Happy Sixth Birthday Parti Keadilan !
Oleh Shin Shin
Six years ago on April 4th, 1999, when Parti Keadilan Nasional was first launched in Renaissance Hotel, I was still a teen who surfed to reformasi websites whenever free.
Five years ago, they had their first anniversary dinner in Mandarin Oriental Hotel KLCC, RM 100 per person, Wan Azizah, Allahyarham Fadzil Noor, Dr. Syed Husin and Lim Kit Siang were the honourable guests.
Six years since Keadilan was born out of people power, doi moi and reformasi, yours truly is a registered member in PJ Selatan, but seems like nobody remembers its birthday anymore, except in Indera Mahkota division where Zukri Aksah held a poem recital night in the evening of April 4th, 2005, and was arrested by the police for that. Salute to the heroes !
Parti Keadilan turned 6-year-old 10 days ago. And today, April 14, it was the 6th anniversary since Nurul Izzah's dad was sentenced to so many years of imprisonment.
Now that he is freed, he's busy flying around the world to give lectures. And the crowd once demonstrated every Saturday afternoon demanding for a democratic, open and just Malaysia, were forgotten, and lost their way.
There has been numerous rumours and tragedies. There was a fight between Abim and Anti-Abim gangs. There has been conflicts with Pas and DAP. But has the main vision ever changed ?
Abim gang provided the grassroot support when Keadilan was first established. But for some reasons they opposed to the merger with PRM. Yes, these leftists are against Japan's entry to UN Security Council etcetera, but they too want a free and fair Malaysia like us.
And with centralised economic planning, GLCs' presence in virtually every sector, subsidised fuel, subsidised healthcare and subsidised housing, even Barisan Nasional cannot claim that this very Capitalismised country of ours is a little bit practising Socialism.
Pas and DAP quarrelled because they disagree on Islamic state which Pas insists. While it is true the implementation of Islamic state could be lopsided and its implication far reaching, Pas didn't even contest for 2/3 of all the seats in Parliament which is needed to amend the Constitution, and could only win perhaps 10% of the amount they contest. So why worry ?
In Keadilan, I believe most in the leadership don't oppose to Islamic state as DAP does. While they agree that the aims of an Islamic state is noble, they don't think it can be implemented in a country like ours without causing problems and let some quarters feel discriminated.
And there's seats allocations. Big brothers Pas and DAP always deny Keadilan a chance to contests. Let's be realistic, what's the point clinging onto seats you have been defeated for decades ? Let's stop being the victim everytime the elephants fight. There comes a time when you have to go through the baptism of fire and be your own man, as Raja Petra put it.
Keadilan's profile is somewhere in between the three main parties, Umno, Pas and DAP. That is our strength. We despise the cheapskate racial politicking which Umno cherishes as the Holy Bible. Those "Melayu dalam Bahaya" sitcoms which an "organisasi Melayu professional dalam memperjuangan nasib orang-orang Melayu" held in KL recently makes Malaysians sick.
Malaysia's global competitiveness is falling, while corruption is ballooning. National Research and Development (R&D) allocation is even smaller than Thailand's. The standard of our universities and their academic staffs declining. One more vote for Umno means a step closer to Armageddon.
MGG Pillai said in his article A political party loses its way, some predicted that it would be the end for Keadilan and even DAP if they still fail to make any inroad come next general election in 2008 / 09. Too bad. But I would like to add, if that happens, Malaysia will dissappear from the world very soon too.
Why not. Had it not been Keadilan which liaise and creates understanding between all the different groups, the fundamentalists, the so-called "Cheenas", the leftists, the liberals, the neo-cons and pseudos, Malaysia would have broken apart everytime Barisan comes out with funny irrational policies that pit one group against another.
So why don't we stand up again and fight the common enemy, for the goodness sake of our tanahair, our ibu pertiwi ?
Happy belated 6th birthday, Keadilan, on the 6th anniversary of Black 14.