Friday 6 January 2012

RPK the Benedict Arnold? Think Again.

Having met RPK fleetingly on a few occasions, I cannot claim to know him personally. I probably know his wife better if only for the couple of conversations I shared with her about her role as spouse and soul mate of the man that is RPK.

RPK's latest shenanigan has invoked much anger among those who hope for positive political and social change in Malaysia. I think this is mainly out of fear and uncertainty that somehow his latest tirade will upset the apple cart and consequence in BN renewing its mandate. For all we know, this might well happen.

However, I would rather think that RPK has up the ante for Anwar and PKR for all their transgressions and omissions since March 2008. Anwar has not shown himself to be a visionary leader that we yearn for but continues to play on opposition sentiments for ABU-BN. PKR in turn remains haunted by controversy and that hard-to-shake, "party of BN also-rans" label. But notice that RPK is just training his guns on only Anwar, PKR and Selangor with nothing on PAS, DAP nor Kelantan, Kedah and Penang.

What RPK said in the last few days is nothing new and I dare say they are even things that are at the tongue tips of many of Anwar’s PR colleagues. My observation is premised on the fact that no one from PAS or DAP has weighed in with violent defence of Anwar against RPK’s allegations. The silence reverberates.

How has RPK raised the ante for Anwar and PKR? Well, for starters Anwar (and I mean also PKR) can no longer be passive and merely depend on sentiments to drive their political ambitions forward. I heard Anwar's speech at the Kelana Jaya Stadium rally the few days before what was to be All Frogs Day on 16th September 2008 and went away wanting. Anwar remains the same Anwar today.

It is ok to continue hammering on BN faults but the chameleon that is Anwar has never cast in stone exactly what he will do to make Malaysian society truly plural, inclusive and progressive. In most of his speeches he has not even emphasized the ideals and commitments of the PR Buku Jingga which at the end of the day is all too easy to subvert. Have all PR component parties reaffirmed their commitment to Zaid's (well, there are those who say it is his) Common Policy Platform? All it needs is for a split in PR for things to revert to BN style race politics. Go ask the likes of Hasan Ali and Nasharuddin Mat Isa. There are no concrete plans but mere rhetoric. Google and prove me wrong.

Second is that he has openly brought Anwar’s image down a few pegs and made Malaysians confront the real possibility of Malaysian opposition politics without Anwar. Suddenly, other options become realistic if not more palatable. Is Anwar really the only "semen-ting" factor (pun intended) uniting PR component parties?

Thirdly, RPK has taken the “Anything” in Anything But UMNO-BN (ABU-BN) and made us think deeper; are we to accept just anything? Anwar whether he likes it or not will need to show us that anything really means something. The 100-Day Buku Jingga reform timeline or nothing! Can the nation survive another five years of pedantic reform initiatives? PR must tell us what will be done exactly before we cast our votes to give PR two-thirds majority. 

Just remember that PR parties resoundingly adopted the civil society crafted document, The People’s Declaration (The People’s Mission and The People’s Plan) as its joint manifesto for GE12. What has happened till now? Much of it has become the Buku Jingga; it appears branding is just as important in politics as in marketing. The credits are now different.

Ask who actually drafted the People’s Declaration. It was probably not just one person and you can bet your last dollar that RPK and Haris Ibrahim were not too far away!

With all the recent controversy that surrounds accusations of RPK doing a Benedict Arnold I would like to recall the writings of RPK that had nothing to do with politics but on a value system he personally and strongly professes. You can check out the archives of MT for them. Whatever you may think of him, I am still convinced RPK remains a decent human being.


Randolph said...

I largely agree with your educated point of view!

Anonymous said...

Agree with what you say but in war,one doesn't attack one's comrades in arms in front of the enemy

robert ooi said...

After days of negative and doomsday comments from well known and not so well known bloggers/readers there finally is a credible piece from you, well done sir.
Marina and RPK are personal friends and I can most definetley vouch that he's not the sell-out type.In fact after all the sacrifices he and his family have made over the years, this time, this is the mother of all sacrifices RPK had made.
His reputation and esteem is now in tatters and all time low due to the ignorance of all. But in time he will be vindicated and will be rightly restore to his rightful place in the Malaysia political hierarchy.

Kiru said...

Anwar remains the same Anwar today, surely you 're not expecting him to morph into Ra.One or some super hero that speaks only one language that could unite divided Malaysia and find solutions to political impasses in our country. For heaven sakes, Anwar is only human yet he has galvanise all of us to hope against hope for a two party system in Malaysia.
As for that Desert rat RPK, there are only two points, both critical and insoluble. One is his total worthlessness of his recent main media interviews and the other is the impotence of RPK to offer any political alternative or for that matter as a sacred holder of the reign of Virtue.
Malaysia Today now acts as a psuedo left wing platform that asks everyone to act responsibly while still granting itself the right to remain irresponsible. The shattering reformulation is that it has reached a zero degree on the morality scale.
Sadly, for RPK, there is unfortunately nothing which can remedy such a mechanism of intellectual perversion. Nothing!

kayceefive said...

Very well written, Cheah.
For those doubtful, and education would help!

Lok1 said...

Dear Writer,as my recent reaction to RPK's interview b4 the Sarawak election,it's very simple actually,we Malaysians love to comment n give our 2 cents worth actually without engaging our brains,harsh comments that show how little minded they actually are,so very sad for most Malaysians who professed political savvy yet clueless on the actual reasons for RPK"s real intention n that l believe is just telling the truth,about Anuar,Azmin n the Gin Bang gang which will do ala Umno should they come into power,l'd rather vote DAP or PAS, n if l have no choice then it depends on personality(PKR) or else l won't vote at all,thanks but no thanks,from the Frying into the Fire,if Anuar's choice as his successor is Nurul or anyone else besides Azmin,then l'll back them to the hilt,my opinion is mine alone,if you people don't like it,then you can go Fork yourself for all l care

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people need a kick on the butt to get them moving. Personally speaking PKR seems to be the weakest in the Holy Trinity. As Lok1 said, I too believe that Nurul would make a world of difference to PKR.
Malaysian voters must choose between the devil or the deep blue sea.

OP Mike said...

16:54 (34 minutes ago)

to Cheah,

Enjoyed your article in MT. Really good. Still, cannot imagine any Tiger can write so well.......he he...

The essence RPK's promiscuous and indiscriminate blunderbuss is his utter disappointment with DSAI's and Azmin Ali's outright rejection of the MCLM. DSAI viewed it as a "kacau daun" and a potential pressure group. MCLM, and similarly Anak Bangsa Malaysia were written in a shroud of legalese profundity by Haris. They did not adumbrate social indicators of societal interaction in the milieu that we live in e.g. race, religion, culture language, regionalism, blood ties. Haris postulation would have failed as a assignment in 2nd year sociology in university. Haris, I feel, has not read Paulo Freire, in particular, Freire's, "Cultural Action For Freedom.", Penguin. 1975.

Arnold was an outright turncoat coz he thought his excellent service to the American Revolution was not recognised. In the end, he regretted it. He eventually died of severe gout.The quacks misdiagnosed his medical problems. He was a major-general.

Btw, OCPD in Penang. Will join her for CNY to "feel no pain".

shuk said...

Value system......I would like to believe RPK is more on this than anything else......incredible guy this RPK,believe me,you just could not find many like him,very rare breed indeed.