PSM Statement - 28 March 2016 - The citizens' declaration is not a "game changer"!

28 March 2016

I would agree that removing Najib is a good thing for the Malaysian politics even if another corrupt UMNO leader takes over as PM. Because at this point in time Najib has become toxic to the political system. His attempts to cover up his misdeeds will further weaken our already weakened institutions and reduce the separation of powers. Bank Negara, the AG Chambers, the Police, MACC, the Media etc are at risk. And we have seen from the Mahathir's era, weakened institutions eg the Judiciary remain weak for decades! So removing Najib is important for us.
But the method - an opportunistic even cynical alliance with the old guard and elements in UMNO who have their rich history of corruption cronyism and racial politicking - is hardly a game changer by any stretch of imagination.
To me, the real game changer would be a civil society movement that compels the opposition parties to discuss and formulate a joint position on the following 6 issues:

1. Persistent poverty among the rural Malays. Specific programmes to overcome this.
2. Urban poverty.
3. Our position on neoliberal macro economic policies. Health tourism, private education at tertiary level, public transport. Can we agree on a programme of social protection? 
4. The form of Islamization that is acceptable in a 21st century  multiracial society.
5. The tendencies towards corruption within the opposition. A better system to manage political funding.
6. Democratising the opposition coalition. Getting the top leadership to conform to democratic norms.
Moving forward on these items would pave the way for constructing a more mature and robust opposition coalition. That could be termed a game changer. Not these shortcuts that do not address fundamental issues that will repeatedly lead to a breakdown of the coalition when challenged by ethnic and religious controversies! It happened with the S46 coalition, the BA, the PR. And we want to cobble together another opportunistic coalition?
Lets work on something thats more lasting because based on a firmer foundation of better consensus on crucial issues as listed above.
Dr Jeyakumar 
PSM Central Committee Member
Pakatan Rakyat