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Mar 13, 2008

DAP will be attending the swearing-in

More on DAP and Perak

The latest news is that the Perak DAP assemblymen will be attending the swearing-in ceremony in defiance of Lim Kit Siang. While this is more positive, I fear that much of the damage has already been done. It will take quite a bit of work to patch up the holes created in the new coalition.

Some say LKS and DAP were put in an impossible situation. If they had accepted the PAS MB, many non-Muslim voters would be outraged. Not a surprising thought given that MCA is already fueling the fires. On the other hand, outright rejection of Nizar Jamaluddin (the new MB) has also angered a large section of their voters and thrown the future and status of the Perak government into doubt. Either way, they'll alienate a significant number of voters.

But is this really so? Is there no other alternative? On the contrary, I think there was a 3rd option. What DAP should have done is to stand by Nizar, accept the Sultan's decision and attempt to explain to objecting voters why this has to be so. There are many good reasons why Nizar was selected, no few of them pragmatic ones. Like it or not, politics is less about idealism (though I fail to see how DAP's Malaysian Malaysia ideals are advanced by this stance) and more about pragmatism. No doubt, some voters will still remain angry and turn away from DAP and BR. But the overall result would have been much more positive.

All things being said, I think PAS has handled this difficult situation rather well. To quote from The Star:
PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said he was quite disappointed that things were not going as smoothly as they should have.

“We are trying to sort this out again to save the Opposition government,” he said.

“But obviously the state DAP had not checked with the national DAP,” he added.


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