also fell into the hands of the PR during the election, besides the Kelantan State that has been run by an opposition party since 1990.

In fact, this is the first time the BN suffers from massive defeat after the country gained independence in 1957.

However, the PR, lacking experience of running a government, is perceived as a fragmented and lose alliance where its component parties share no common ideologies.

Even in a single party, there are different camps targeting the seat of the state government chief.

While Anwar is still able to bring all party members together and suppress those who have tried to sabotage, his absence in the party will definitely create turbulence.

The DAP, dominated by Chinese Malaysian, never agrees with the PAS' ultimate goal of creating an Islamic State.

The PKR, whose adviser is Anwar, is then the most suitable party to coordinate the progress and struggle of the PR, given the fact that it has a better mixture of three main races in the country.

As Anwar once served as the "number two" person in the Malaysian government, no other leader in the PR is as convincing as Anwar in terms of leadership.

Obviously, without Anwar, the PR will only turn looser, and toppling the BN government will mean much more difficult to the opposition alliance.

Meanwhile, high ranking leaders including Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have accused Anwar of garnering much support from abroad, particularly the United States.

As a result, Anwar is even dubbed the agent of a strong western power suspected to have provided financial aid to him.

However, no matter how much support he receives from overseas, Anwar will still fail to change the country's political landscape as the Malaysian government has openly remarked that it would not bow to external pressures.

The Malaysian government's stand has clearly shown that any external forces will not help free Anwar, and the later will still have to undergo the legal process in the country.

To date, political leaders from the United States and Australia have voiced their concerns over the trials against Anwar.

But their statements have sparked anger among the Malaysian public as the later see this as interference in Malaysia's internal affairs.

From Anwar's view point, winning the case is not merely about clearing his name, but also has close link with the political scenario of Malaysia.

While many politics observers have predicted that an early general election may be called by the end of 2011, it is doubted if Anwar can initiate feasible measures in the next year to reverse the underdog situation confronting the PR.

- Xinhua News Agency

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