See What Barisan Nasional Gotta Say?
DEC 12 — There are times when silence is golden, and there are times when it’s just yellow and points to disease.
And from Pakatan Rakyat’s resounding silence at its news conference earlier yesterday, it looks to be the latter case — strep throat perhaps, and worsening.
Like strep sufferers, the leaders of the three-party pact seem to have found it too painful to talk about the big picture issues.
Such as the state of making Malaysia an Islamic state — yes/ no; are we one already?
Do they agree to choose a non-Malay to be their first deputy prime minister — Lim Kit Siang’s name has been raised repeatedly — without requiring him to convert to Islam first?
How about laying down its strategy to create more high-paying jobs so skilled citizens will want to stay and others will want to become skilled citizens to enjoy the benefits — and by the way, what are the benefits?
Or even something as basic as how to keep their members from selling out their souls to the other side before the next general election, so they can actually take over Putrajaya and carry out their grand masterplan to provide justice for all. And is that justice going to be tempered with compassion and mercy because God/ Allah knows nobody has mentioned those.
Instead, these Pakatan head honchos chose expediency.
“Why should we bring up issues which have no mutual consensus? Our decision as Pakatan Rakyat is based on consensus,” Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters at the news conference.
Because Datuk Seri, and the other Pakatan Rakyat Yang Berhormats, voters and would-be voters are straining their ears now for that precious something that will persuade them to mark a cross beside your names in the coming elections that you say will be held in the next three months.
It is your job as members of the opposition to check and balance the government’s spin. To do that, you must show what the alternatives are.
If you want to stir the silent majority into action in your favour, then you as leaders cannot afford to be namby-pamby silent as well.
You will have to unzip your lips and speak up now about contentious issues that the ruling side are sidestepping or have failed to deal with.
Otherwise, forget about it.
Go on to your convention next week and wax lyrical about stuff you’ve already thrashed out so all can nod their heads, sign the papers and then give each other a round of applause and a pat on the back.
By then, no one may be listening.
* Debra Chong is a journalist with The Malaysian Insider.