Monday, July 14, 2008

The Role of a Loyal Opposition

Yes, the "no-confidence" motion was rejected. Malaysiakini has reported it at http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/86051. For a more technical explanation see Wee Choo Keong's description of procedural issues.
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"No confidence" motions in Parliament
Such motions are not unusual in any Parliament. Although the likelihood of success is slim particularly with a fairly disciplined coalition like BN, which is replete with bovine MPs, such motions are tabled by any Opposition to highlight the shortcomings of the sitting Prime Minister.
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The role of a loyal Opposition
The point of this blog entry is to highlight the role of a loyal Opposition. Never before, in Malaysia's political history has there ever been an Opposition numbering 82. Never before, has the government party, be it the Alliance or the Barisan Nasional, been less than 2/3rds dominant.
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While many M'sians have been cheered by this watershed event, the inroad made by Pakatan Rakyat come with conditions attached by the rakyat.
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In the first decade of Merdeka, the likes of Lee Kuan Yew (Yes! LKY himself), Lim Chong Eu, Tan Chee Khoon, the Seenivasagam brothers and so on - an honourable roll call - were at pains to project themselves as a "loyal Opposition" in Parliamentary debates.
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What is a "loyal Opposition"?
This blogger takes the view that a "loyal Opposition" is one that upholds the Federal Constitution; one that bows with bended knee to the M'sian flag; one that unashamedly displays absolute patriotism to the multiracial, multicultural and multifaith nation that M'sia is.
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What it entails, at its most fundamental form, is the protection of the rights of ALL M'sians.
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In this case, I am highlighting the right of ALL M'sians to a robust economy and, a right to a decent livelihood and, way of life.
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The challenges to the M'sian economy
Although, the de facto leader of PKR and Pakatan, Anwar Ibrahim has spoken of a New Economic Agenda the Devil, as we know, is in the details. He has highlighted that M'sia's Gini coefficient has deteriorated and that M'sia's economy must be non-discriminatory on ethnicity but discriminatory on income.
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But since then, M'sians have been treated to dribs and drabs of ad hoc commentary on specific economic issues as they arise. Such an approach does not sit well with many M'sians. Such an approach may be symptomatic of the larger underlying concern that the patchwork quilt known as Pakatan Rakyat has to step up to its responsibilities as a loyal Opposition; loyal to ALL M'sians.
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The need for a Shadow Cabinet
This blog submits that Pakatan Rakyat's loyalty can only be manifested in the form of a Shadow Cabinet. The salutary effect of a Shadow Cabinet is that it sends a clear message to ALL M'sians that PR has gotten its act together.
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Another benefit, more impactful to M'sians, is that designated PR MPs, as Shadow Ministers with specific portfolios that match each Ministerial portfolio, will have the responsibility to monitor and audit each Ministry. This will engender a structured political discourse that will allow M'sians to measure the BN with PR.
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Only then can PR claim to truly be a GOVERNMENT-IN-WAITING.
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The situation is urgent
This blog makes the call for the formation of a Shadow Cabinet because the external global economic turmoil has found its way to our shores already. The time is nigh for a concerted bi-partisan approach to examine and propose economic strategies for the M'sian economy to deal with inflation (both asset inflation and consumer price inflation) exemplified by rising prices of commodities and food and, the fiscal policies to be put in place to augment or adjust the 9MP gameplan.
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While M'sians are fully aware that both BN and PR are playing gamesmanship and brinksmanship in the political arena, M'sians desire an exhibition of true maturity by politicians from both sides of the Parliamentary aisle in the matter of M'sia's economic challenges.
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The question that this blog puts to PR is, Are you ready to be a loyal Opposition?

2 comments:

Patricia said...

Spot on, CT.

A shadow cabinet is indeed what the BR need to do. Right now? All they seem to be doing is shadow boxing!

Rather than all this my-SD-versus-your-SD, can they all not get on with the governing of this country? I am quite tired of all the drama. Meanwhile: Who's running the country?

ben said...

Correct,correct,correct ! Show me your policies. It's already 126days and counting, why are you still pussyfooting ?