Khamis, 15 Oktober 2009

Pasca Bagan Pinang: Komentar "Over to You Zaid"

"Over to You Zaid"

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Four days before Nomination Day, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim ‘disappeared’. And he was not due to ‘resurface’ until 11 October 2009, Polling Day in Bagan Pinang. I am not, however, at liberty to reveal what his mission was. This would of course be revealed in due time.

“Should you not be in Bagan Pinang?” asked my wife, Marina. “You should be giving ceramahs and campaigning in the by-election.”

Ceramahs are not going to help us win this by-election,” replied Zaid. “It will take more than that.”

“The Chinese betting syndicate has predicted a 1,500 majority for Umno,” I told Zaid. “But the Indians tell me it is going to be the other way around.”

“Both are wrong,” he replied.

“You mean the majority is going to be narrower?”

“No, higher.”

“Oh. And who will win?”

“Umno, of course.”

“Can’t Pakatan Rakyat reduce the majority from the last election?”

“The majority is going to be double the last election. Expect a surprise. Pakatan Rakyat is going to get massacred in Bagan Pinang.”

My wife and I remained silent. It was certainly something that needs time to absorb.

“Double? You mean more than 4,000 votes?”

“Maybe even worse than that. Umno will field Isa. They have no choice. And Isa can win even if he stands as an independent candidate. So it will be more an Isa win rather than an Umno win. But Umno can still win even without Isa, unless there is an internal sabotage by Umno people. So with Isa the win is going to be even greater.”


That was all I could ask at that point.

“Why do you think Umno is going to win big?”

And Zaid went through the reasons as to why he feels Pakatan Rakyat is going to be taught a lesson this time around. What he had to say was actually not a far departure from what I too have been saying in the many articles I have written since the March 2008 general election. So I would merely be repeating what has already been said and we would be covering the same old ground. Suffice to say the problem with Pakatan Rakyat is a leadership problem, plus much more.

Pakatan Rakyat has a serious structural flaw. It still thinks and acts as if it is the opposition. No doubt it is the opposition in parliament and some of the states. But even in the states that it is already the government it still thinks and acts like the opposition.

Pakatan Rakyat has not yet come to grips with the fact that it is the government in some states, and key states at that. It can no longer speak as if it is still the opposition. It has to demonstrate that it is a government, and a better government to boot.

Pakatan Rakyat has not come to realisation that it is a government-in-waiting. And as a government-in-waiting it has to convince the people what it can do if and when it forms the federal government. When it was campaigning as the opposition it is well and fine to harp on the failings and shortcomings of the government. But now that it is already the government it is no longer enough to continue harping about all the mistakes and errors of the previous Barisan Nasional government.

Barisan Nasional is no longer the government. You are. People do not want to hear about what the previous government did. After all, the people have already kicked out the previous government because of what it did. People do not even want to hear about what you can do. Talk is cheap. People want to see what you are doing. And they have not seen it yet.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, they would say in the US. What you say in ceramahs during by-elections is not what gives the voters confidence. The fact that the majority of the people who attend ceramahs are outsiders who are not even registered to vote in that constituency makes it worse. I said this way back in 1999 in my article in Harakah. Crowds do not translate to votes, in particular if the crowd that you attract at your ceramahs will not be voting there come Polling Day.

Unfortunately, it was not Pakatan Rakyat but PAS that contested yesterday’s by-election in Bagan Pinang. The voters are not prepared to accept PAS. Even if the candidate had been from PKR the voters would have rejected him or her, contrary to what many are saying that PKR would have stood a better chance than PAS.

Yes, the people are not interested in voting for PAS, PKR or DAP. They want to vote for Pakatan Rakyat. But Pakatan Rakyat was 'absent' in Bagan Pinang. So the people decided to vote for Barisan Nasional instead.

It is not about Barisan Nasional manipulating the postal votes. After all, how many postal votes were there? Even if 30% of the postal votes had gone to PAS like in the previous elections Barisan Nasional would still have won with a handsome majority.

It is also not about race. We can’t lament that the Malays are stupid for voting for a corrupted candidate. We also can’t blame the Indians and Chinese for swinging back to Barisan Nasional. It was across the board. PAS lost everywhere. It did not win a single UPU (unit peti undi or polling station). It lost all 18 UPUs. And its share of postal votes, which had traditionally been at least 30%, dropped drastically, which compounded the problem.

The opposition says that the young people did not come out to vote. Umno says it managed to win the votes of the young people. But there was a more than 80% voter turnout, a very high turnout indeed. So certainly many did come out to vote.

But never mind. The by-election is over and the people have spoken. It may actually be good that Pakatan Rakyat lost this by-election, and quite badly too. If they had won then they would remain complacent. They would never listen to reason. Better they lose now, in a by-election, when there is still time to do something about it, rather than they lose later, in the next general election, when it will be too late to do anything.

PKR, DAP and PAS must be buried, and buried deep. But from the ashes of PKR, DAP and PAS must arise Pakatan Rakyat, the legendary phoenix rising from the ashes. The next election, whether it be another by-election or the next general election, must no longer be about PKR, DAP or PAS. It has to be about Pakatan Rakyat.

And stop talking. As Zaid said, ceramahs will get us nowhere. It is not going to help us win elections. What will would be the confidence that the voters place in Pakatan Rakyat as a credible alternative to Barisan Nasional.

This, Pakatan Rakyat is unable to do. Hell, there is not even a Pakatan Rakyat to speak about in the true sense of the word.

Sad as it may be, Zaid was right. And he said all this even before Nomination Day on 3 October 2009 -- days before we even knew whom the candidates were going to be. The fact that what Zaid said was no different from what I myself had been saying for some time now appears to have escaped me. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part. Maybe I was hoping that Zaid would be wrong and that the opposition would continue with its winning streak. Reality certainly eluded me over those ten days. Today, I have to grudgingly admit that Zaid was right and that I was delusional about the opposition being able to win the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Zaid, I concede defeat. It is over to you now. May you succeed in convincing the Pakatan Rakyat leaders that this is the beginning of the end unless they agree to address the core issues about what is fundamentally wrong with the so-called opposition coalition.

Most importantly, can you please convince PKR, DAP and PAS that the opposition coalition does not really exist other than in name only. And it will never exist until PKR, DAP and PAS are prepared to set aside their party interests in the interest of the coalition. Thus far, Pakatan Rakyat has failed to convince the voters that it is able to work as a coalition.

Remember, the voters did not vote FOR Pakatan Rakyat in the last general election. It voted AGAINST Barisan Nasional. And there is a big difference here. The voters have no love for Pakatan Rakyat. They just harbour hate for Barisan Nasional. Building your foundation on common hate rather than love is very dicey. It is not that the people want you. It is just that they do not want the other.

How, then, do your explain the opposition wins in the many by-elections since March last year? Well, most of those seats were already opposition seats. Pakatan Rakyat was merely defending its own seat. Even Kuala Terengganu, which was an Umno seat, had changed hands many times -- from Umno to Semangat 46 to Umno to PAS to Umno, and, now, back to PAS, again. So, Kuala Terengganu can’t really be regarded as an Umno stronghold. But when the opposition tries to grab a seat in an Umno stronghold that is another story altogether. You can no longer apply your defence strategy. You have to now go into attack mode. And this is what Pakatan Rakyat does not know how to do.

I can go on and on. But what I would say would merely be repeating what I had already said so many times. So let me stop here by repeating: let’s bury PKR, DAP and PAS. And let us see emerging in its place a true Pakatan Rakyat.

But for a true Pakatan Rakyat to be born there must be sacrifices made, many sacrifices. What PKR, DAP and PAS want no longer matters. PKR, DAP and PAS have to forgo some of its wants. Needs must override wants. It is what Pakatan Rakyat has to do to convince the people that it is a true marriage born out of love that needs to prevail -- not a unity of hate, against Barisan Nasional.

Can PKR, DAP and PAS agree to this? If PKR, DAP and PAS are more important than Pakatan Rakyat then forget about the coalition and let each go their own way. Don’t lie to the voters that there is such a thing called a Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. Be honest with the people. Tell the people that you are offering them three separate and individual parties called PKR, DAP and PAS. And let the people decide if this is what they want. And if they do not then they will choose Barisan Nasional. Then, at least, as the Malays would say: puas hati.



Satu tulisan yang benar-benar telus daripada Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK). Saya percaya beliau merupakan penulis politik yang non-partisan dan ini yang menjadikan analisa beliau lebih tajam dan telus berbanding penulis politik yang datang daripada parti tertentu.

Seperti tulisan saya yang terdahulu, tiada jauh bezanya apa yang RPK bimbangi cumanya RPK menyentuh aspek permukaan, kesan daripada kelemahan Pakatan Rakyat, manakala saya melihat aspek falsafah permasalahan yang berputik daripada cengkaman faham modenisme dalam benak setiap pemikiran parti.

Saya hanya akan fokus terhadap PAS dalam komentar ini.

Kadang-kadang saya terfikir, apa beza gerakan Islam yang berpusatkan politik dengan gerakan Marxisme yang terbentuk sebagai respon terhadap cengkaman pada kaum pemodal (kapitalis)?

Dari segi falsafah dasar memang berbeda tetapi dari segi menterjemahkan perubahan yang diidamkan, kedua-duanya menampakkan ciri-ciri yang sama iaitu bersifat ad-hoc dan reaksi (reactionary).

Slogan, dan retorik menjadi lumrah dalam menjanjikan satu utopia yang belum tentu dapat diimaginasikan dalam minda, apatah lagi dalam menulis satu blueprint yang kemas.

Kejatuhan Tembok Berlin benar-benar menghancurkan hati para pendokong Marxisme. Pengalaman pahit sosialisme di Rusia menjadikan para intelektual Marxis serba keliru dengan 'kebenaran' dan 'keadilan' yang dijanjikan oleh Marxisme.

Biarpun hancur ditelan zaman, para intelektual Marxis telah beralih arah daripada menjanjikan retorik politik kehidupan utopia, kepada penghasilan kerja-kerja intelektual dalam memperkayakan korpus ilmu gaya hidup alternatif sebagai penyelesaiaan terhadap gaya hidup kapitalisme yang memukau.

Mereka tidak lagi menggunakan label dan bersifat romantisisme terhadap falsafah Marxisme sebaliknya mereka jadikan semangat zaman lampau sebagai teras perubahan masa depan melalui pemusatan kerja-kerja merangka penyelesaiaan masalah masakini. Maka lahirlah gerakan massa global yang datang dalam pelbagai bentuk dan rupa tapi semuanya memusatkan perjuangan terhadap penyelesaian isu fundamental masakini seperti masalah globalisasi, alam sekitar, hak asasi manusia, dan bermacam-macam lagi masalah kotemporari.

Sekali imbas seperti bersifat reaksi tetapi dengan menilai wacana yang dikembangkan secara mencapah melalui badan-badan bukan kerajaan (NGO), dan golongan akademia radikal, ternyata mereka telah berjaya berhadapan dengan permasalahan kontemporari dengan berkesan tanpa perlu melaungkan retorik utopianisme yang menjadi kebiasaan dalam ruang awam politik.

Contoh terbaik gerakan massa yang sarat dengan potensi ialah Sekolah Pemikiran Pulau Pinang di bawah kepimpinan S. M Idris dengan barisan NGO yang diasaskan beliau seperti Persatuan Pengguna Pualau Pinang (CAP), Citizen International (CI), Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), Third World Network (TWN) dan juga TERAS Pengupayaan Melayu (TERAS).

Saya tak perlu cerita panjang berkenaan sejarah dan kemampuan NGO-NGO ini kerana kalian kalau peka membaca surat untuk editor dalam akhbar tempatan pasti akan terlihat surat-surat daripada S.M Idris selaku Presiden buat kesemua NGO tersebut (kecuali TERAS yang dipimpin oleh anak didik beliau, Cikgu Azmi Abdul Hamid serta TWN sebagai koordinator) dalam membicarakan masalah kontemporari berserta dengan cadangan penyelesaiaan yang efektif.

Gerakan massa/akar umbi seperti yang dipimpin oleh S.M Idris ini cukup berpengaruh di luar Malaysia seperti Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth International, Rain Forest Action Network, Adbuster, Rocky Mountain Institute, Amnesty International, sekadar menamakan beberapa institusi dan gerakan yang telah banyak menyumbang kepada penambah baikkan aspek keadilan sosial buat masyarakat yang tertindas.

Lain pula dengan gerakan Islam modenis/reformis yang tumbuh daripada jalur dan pengaruh Ikhwan al-Muslimin seperti PAS. Pemusatan gerak kerja kepada aspek politik menjadikan PAS efisyen sebagai peserta aktif dalam sistem demokrasi tetapi sekadar menjadi pak turut semata-mata.

PAS, sama seperti parti-parti politik yang lain hanya berusaha keras untuk meraih undi melalui transaski retorik politik jatuh-menjatuhkan berbanding retorik politik yang berasaskan penyelesaiaan berupa bentuk idea dan dasar.

Sudah tentu media massa menggemari retorik politik murahan jatuh-menjatuhkan kerana ianya bersifat sensasi berbanding retorik politik yang bersifat ilmiah. Rakyat kita sudah terbiasa dan melihat ceramah politik sebagai candu perubahan yang bersifat superficial yang tidak mampu diterjemahkan ke dalam satu bentuk gagasan yang bersifat konsisten dan jelas untuk merangka perubahan yang diidamkan.

Aspek ini menjadi kabur dek kerana budaya ilmu itu tidak pernah wujud dalam ruang awam politik semasa di Malaysia yang akhirnya mempengaruhi parti-parti politik yang ada.

Teguran RPK ini sangat benar dari aspek sosialnya. Kemenangan tempoh hari hanyalah reaksi berbalik terhadap Barisan Nasional bukan sangat kerana kemampuan Pakatan Rakyat. Kita harus faham bahawa bilangan dan sokongan daripada ahli rasmi setiap parti tidak menggambarkan silent majority yang menjadi tulang belakang kepada perubahan senario politik semasa. Seperti kata RPK, bilangan yang hadir ceramah tidak semestinya mampu diterjemahkan kepada bilangan undi.

Rakyat semakin bijak dan kritis terhadap semua parti. PAS tidak boleh lagi memperdendangkan retorik politik yang berasaskan agama secara tegar TANPA sokongan daripada isi penyelesaiaan masalah yang menyeluruh seperti contoh mengundi parti ini dijanjikan syurga.

Logik sebegini belum tentu dapat memancing undi dek kerana ianya benar-benar bersifat retorik politik yang tidak menjanjikan perubahan hakiki dalam berhadapan dengan realiti semasa dan kadang kala dijadikan modal ejekan oleh puak UMNO terhadap kedangkalan PAS memahami potensi agama Islam sebagai kuasa perubahan yang benar-benar mampu melahirkan perubahan yang massa mahukan.

Rempah ratus yang ditaburkan oleh PAS ini menggambarkan ketidak sediaan PAS untuk memerintah di Kerajaan Pusat, biarpun para penyokong dan pendokong tegar PAS melihatnya mampu bergerak ke arah itu. Para pimpinan PAS dari golongan agamawan masih tidak mampu untuk membawa gagasan idea yang bersifat kenegaraan secara substantif seperti PKR dan DAP yang bagi saya sedikit sebanyak empunya kekuatan tersebut.

Golongan Erdogan dalam PAS pula mempunyai potensi yang besar untuk bergerak ke arah itu tetapi seperti yang dirisaukan oleh banyak pihak dalam PAS mereka ini kadang-kala cepat berkompromi dengan dasar perjuangan parti semata-mata untuk berdiri sama tinggi dan duduk sama rendah dengan rakan-rakan PKR dan DAP.

Kalau PAS benar-benar mampu islahkan kepimpinan dan ahli mereka dengan budaya ilmu yang benar-benar syumul lagi berisi, tidak mustahil PAS mampu menjadi satu gerakan massa dan politik yang berkesan.

PAS harus belajar daripada gerakan massa yang berpengalaman menangani masalah kontemporari secara efektif seperti yang ditampilkan oleh S.M Idris melalui jaringan NGO beliau dan terjemahkan ilmu yang dipelajari itu ke dalam konteks politik semasa dengan memperbanyakkan wacana yang kreatif dan kritis, bukan sinikal seperti yang sering kita lihat dalam ceramah politik ala sarkis.

Ini amat penting kerana RPK mencadangkan sesuatu yang mustahil sebagai penyelesaian kepada kemelut Pakatan Rakyat iaitu peleburan identiti dan manhaj perjuangan parti-parti komponen Pakatan Rakyat agar ianya dapat bangkit sebagai satu parti baru.

Bagi saya ianya tidak menjadi masalah jikalau Islam dijadikan asas penting kepada politik nilai dalam Pakatan Rakyat. Tapi apakah PKR dan DAP mampu menerima syarat ini?

Jangankan kerana ghairahkan kuasa, kompromi asasi seperti prinsip kita gadaikan.

Revolusi Iran jatuh ke tangan Imam Khomeini bukan kerana beliau itu Imam Khomeini tetapi kerana kerja-kerja asas telah dipersiapkan oleh intelektual massa seperi Ali Syariati, Murtada Mutahhari, etc. yang mampu menyaring dan mengintegrasikan kerangka perjuangan sosialisme yang mendapat tempat di hati orang muda ketika itu di Iran dan negara-negara Arab yang lain, ke dalam kerangka yang lebih besar iaitu Islam.

Islam mendapat upper hand dalam Revolusi Iran berbanding fahaman lain seperti sosialisme, hasil daripada kesungguhan pemimpin massa mereka menjadikan ilmu dan kefahaman sebagai asas kebangkitan bukan semata-mata emosi kebencian terhadap Shah Iran. Boleh baca karya-karya Ali Syariati kalau tak percaya dan lihat bagaiaman beliau menjawab persoalan-persoalan mendasar dan seterusnya meruntuhkan mitos fahaman asing yang semakin memukau anak-anak muda Iran.

PAS harus sedar yang kekalahan mereka tempoh hari pada zahirnya bersifat politik tetapi pada hakikatnya kekalahan PAS berpunca daripada ketempangan manhaj harakiyyah yang memandulkan budaya ilmu khususnya dalam pengtarbiayahan para kader PAS di universiti yang sudah tentu sedikit sebanyak menggambarkan masa depan PAS kelak yang terkena wabak faham modenisme secara tanpa sedar.

Rujukan lanjut berkenaan isu ini secara mendalam rujuk sini

2 ulasan:

kartini berkata...

Saya tak tahu nak kata apa. Saya setuju semuanya. Nanti mana tahu satu hari nanti kalau bro pula yang akan bertanding. Mana tahu lah kan. Saya pangkah bro. Confirm. Ahah.. :)

Rausyanfikir berkata...

Erk, tak tahu lagi. Setakat ni tak ada perancangan. Saya lebih efektif merencanakan program jangka panjang daripada politik massa. Syukran!