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Dzulkefly: People’s Alliance can learn to stay ‘lucky’

October 22, 2008

After 1 month: Debra Chong talks to Pas research centre chief Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad

(The Malaysian Insider) – Many people want to believe that race-based politics no longer applies to 21st-century Malaysia. The people were elated beyond belief when their wishes came true on March 8.

But 1 month later, even the most optimistic voter cannot deny there are some political veterans, even among the Pakatan Rakyat, who still insist on playing the “race” card when it is clear it no longer holds currency. Or does it still?

Like the 1 sen coin, the race factor needs to be dealt with before anyone can move on. Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, head of PAS research centre, offers his views on this crucial matter.

Q: What are your views on Pakatan Rakyat? Were the results a passing fancy, a flash in the pan, a mere coincidence?

DA: It has always been my conviction that given the plural demography and mixed ethnic composition of the Malaysian electorate, the opposition parties could only pose a serious and meaningful challenge to the hegemonic and absolute control of power by the BN through a People Pact/Alliance or Front, we now call Pakatan Rakyat.

Thank God, sanity, tact and wisdom have finally prevailed among our leadesrship.

The BN’s media would like you to believe that this result was just a “one-off” or be even coincidental or fluke. We were “lucky”. Perhaps it’s true but the Opposition should now understand how to be continuously “lucky” and winning the game each time.

There are specific dynamics and parameters that dictated the event. No one should be in denial of that. Therefore the Pakatan Rakyat should ensure that all these factors should work in our favour everytime.

 Q: Can Malaysians now actually talk openly about moving beyond racial barriers in today’s political climate?

DA: Yes, indeed this is one of the obvious outcomes of this election. The younger voters and those in the “middle-ground-class” and more informed and “enlightened” segments of the electorate, are already in that kind of mindset.

They are getting less partisan and already set to debunk race-based politic. Looks like they are only “partisan” to the politics of justice and good governance and visibly against parochialism and narrow-mindedness.

Q: How do you see Pas working with DAP, considering the differing idealogies?

DA: PAS and DAP not only have different ideological commitments but perhaps one that are diametrically opposed, one entrenched in Islam and the latter in secularism.

But again, this is the beauty of democracy which allows you to differ and dissent democratically yet not necessarily destructive and inimical to one another.

Given the challenges and crisis confronting the nation and the broader common goals and targets that both PAS and DAP would want to achieve and realise, both have to size up to the tasks and place the nation and rakyat beyond partisan and ideological interests.

Incidentally, there are more common grounds to bring us together if we remain focus on achieving the shared vision of justice and good governance.

Q: Please share your views on Pas’s relationship with PKR.

DA: PAS has always had good working relationship with PKR. There were difficult times but we were able to surmount these with tact and trust.

I forsee we will enhance our relationship, now that we have state governments to run and manage and together with DAP in our Pakatan Rakyat. The onus is on all of us to make the relationship work. The mainstream media is always so willing to cause dissension and discord in our ranks.

Q: Will the coalition hold?

DA: Yes, if we are relentless and resolute on holding it together. We have been mandated by the rakyat and they gave us 5 states and 82 parliamentary seats. Every time we want to call the coalition off, look into the eyes of the rakyat, especially the marginalised and the downtrodden section of the rakyat, how they have put their hope on us and could we ever disappoint them? You ask yourselves.

Q: Can a 2-party government system work?

DA: Already there have been calls and clamours for BN to be a single party. Now the BA (Barisan Alternatif) will be evolving and maturing itself into a Pakatan Rakyat with DAP coming on board. Yes, I do think we are ready for a 2-party government system.

Q: How?

DA: On the mechanics of it, we need to discourse and brainstorm into it more seriously only democracy. The devil is always in the details. But frankly, I think it looks like we are dictated by the changing landscape and topography and soon will feel that it is rather a necessity dictated by our needs and wants.

Our democracy is flexible enough to accommodate for these changes and dynamics. Gone are days when the rakyat are only beholden to the Umno/BN, as if they are the be-all and end-all of power and provider. It is now the rakyat taking charge. They are the real boss and employer.

The 2-party system will work in the favour of the rakyat and the “check-and-balance” of democracy will work in the rakyat’s favour while the “government of the day” will truly serve the interest of the rakyat and the nation.

What a dream for a new Malaysia and renewed nationhood!

Comments (14)<!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–>Add Comment


written by shamadz72, April 08, 2008 22:08:24

See the wisdom of my elected MP in Kuala Selangor <!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–>smilies/smiley.gif

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written by Spear Bing, April 08, 2008 22:11:17

Dear Dr. Zul,

Always enjoy your discourses and articles for their objective rationality.Please continue to constantly brainstorm, discuss, elicit, exchange views and communicate with the rest of your political partners i.e. PKR & DAP in order to search for common grounds and reduce the psycholigical animosity or tension over differences in political idealogies.

Sybas and continue to scale new heights.

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Votes: +57


written by cubi76, April 08, 2008 22:26:15

Dear Dr Zul,
Please work together with DAP in Pakatan for the better Malaysia.
Both of you, please show honesty and sincerity in partnership.

Remember Pakatan’s common goals. National Interests come before Racial and Religion Interests.

Dont waste tens of votes my family gave to your party.

Malaysia for Malaysians!

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Votes: +45


written by Uncorruptible, April 08, 2008 22:33:54

Listen to this man !!! Ronnie Liu was right, there is nothing to fear from PAS. Of course, some Pas leaders are not so tactful or in grips with reality. Reality is, you believe in religion as a human right, let us never impose our religion on others. Thus the people spoke. Thus it must be.

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written by temenggong, April 08, 2008 23:00:25

Dzul,

Good job. Please go visit a temple. You know the whole nation is watching you/Pas.

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Votes: +16


written by POPEYE, April 08, 2008 23:02:21

Thank god there is indeed intellectual development in Kelantan under PAS eventhough the BN would like us to think otherwise. Well done Nik Aziz.

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Votes: +27


written by Bill Gates, April 08, 2008 23:04:28

Pas Islamic ideology is not an issue. They are not body snatchers and I don’t think hudud is a problem either.

DAP should be concern that the chinese are not deprived of eating pork or rearing pigs. They should also have less worry that PAS will go on nationwide drive to convert everyone to Muslim.

DAP must not think that PAS = Taliban.

People have thrown out BN because UMNO in BN is worse than Taliban.

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Votes: +29


written by Ben, April 08, 2008 23:48:37

You may not be Barack Obama but you certainly can hold your own as a seasoned statesman. Your responses is on the money and at this rate we remain confident that PR will takeover the leadership of Malaysia as the next government, God willing. Remember we are counting on you, as your employer. <!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–>smilies/grin.gif

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Votes: +11


written by Power5492, April 08, 2008 23:50:15

Dear Dr,
Great to hear PAS research head to be so liberal and practical in his approach.
You said “The devil is always in the details” I bag to differ it should be “GOD is always in the details” and god would guide you and PR to the promised land called MALAYSIA for all Malaysian.<!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–>smilies/grin.gif

POWER

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written by adzera, April 09, 2008 00:07:57

Now that’s what being ‘politically matured’ is all about….remove all racial and religious barriers. Seek common ground to serve the rakyat as opposed to the times of bn rule that employs ancient scare tactics and outdated racial based ideologies. I really hope that PR coallition works for the sake of the country and stay away from making petty statements that be exploited by the bn ruled media. Now lets move on with our agenda, leave umno/mca/mic/gerakan etc doing what they do best…back-stabbing, screwing each other, robbing the country, fighting for power etc

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written by MsLim, April 09, 2008 12:41:07

I am stressing again. PR MUST TAKE CONTROL THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We cannot afford to wait for next general election i.e.4 to 5 years. UMNOputras will keep on stealing (that’s why they need 2/3 majority – to make stealing easier) by then petroleum will be depleted. Malaysia will go bankrupt

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written by joeawk, April 09, 2008 14:03:27

Unity in diversity. Needs and not desires will determine the day.

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written by tehewe, April 10, 2008 12:50:55

Yes Dr Dzurl, governed by the people and for the people and you can be sure that BN may not be around before the 13th GE.

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written by bn haramjadah, April 12, 2008 18:15:23

DR. Dzul. IF pakatan can walk the talk than Malaysia faces a very bright future, but if petty foolish tantrums rule the day than all the rakyats will and hopes for justice will be dashed. This is something the pakatan people need to hear and to hear clearly, majority of the rakyat what they want from you is a level playing field, THEY ARE NOT LOOKING FOR CONTRACTS AND HANDOUTS, YES HELP THE POOR, YES HELP THEM GET OUT OF THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF POVERTY, we Malaysians are a hard working lot, given the chance we will do 2-3 shifts to earn extra for the family, what pisses us off is the fact that there are people who are getting rich through corrupt practices and without working for it, we dont need palaces, we dont need mercedes, what we want is the ability to go to sleep at night feeling stress free with worries on how we are going to feed the family tomorrow. to the Pakatan I say carry on the good job. I think the time has come for the pakatan to start a poverty fund, a shelter. TO M.B KHALID, IF THE DBKL WITHOUT RHYME AND REASON HAS TAKEN THEIR REVENGE BY DEMOLISHING THE SQUATER HOUSES in PANTAI DALAM, than the time has come for tit for tat, seize THE ZAKARIA PALACE AND CONVERT IT INTO A SHELTER. IF THE BN GOVT. ACTS LIKE DOGS, THAN TREAT THEM LIKE SUCH, THERE ARE A LOT OF UMNO PROPERTIES BUILT UNDER DUBIOUS shadows, seize them, we the rakyat don’t give a fork whether the family is under moaning under the suicide of zakaria, FILE AN INJUNCTION TO SEIZE THE PROPERTY, NO MORE MERCY, FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. we the rakyat are with you.

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