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Democracy will be under severe test in the next couple of days.

wan azizah

What happens during this period will determine if we truly practise democracy as what is understood or will it be a sham pretending to be a democracy.

As has been the practice all along, the party commanding the majority in the state assembly has the sole right to determine who will be the candidate to head the government. This is the democratic tradition and this tradition must be honoured and upheld so that there will be total acceptance of the person appointed as the leader.

However, this tradition is now under threat and is about to be undermined. If the manoeuvres to scuttle this tradition come from the opposition we can understand that. But if the attempt is apparently from one of the coalition partners in Pakatan, it is mystifying and troubling.

Pas, which had been viewed as a principled party, is now seen as a stumbling block to the preservation of democracy. Malaysians are finding it difficult to understand their dithering and teetering in coming to a conclusion in the choice of the next Mentedri Besar of Selangor. They seem to be lost in this issue and are dragging their feet unnecessarily to the annoyance of many Malaysians who are utterly disappointed with Pas.

Pas had confirmed that they would not submit a name from their party to be considered as the next MB. They had even conceded that it is the sole right of Parti Keadilan Rakyat to nominate their candidate for this post. Having so declared, why do they want to submit two names? Doesn’t this amount to interference in the internal affairs of PKR? They have no business to do so.

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After much foot-dragging, didn’t they finally support the choice of Wan Azizah as the sole candidate to be the next MB of Selangor? Having taken that decision, why is there another meeting to decide further on this matter?

If they provide two names to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor, they would not only be betraying the trust of the Selangor voters but they would sabotage the democratic process knowingly.

What is the implication of them forwarding two names? It simply means they are giving the choice to the Sultan to choose whomever he wants as that choice is being given to him. You can’t fault him for choosing any one of the two names.

Is this the situation that Pas wants to create – so that PKR’s choice of candidature will not be considered? This is tantamount to what would be considered as unethical and uncouth behaviour. This conduct has the tendency to break the solidarity of Pakatan and frustrate the emergence of a two-party system.

Their decision to submit two names – if it comes about – will cost them dearly as most Malaysians are obviously upset with their strange behaviour, which will certainly create confusion. They will lose a lot of support that they received in GE13 and will discredit themselves for good. We hope that this doesn’t happen in the interest of democracy.

Wan Azizah has the unmistaken majority support in the form of signed declarations from 30 assembly members. This must be respected and supported.

If the remaining 13 PAS assembly members throw their weight behind this support, then there would be no necessity to dissolve the assembly and conduct a fresh election in Selangor which will cost, according to the Election Commission, RM50m. Why cause this unnecessary expenditure?

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Pas must not cause this situation. We all hope that Pas will rally around Pakatan and ensure that their unity will be preserved and their right to govern Selangor will continue uninterrupted. This is their responsibility and an obligation to all Malaysians and the democratic process.

P Ramakrishnan
Executive committee member
24 August 2014

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