AUG 21 — The past week has seen morality overdrive, for instance the move to discourage public representation of homosexuals, raids at a known gay spot, Blue Boy, and defending rights of polygamy regardless of age.
I don’t want to have a debate about those issues. Let’s say, there are enough supporters on either side of the aisle.
I want to talk about politics and the idea of representation.
Any government must represent all its people and ensure they get the benefits and access within the system.
But when they push for new policies or policy reform, they do it for their side, their ideology (which is debatable here) and their voters. Indeed it is expected the bulk of their supporters, to a lesser degree the fence sitters who backed them this time, associate with the politics of the coalition in power.
This is to posit, a plain point, perhaps Pakatan Harapan should worry less about the people who did not vote for them, and attempt more to connect with the politics of people who did vote for them?
This is not strange, nor new. To bat for the team which picked you.
All around the world
Any Democrat president, house of representatives or senate, would push for more state run benefits for the unemployed, more healthcare and backing unions.
If the Republicans were in charge, they’d be storming for tax cuts, reductionist governments and more money for the military.
So would the Australian Labor Party, the British Conservatives and the Indian Congress, they’d champion the issues of their voters.
There is queer occurrence in Malaysia, in which the tone and language of the winners appears to be longing for the people who did not vote for them, and at times acting in order to appease those who ticked the other guys, even at the expense of their own constituency.
At this juncture, it can be suggested, Pakatan has limited control of social conservatives, they voted the other way, by large.
Let’s look at the beacon of “values” inside Pakatan, Amanah.
They snagged a total of two parliamentary seats from Perlis, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. Tellingly zero from the last two.
These are their heartland, where they faltered. All those state governments are under PAS or BN except for a hairbreath, Kedah.
In a specific view, Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah, who won twice as PAS candidate in Kuala Terengganu, a 10,000 plus majority in 2013, came a distant third in GE14. His 15380 was less than 15% of the total votes, while PAS won with 42,988 with BN a handsome 28,215.
Wake up, smell the roses
This again, is not an invite for people debate are we there yet or not on social issues, but to lay down what matters more to Pakatan voters.
Even Amanah would have smelt the napalm on who backed them to power.
While Amanah leads the moral charge for social conservatives, it may want to look over its shoulder and consider the five seats — which is almost half their seats — in Selangor.
They might want to think what do these people in Kota Raja, Sepang and my Hulu Langat want, rather than what the voters in Pasir Putih and Marang prioritise.
They have to sit down and ask themselves, where is their constituency.
From the Islamic affairs minister, they may want more attention to fair arbitration in faith related issues, and from the Federal Territories minister, a bit democracy and transparency on how Kuala Lumpur City Hall operates. More traffic enforcement on Bukit Bintang, and ways to grow the entertainment industry, rather than bust clubs in quiet corners.
Especially because they are ministers from Amanah.
It is an awkward prioritisation.
We have not had a government change before, but perhaps Pakatan should take a leaf from BN.
Not the over-zealousness of cutting access to opposition politicians and their parliamentary constituencies, but in being clear on who voted them in.
It is really bizarre situation where so many Pakatan politicians spend much of their day mulling on how to please the BN/PAS voters. Perhaps they are spooked further by the Merdeka Center 100 Day report.
They must realise about their opponents, first, they love their peeps, and hate you.
Push for the issues of the voters behind you, and there is a chance they’d be even happier and continue to vote you.
Don’t be so infatuated on love lost and forget the love won.
Love the fans, and see through their vision for Malaysia, as we did in Selangor and Penang over ten years prior.
See how well that worked. Have more faith in #MalaysiaBaru and less fear for the values shadows.