The Menteri Besar (MB) crisis in Selangor has been dragging on unnecessarily for some months now and has disappointed and frustrated Malaysians with Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan).
The MB’s position is a party matter and the coalition partners should have the wisdom to recognise it as such.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) should have been allowed to sort out their internal problems without any interference from its coalition partners. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
PAS’ insistence that Khalid Ibrahim be retained has been the spanner in the works for PKR. If the nominating party had lost confidence in its own candidate, the sensible thing to do was for the party responsible to nominate a replacement. It is their right.
PAS refusing to respect this simple thread of logic has disappointed many Malaysians because the Islamic party’s firm refusal to acknowledge Khalid’s chosen replacement has prolonged an already precarious situation in Selangor.
PAS’ stand is that Khalid has not been convicted of any wrong-doing and therefore should continue as MB of Selangor. Granted, this is a fair stand to take.
However have the severe repercussions and dire consequence resulting from this position been worth the effort?
If a motion of no confidence is moved in the State Assembly, how would PAS vote? Having already expressed support for Khalid, PAS will have to vote against the motion. That is understandable.
However it would also mean that PAS will be voting with Umno against its own coalition partners. The party will be seen as cooperating with Umno and acting in collusion with a former sworn enemy.
Apart from that, what would the outcome of such a voting option be?
The DAP and Keadilan will have a combined strength of 28 votes against the combined votes of PAS, Umno and Khalid, which is also 28 votes!
Both sides will be tied. This is when horse-trading and possible bribery will most likely take place.
This situation is reminiscent of the Perak crisis where many frogs leapt shamelessly, thus betraying the voters of Perak by abandoning the party responsible for their victory.
In the case of Selangor, all that Umno needs to do is entice two or more Assembly members from Pakatan’s side, and lo and behold, you will have Umno forming the next Selangor government with PAS.
For PAS, doing something underhanded like this is unpalatable, considering that the party has consistently preached about justice and morality while condemning corruption of any kind.
Umno can only form the next government by ignoring the principles of justice and democracy and by inducing others to jump ship in order to make the much-needed numbers for a win.
Would PAS want to be part of this unsavoury manipulation to topple a duly elected Pakatan government?
It is likely Umno will go to whatever lengths it must, to recapture power and govern Selangor once again. Will PAS go along with this unscrupulous, undemocratic effort?
If it does, PAS will be tainted forever and will not be able to speak with any authority in the future on issues concerning ethics, justice, democracy, fairness and morality.
PAS will now forever be remembered as a party that joined forces with Umno to frustrate the voters of Selangor.
This would be a terrible betrayal!
Selangorians will forever remember the painful, immortal words of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s play: “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning, Even you, Brutus?)
PAS, hopefully, will remember the words of William Blake: “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
P Ramakrishnan is executive committee member and former president of Aliran.