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Month: October 2010

Azmin’s moment is at hand

Comment By Joceline Tan
Tuesday October 19, 2010 (The Star)

Blue-eyed boy Azmin Ali denies he has problems with Anwar Ibrahim’s family while projecting himself as the man who can take the party to Putrajaya.

AT this point in time, it looks like Azmin Ali is on course to become the next deputy president of PKR.

Azmin had kept a rather low profile throughout the nominations stage, preferring to let his supporters speak for him.

But all that ended after he handed in his nomination papers for the post on Saturday.

He launched his campaign manifesto several hours later on a theme that has captured the imagination of many PKR people – that they can take Putrajaya and he is the one who can take them there.

It was gutsy, catchy and, well, sexy. Never mind that the party is not exactly in the best of shape but what are politicians without promises? They go together like love and marriage.

Besides, big ideas are always sexy – just like the 100-storey tower idea which the intelligentsia has criticised but which the man-in-the-street simply cannot stop talking about.

Even Azmin’s blog has taken on a new look. It has transformed from the yellow and red theme reflecting his Selangor roots to a blue masthead showing him beside an image of the dome-roofed Prime Minister’s office.

A man destined for Putrajaya – that is the message. And this is where it gets interesting.

Azmin is shown in a white, long-sleeved shirt and tie with his right hand up in the air as though acknowledging his supporters, with a confident smile on his face.

It is a replica pose of Anwar in the latter’s own blog.

It is a good thing his loyalty and devotion to Anwar is irrefutable otherwise he would be seen as trying to upstage his boss.

Azmin’s opponents have greatly under-estimated him.

He is the only one now with a defined manifesto in a contest where the personalities have overshadowed the issues.

As one of his aides pointed out, Azmin understands the importance of timing in politics.

Of his two contenders, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim seems to have peaked too early in the nominations round while Mustaffa Kamil Ayob has yet to pick up the pace.

Or to put it more bluntly, Zaid has exhausted his bullets while Mustaffa is still looking for his.

Zaid’s campaign has had more ups and downs than some of the drama series on RTM. Read More

PKR Malaysia Perjuangkan Perbaikan Hubungan dengan Indonesia

Dari Suara Karya

11 Oct 2010 (Suara Karya – Opini)
JAKARTA (Suara Karya) Partai Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Malaysia menilai perlunya perubahan besar di negeri Malaysia untukkembali mempererat hubungan persaudarandengan Indonesia.

Demikian disampaikan Wakil Presiden Partai Keadilan Rakyat Mohamed Azmin Ali dalam perbincangannya dengan Suana Karya di sela kunjungannya ke Indonesia, di Jakarta, Minggu (10/10).

Sebagai pemimpin partai kanan penguasa di Malaysia, Azmin melakukan gerakan reformasi di Malaysia untuk menyehatkan demokrasi dan juga membina hubungan yang lebih baik dengan negara tetangga, terutama Indonesia.

“Kami menolak segala bentuk kekerasan dan juga ekstremisme yang telah dilakukan oleh sejumlah elite di Malaysia. Bagi kami, hubungan dengan Indonesia tak hanya dilihat sebagai relasi diplomatik, tetapi juga harus dilihat dari latar belakang semangat serumpun yang memiliki banyak persamaan,” katanya.

Menurut dia. tak salah ada pandangan negatif yang dilihat oleh masyarakat Indonesia terhadap pemerintahan Malaysia atas beberapa insiden yang terjadi terhadap warga negara Indonesia (WNI), dan perlakukan buruk pemerintah Malaysia

Tak hanya perlakukan negatif terhadap WNI, tutur dia, penguasa di Malaysia pun dalam beberapa kasus juga memperlakukan hal sama terhadap masyarakatnya sendiri.

“Dengan arogansi ini, secara perlahan tapi pasti, masyarakat di Malaysia menuntut adanya perubahan. Hal ini akan menjadi awal yang baik dari perubahan yang akan dilakukan di Malaysia, ujarnya.

Nasib TKI

Dia menyebutkan, kuatnya tekanan penguasa di Malaysia juga membuat demokrasi tak sehat dan juga tak adil. Kuatnya tekanan pemerintah terhadap masyarakat juga berimbas pada penguasan media sehingga hanya menjadi alat propaganda pemerintah.

“Hal-hal seperti ini yang membawa kami bersama dengan rakyat bertekad untuk membawa perubahan di Malaysia, meskipun hal ini menjadi persoalan yang tidak mudah,” ujarnya.

Azmin juga menyayangkan adanya perlakukan yang tidak berkepri-mtanusiaan terhadap WNI yang berkerja di Malaysia. Disampaikannya, bahwa sekarang ini industri di Malaysia sudah mulai kekurangan tenaga kerja akibat adanya perlakukan yang tidak baik terhadap WNI yang menimbulkan ketakutan untuk bekerja di Malaysia.

“Sekarang ini tenaga kerja Indonesia mengalihkan keinginannya untuk bekerja di Malaysia ke ne-gavalsin DampSkfcjU sejumlah industri sudah banyak yang harus kehilangan tenaga kerja. Hal ini dinilai akan berpengaruh buruk bagi kemajuan industri di Malaysia,” ujarnya.

Untuk itu, sebagai pemimpin muda, Azmin menyerukan agar pemimpin Malaysia melakukan pendekatan kembali kepada Indonesia untuk menghilangkan ketakuan yang dialami oleh para pekerja Indonesia, sehingga mau kembali bekerja di Malaysia.

“Untuk mendekatkan kembali, harus ada perlakuan yang lebih manusiawi dan berperikemanusia-an terhadap para tenaga kerja sehingga mereka merasa terlindungi,” katannya. Read More

“Pilihan Raya Akan Dipercepat” : Mohamed Azmin Ali, (ketua tim pemenangan pemilu pakatan rakyat)

Dari Koran Tempo
11 Oct 2010 (Koran Tempo⁠ – Opini)

Situasi politik dalam negeri Malaysia terus memanas. Selain ada pertentangan antara Perdana Menteri Najib Razak dan wakilnya, Muhyiddin Yasin, rezim koalisi Barisan Nasiona] diguncang sentimen-sentimen etnis, seperti warga keturunan Cina.

Penilaian itu dilontarkan Mohamed Azmin Ali, Ketua “Hm Pemenangan Pemilihan Umum Pakatan Rakyat sekaligus anggota parlemen Malaysia Ia juga Wakil Ketua Umum Partai Keadilan Rakyat

Melihat gejolak seperti itu, ia memperkirakan pemilu akan dipercepat menjadi tahun depan, dari seharusnya 2012. Berikut ini penuturannya kepada Faisal Assegaf dari Tempo saat ditemui kemarin di lobi Hotel Grand Kemang, tempatnya menginap di Jakarta Selatan.

Benarkah pilihan raya akan digelar tahun depan?

Kita menjangkakan pilihan raya ke-13 ini mungkin diadakan lebih awal daripada temponya. Sistem pilihan raya di Malaysia memang timpang, tidak diketahuitarikh sebenarnya.Yang ketahui hanya perdana menteri seorang. Kita akan bersedia menghadapi pilihan raya akan datang.

Kenapa Anda yakin pilihan raya dipercepat?

Kalau kita melihat suasana politik di Malaysia saat ini, ada masalah serius dan terlalu gawat di dalam komponen Barisan Nasional. UMNO juga sedang berhadapan dengan masalah kepemim-pinan, antara Najib Razak dan Muhyiddin Yasin. Sokongan rakyat di bawah juga makin luntur. Sudah tentu Najib coba mencari jalan singkat untuk mendapat mandat rakyat. Tapi saya yakin rakyat Malaysia sudah cukup matang, mau pemerintah lebih adil kepada semua kaum dan demokrasi terus subur di Malaysia. Maka sentimen untuk perubahan makin kuat.

Kapan kira-kira pilihan raya?

Ramai juga yang menjangkakan pertengahan atau penghujung tahun depan. Pilihan raya Negeri Serawak perlu diadakan sebelum Juni tahun depan. Ada kemungkinan disekalikan dengan pilihan raya umum. Tapi negeri-negeri yang dikuasai Pakatan Rakyat tidak mesti mengikut tarikh yang diputuskan Perdana Menteri. Read More

Azmin: We need a Race Relations Act

From: www.malaysiakita1.blogspot.com
A Race Relations Act is sorely needed to deal with racist remarks that can incite hatred, PKR said today.

It said it supported such a legislation in view of the derogatory remarks allegedly uttered by the principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Johor.

On Aug 12, the principal Siti Inshah Mansor allegedly told the Chinese to go back to China and likened Indians to dogs.

Enraged parents lodged police reports over the matter, but education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom dismissed it as a mere misunderstanding.

In a press statement today, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said a Race Relations Act is needed to deal with such incitement to hatred.

“The proposed legislation will provide the mechanism to resolve such issue when it occurs in order to safeguard unity and harmony in Malaysia,” he said.

He also condemned Alimuddin’s statement, saying:

“This incident had been widely publicised and it is matter that affects the entire nation. It is irresponsible to say the issue is just a mere misunderstanding.”

Azmin also urged the authorities to suspend Siti Inshah pending an investigation into the incident.

“If it is proven that she had made the statement, she should be immediately removed,” he said.

He added that such a racist statement is not an isolated incident and it must be dealt with in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

“This incident is a manifestation of a bigger problem, which is Barisan Nasional’s tacit encouragement of inciting racism and the lack of political will on its part to deal with the problem.”

“As long as draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act exist, healthy debates will continue to be stiffled and extremists group will use this to incite racism,” said Azmin.

Azmin : Perlembagaan tidak jamin hak Orang Asal Semenanjung

Dari Harakahdaily
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Okt 2010: Ahli Parlimen Gombak, Mohamed Azmin Ali menegaskan, kedudukan Orang Asal di Semenanjung Malaysia tidak akan terjamin pada masa akan datang sekiranya hak mereka tidak dimasukkan dalam tafsiran Perkara 153 dan Perkara 160 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Azmin ketika mengemukakan soalan tambahan dalam sesi soal jawab lisan di Dewan Rakyat hari ini berkata, tiada langsung peruntukan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menjamin kepentingan Orang Asal di Semenanjung walhal mereka merupakan kaum pribumi yang telah lama menetap di negara ini.

Menurutnya, Fasal (2) Perkara 160 hanya menafsirkan Orang Asli adalah Orang Asli Semenanjung Tanah Melayu manakala dalam artikel 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, ianya hanya merangkumi Melayu dan Bumiputera Sabah dan Sarawak sahaja.

“Perdebatan yang berlaku pada hari ini ialah pengiktirafan Orang Asli sebagai Bumiputera berdasarkan takrifan Orang Asli yang termaktub dalam Fasal (2) Perkara 160 Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan juga keperluan memaktubkan secara jelas kedudukan istimewa Orang Asli sebagai Bumiputera dalam artikel 153,” kata beliau yang juga Naib Presiden PKR.

Sehubungan itu, Azmin meminta kerajaan menyatakan pendirian sama ada bersedia untuk memasukkan hak Orang Asli di Semenanjung ke dalam Perlembagaan.

“Adakah kerajaan bersedia untuk mengambil satu tindakan yang berani dan bertanggungjawab untuk menjamin kedudukan Orang Asli dan sekiranya tidak apakah alasan yang akan diberikan oleh kementerian? Read More

Inter-Parliamentary Union: Anwar’s trial should be abandoned

From The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR — An international organisation of parliaments has urged Malaysia to abandon the prosecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy because it claims the case has brought disrepute to the justice system.

In a special report released in August, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) also questioned the alleged direct involvement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and SAC I Datuk Rodwan Yusof, who had met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan days before Anwar allegedly sodomised him.

“The prosecution has obviously been compromised, even by the mere perception that a member of its team has been guilty of wrongdoing. Removing Farah Azlina from the team has not solved the problem because her wrongdoing has tainted the entire prosecution and the integrity of the trial,” Mark Trowell, a Queen’s Counsel based in Australia, wrote in a report on behalf of the IPU.

Deputy public prosecutor Farah Azlina Latif was in the team prosecuting Anwar (picture) when allegations surfaced that she was romantically involved with Saiful.

However, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail stressed that the junior prosecutor was removed to prevent negative public perception of the Sodomy II prosecution team.

The report said Farah’s relationship with the complainant had denied Anwar a fair trial.

“If it is accepted the complainant improperly obtained confidential information from Farah Azlina that enabled him to tailor his testimony to fit within the physical evidence, then the case has been compromised to the extent that Anwar could never obtain a fair trial.

“Even if Mohd Saiful did not gain confidential information from Farah Azlina, the perception that he did not would taint any subsequent trial in the same way,” said Trowell.

Trowell also stressed that there were serious allegations of political interference in the case at the highest level.

“The prosecution of Anwar has occurred within a context of the admitted involvement of the prime minister and his staff, the Attorney-General, the senior assistant commissioner and the bringing of a charge at a time when Anwar had just returned to Parliament to challenge the ruling coalition when its fortunes were flagging,” he said.

The report said the alleged involvement of Najib has brought the country’s justice system into disrepute.

“The direct involvement of the prime minister, the Attorney-General and the senior assistant commissioner has allowed the defence to question their role in the bringing of the charge against Anwar. It is something that has the potential to bring into disrepute the Malaysian justice system, which is definitely not in the public interest,” said Trowell.

Trowell also criticised the A-G for not performing his duty.

“Not only may he institute and conduct proceedings for an offence, but he may also discontinue the criminal proceedings that he has instituted, and the court cannot compel him to institute or to go with any criminal proceedings that he has decided to discontinue.

“The general principle that the Attorney-General must, in performing his duty, act in the public interest applies with particular force to his powers under clause 3 of Article 145 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution,” he said.

Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader, is currently facing sodomy charges for the second time in his life.

The former deputy prime minister is charged with sodomising Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

Anwar has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

He was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences. He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Recently, two former aides to Anwar revealed that they were coerced into signing statutory declarations to allegedly implicate Najib and his wife in the sodomy case.

The Federal Court has also denied Anwar access to statements made by the complainant after he claimed that there were inconsistencies between Saiful’s testimony and the sodomy charge frame against him.

Anwar’s lawyers believe that if the defence were given access to Saiful’s witness statements, it would affect the outcome of the entire trial. –

Manifesto Menuju Putrajaya dan Azmin Ali

Oleh Khalid Jaafar

Manifesto Reformasi Menuju Putrajaya secara ringkasnya boleh dipanggil sebagai Manifesto 3M, kerana ia mengandungi tiga ikrar Azmin Ali. Pertama: Menggilap Idealisme; Kedua: Memupuk Kesetiaan; dan Ketiga: Memperkasa Organisasi.

Ikrar 3M mengandungi iltizam YB Azmin Ali sekiranya dilaksanakan Reformasi,insya Allah, pasti berada di Putrajaya selepas PRU13.
Melalui M yang pertama: Idealisme, cita-cita perjuangan murni, gagasan Reformasi, akan kembali menyala dalam Keadilan. Tanpa idealisme perjuangan politik akan menjadi wahana atau perjuangan untuk pangkat dan kepentingan diri. Politik akan jatuh menjadi “low-morale and uncharismatic profession.” Kata-kata hikmat dan amaran ini disebuat oleh Anwar Ibrahim di New York ketika beliau berumur 20an.

Azmin Ali tidak mahu membawa gagasan baru. KEADILAN sudah cukup gagasan-gagasan besar dan mendahului zaman, gagasan dan visi yang telah dirumuskankan oleh Anwar Ibrahim dalam bukunya Gelombang Kebangkitan Asia dan ucapan-ucapan beliau di seluruh negara dan seantero dunia. Maka tugas Azmin adalah sebagai penggilap idealisme tersebut supaya tidak dilupakan dan sentiasa segar dalam setiap benak anggota parti, lama dan baru.

Sebagai pemimpin parti Azmin amat memberikan perhatian kepada persoalan kesetiaan. Bahkan kesetiaan itu merupakan “trademark” kepada diri beliau sendiri. Kita boleh memberikan gelaran “loyalis nombor wahid”, “loyalist number one” kepada beliau.

Pada ketika yang sama Azmin juga seorang demokrat. Dan pada beliau tidak ada pertentangan antara kesetiaan dengan kebebasan seorang demokrat. Bahkan beliau mentafsirkan kebebasan dengan konsep “ikhtiyar” dalam Islam. Kebebasan dan pilihan adalah semata-mata untuk melakukan yang terbaik.

Kebebasan adalah untuk memperkukuhkan parti, kebebasan bukan untuk melemahkan atau melakukan porak peranda dalam parti. Azmin melalui manifesto ini, melalui program memupuk kesetian mengajak kita meleburkan egoisme dan tabiat bertindak sendiri tanpa mempertimbangkan kepentingan parti. Read More

Pidato Penerimaan Pencalonan dan Pelancaran Manifesto “Reformasi Menuju Putrajaya”

Izinkan saya merakamkan ucapan penghargaan buat seluruh anggota Parti Keadilan Rakyat yang telah bersama-sama memastikan Pemilihan 2010 ini dapat dilangsungkan sesuai dengan iltizam kita untuk menyuburkan demokrasi.

Ucapan penghargaan juga buat seluruh penyokong saya dari Perlis hingga ke Johor, dari Kelantan hingga ke Melaka, dan yang mendokong saya di Tanah Borneo; dari Sabah dan Sarawak.

Tahniah kepada mereka yang layak bertanding dan saya ucapkan selamat maju jaya. Moga tetap menjaga etika ketika bertanding dan tidak lupa diri bahawa kita bertanggungjawab menjaga keutuhan parti serta nama baik parti.

Benar kita meraikan Demokrasi, kerana itu walaupun mempunyai hambatan serta kekangan tertentu untuk melaksanakan pemilihan secara terus yang bersejarah ini, parti tetap berteguh mahu melaksanakannya serta menjadikan parti kita parti yang paling demokratik di negara ini.

Kita bertegas mengambil satu pendirian yang berani kerana kita sedar, pemilihan ini akan menjadi pemangkin kepada perubahan yang mahu kita laksanakan. Read More

Saifuddin warns all PKR members to adhere to Utusan boycott

Malaysia Chronicle, 6 October 2010

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution has warned all members to adhere to the party’s decision to boycott Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and its weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia.

He did not mention names but it was obvious to many members, who have been perturbed by aggressive campaign launched by FT chief Zaid Ibrahim for the deputy presidency, who it was Saifuddin was referring to.

Indeed, on Tuesday, Zaid had declared he would continue to give interviews to the Umno-controlled media even though he had once rebuked them sharply for twisting his words.

Of late, Zaid himself has been slammed for going to the Umno media and openly criticizing PKR, his main rival for the deputy presidency Azmin Ali and even de-facto head Anwar Ibrahim in an apparent bid to boost his own personal popularity.

“It is part of party discipline to respect decisions that the party has made,” Saifuddin told reporters on Wednesday.

Saboteurs – external

Saifuddin went on to explain that the Utusan ban had nothing to do with freedom of the press, but rather as a clear show of protest against the newspaper’s blatant disrespect for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

The secretary-general also gave notice to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Umno deputy president, that PKR will be naming who the Umno-linked saboteurs were who had caused trouble at some of the PKR divisional elections recently.

PKR leaders had previously accused these saboteurs of having colluded with others in upsetting the divisional meetings held over the past few weekends as part of the party’s historic direct elections.

“I am answering his challenge and I shall name the troublemakers we identified from video recordings,” said Saifuddin, referring to Muhyiddin’s dare that PKR name the troublemakers if its accusations were true.


Sabouteurs – internal

Among those that Saifuddin identified was Razak Halili, who had been captured on CCTV causing trouble at the Kuala Langat divisional polls. “He was a PKR member, but left after our losses in the 2004 polls. He may have joined Umno afterwards, I don’t know. But he did apply again but his application was rejected,” said Saifuddin.

He also identified another troublemaker with Umno-links at the Klang division but declined to divulge the full details until “later”.

However, apart from ‘outside’ saboteurs, PKR may be facing its greatest danger from within. There are members who have been suspected of trying to destabilize PKR and accused of working in concert with the Umno troublemakers.

Anwar himself has warned of Trojan horses within PKR, while other leaders such as Batu MP Tian Chua have lambasted the way certain leaders have been campaigning that has brought disrepute to PKR.

“It should never be a big thing but just a friendly within-the-family contest. And this is the way our elections have always been in the past years. Only this year, has it become like a circus. Members are upset, we are upset. It has been overblown and there will be consequences for the party to bear,” Tian told Malaysia Chronicle.

Farish Noor : Parties have rules and norms, and collective responsibility happens to be one of them. If you can’t agree with that, then don’t join a party. That’s common sense too.

Desperate Politicians, Desperate Housewives

Farish A Noor

I once had the misfortune to watch an episode of a program called ‘Desperate Housewives’, and as the title suggests, the program was precisely about that and it reminded me of just why I loathe such chick-flicks and chick-pulp so very, very much.

This particular episode had some forgettable character (Housewife A) in a fit because of her marital problems with Husband A. Housewife A then goes to chat with her neighbour, Housewife B, to vent her spleen about all her husband’s problems.

Though I confess that I havent watched all the episodes of this rather tiresome series, I gathered that Housewife A wasnt the sharpest tool in the box, as she obviously didnt suspect that Housewife B also happened to be the local neighbourhood radio station, so to speak.

In time Housewife B did what she does best, which was to run along to Housewives C, D, E, et al and to tell the whole street about the problems between Housewife A and her husband – namely, that he suffered from erectile dysfunction and there were some problems in his plumbing department. The rest, as they say, is herstory and what a tedious story it was too. The moral of the tale could be summed up in one sentence which would have spared me 60 precious minutes when I could have polished my shoes instead: Dont go gossiping about your problems to people who cant keep their mouths shut. Ho Hum.

Ho hum, indeed. Yesterday I was asked why I rarely write about Malaysian politics these days. The answers are prosaic: Malaysian politics today is boring, tedious, juvenile (bordering on infantile at times) and downright crass and vulgar. I would also like to point out, if I may wear my academic hat for a bit, that to write about Malaysian politics means writing about its political economy, about institutions, power-structures and power-differentials. It is NOT about writing about Dato This or Dato That, or their wives, or their holidays, of their petty bitching among themselves and their fellow party members. That is not writing about politics, it is writing about stupid politicians.

And on the subject of stupid politicians and the stupid things they do (of which there are too many and even facebook does not have enough memory storage for me to upload all of it), allow me to remark on a rather silly thing done recently by at least one politician, Zaid Ibrahim. Of Zaid’s reform credentials I need not speak as they are well known. So is the fact that the man has on occasion taken stands that were not popular and has paid the price for it. Kudos to Zaid for that.

However Zaid’s recent revelations that were displayed for all and sundry in the mainstream press has left me quite baffled, and reminded me of the antics of Housewives A and B alluded to above. For a man who has himself been a victim of media sabotage, I am confounded by Zaid’s decision to speak to the very same newspapers that once hounded and demonised him. We are told that in a free society a politician may speak to any newspaper or media outlet she/he chooses to; and that one cannot talk about freedom of the press if one engages in selective boycotts of the media. True.

However, let us remind ourselves that we need to talk about politics here – and this means talking about institutions, power-relations and power-differentials. In a free, just and equitable society there might be some semblance of a free and independent media. And perhaps in such a Utopian society any politician can go to any newspaper and complain “Mami dat fellow in de committee say he dont want to fren me anymore so I also dont want to fren him and den I wan to sabotage his kempen because he say he dont like my face wan.” (Mommy then pats politician on the head and says “there, there, Dato, here is a lollipop and you can go and create your own splinter party now with some foreign funding from abroad.”)

Unfortunately we do not live in an equitable society where everyone has equal access to the media. Unfortunately we all know that almost all of the mainstream media in the country is controlled directly or indirectly by powerful political parties and their funders.

Unfortunately we also know that there is no truly unbiased non-partisan alternative media either, as the opposition parties are likewise wont to control their respective media organs. And unfortunately we know that the mainstream media’s task is to render all attempts by the opposition to govern as untenable and uncomfortable. Unfortunately life is not idyllic, equal or just: Life sucks, and one should get used to that as one enters adulthood.

Under such circumstances one would be rather stupid indeed to think that one can get one’s way in one’s own party by jumping across the fence to moan about one’s fellow party members to a hostile press. During the days when the Labour Party of England was led by Neil Kinnock, the Labour party was wary of tabloids like The Sun that were instrumental in the campaign to destroy their image.

And even President Obama – everyone’s favoured dude at the moment – has also avoided dealing with the rabidly right-wing Fox News channel. Thats because these are politicians who are smart enough to know that power differentials and structural biases exist in the media industry; and they know that it would be silly to offer themselves to a media that is already hostile to them and their political aspirations. One doesnt need to be a philosopher to achieve such wisdom: Its called common sense.

Some of us had placed some hope on Zaid Ibrahim as someone who might have injected a modicum of objectivity, reason and common sense to the party that he decided to join. But parties are composite entities made up of a myriad of personalities who do not necessarily agree with each other all the time. The need, therefore, is to learn the art of compromise and teamwork, even when the odds are stacked against you.

Occasionally one must also accept that one cannot have one’s way all the time; in which case the time would come to quit and bid a quiet farewell. But no party – not PKR, not UMNO, not PAS, not DAP or even the Labour and Conservative parties of the UK – can or will continue to tolerate mavericks who rush out to the street to complain whenever they do not get their way.

The disappointment expressed about Zaid by some members of PKR is understandable under the circumstances, and it would probably manifest even if he was still an UMNO member who chose to speak to the opposition press. Parties have rules and norms, and collective responsibility happens to be one of them. If you can’t agree with that, then don’t join a party. That’s common sense too.

(Dr Farish is a well-known Malaysian political commentator and a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University NTU, Singapore)