Being away from Malaysia, I am less attuned to its politics than I used to be. It is hard for me to follow closely all political development there, being busy with life here in Australia. Nevertheless, several events stick out and one of them is the party election of Parti Keadilan Rakyat. That election is of national interest.

While the election is an exercise that enhances democratic practice in Malaysia — not just by holding an election but by having a direct election, unlike UMNO which adopts a system similar to electoral college — the campaigns embarked by individuals and groups involved in the election has been disappointing.

The kind of campaigning I am referring to is the one, which goes like this: newcomers should not run for office. Newcomers’ experience, loyalty, or both are being questioned. Many in PKR who claim to be democrats siding with Azmin Ali are making this argument. I however believe that this kind of argument is not one that a democrat should not make too often.

This is not to dismiss concerns about loyalty and motives of newcomers, especially after a spate of defections had hit PKR. It is a problem and the party, which was a mere collection of ragtags (which, it is probably still is) needs to address it.

My fear is that if this argument is the thrust of the campaign, which seems to me it is, will create an undemocratic culture in PKR that favors the incumbents. In fact, arguments regarding inexperience can be turned against PKR as a whole. For instance, why trust PKR when there is UMNO or Barisan Nasional?

Distrust of newcomers is also problematic to PKR’s national aspiration. You cannot win national election if you distrust newcomers.

I want to see a competitive election at national level. In fact, I want new people in power. I do not think the campaign style undertaken by Azmin Ali’s camp is conducive to that realization of change.

One Response to “[2257] Of internal campaigns of PKR disappoint”

  1. on 02 Oct 2010 at 15:17 Bobby

    Was attending one of the division’s elections.
    Pretty ugly scene.
    All these people think that by winning their divisions, they automatically will “become” the MP in the next election.
    Why? Because they are motivated by the “money” and power.
    It’s the same type of persona which was totally rejected in the last election, so if PKR thinks they can get away with fielding substandard candidates, that’ll be the end of them!

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