Today, March 8, 2010 is a day to celebrate, if not for anything else, the continuous existence of Pakatan Rakyat. Formed after the political tsunami of the 12th general election, Pakatan was (and still is) a unique coalition of contrasting parties. It was not surprising that quite a number of pro-BN political soothsayer predicted that Pakatan would not last long. The ideological differences of DAP and Pas would not allow a lasting working relation. To be fair, however, I could not recollect anyone giving a specific time when Pakatan would break up. So, may be those prediction came about as a result of anger and dejection after BN was rejected in 5 states (six if you would include Kuala Lumpur) and the loss of the two-third majority in Parliament.
Pakatan had its fair share of problems at the initial stages of establishing credible governments in Perak and Selangor (I hope this piece of information is not news to anybody lest I'd be charged of divulging party secrets). However, perseverence of our leaders and total respect of the wishes of the rakyat at the poll encouraged the 3 parties to compromise and moved forward. Despite the extra-poll loss of Perak to BN, and the just recently executed preplanned exodus of PKR lawmakers into wilderness, Pakatan withstood the odds and it looked like it is here to stay. Penang and Selangor are said to be running well economically, while Kedah and Kelantan are relatively stable and moving along healthily. Attempts at discrediting state government leaders through selective investigations by the anti-graft authority have not been successful. Instead the rakyat believed that Pakatan is being victimised by the enormous pro-BN government machinery.
The performance of the elected representatives is best assessed by the rakyat. However it is not too late to suggest that Pakatan as a group devise a reasonable method of assessment by the respective parties of their own wakil rakyat, with the view of improving the delivery of services and the effectiveness. With disparity in financial allocations it would not be feasible to compare the performance of representatives in different states but certain key performance indicators would allow a measure of success of those YBs.
While the focus is understandably on Pakatan, the BN has its fair share of controversies to keep national politics high on everyone's agenda. Pak Lah lasted a little over a year before being dishonourably dethroned and his "Islam Hadhari" legacy disappeared even faster. It is not surprising that every weaknesses of Umno now is being blamed on Pak Lah. The component members of BN have not come to term with their defeat at the poll. MIC, PPP and MCA are still nursing their wounds and no early cure is in sight. Umno pathetically pretends that it is staying above all the controversies. It is common knowledge that back-stabbings and corruption are severely endemic within the party. The 1Malaysia cry took over from Islam Hadhari but no one can say what exactly it is (except for Najib may be but he's not making others understand it easily either).
So it has been a rugged 2 years and I'm sure there are more exciting things to come for everyone. In Kelantan the battle of and for the royalty has just begun. While Nik Aziz frequent visits to the hospital don't get the coverage by the press, Johore MB's short visit is big news. It's 12 midnight so the celebration is over.