Pic courtesy of TV Smith.

I was with the Barisan Rakyat bloggers at Kelana Jaya stadium last night to show my solidarity for RPK and TK who are detained under the ISA by the authorities.The photo above shows part of the exuberant crowd of about 15.000 (Mkini estimated 20K) consisting of all races who turned up. And yes, this time around, a lot more KL/Selangor chinese were present compared to the previous other rallies stretching back to the Penguin Walk on 26th September’07.

The gathering, organised by PR (or was it another opportunistic publicity stunt by AI of PKR because I heard that the one million pieces each of JG mini flags and red rubber wristbands were donated by someone to PKR, and not PR) had the necessary permit approved by the RMP primarily for a Malaysia Day celebration. Of course, the ISA detentions was made an integral part of last night’s program with all the speeches containing some references to it. So I guess there were people present for the sole purpose of showing solidarity to their fellow Malaysians in East Malaysia and the two personalities under ISA detention, just as I was.

Amidst the flag wavings, shouts of reformasi and 916 during the several speeches by the PR politicians, I was asked by my fellow bloggers why was I looking indifferent, to which I replied “It’s kinda hard for me to show any emotion with political speeches because to do so, would cloud my judgement on the sincerity contained within the words said.” Context, delivery and body language are equally tell-tale signs which I look for, and one blogger in fact pointed out AI’s sombre facial expressions prior to his grandstanding speech.

AI said yesterday that a letter has been submitted to AAB seeking an appointment to ostensibly discuss a ‘smooth and peaceful’ transition of governance from BN to PR and jokingly mentioned that AAB might even ask him when ‘916’ is going to happen. The key factor is the actual names of MPs who are leaving BN which will then precipitate the change. I conferred with the bloggers and asked whether the list of names will be disclosed to AAB during the anticipated meeting. Mostly replied that it will not be done to ensure that the BN administration cannot ‘interfere’ with PR’s plans.

I find this strategy rather oddly infantile because a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. And a close door meeting with only certain representatives from both factions do not infer transparency i.e. assuming AI has only a dubious hold on the potential froggies, he could then turn to them after the meeting saying the crossover has been accepted by AAB as fait accompli thereby making it a self-fufilling prophecy.

In politics, perception and timing are paramount for victory but perhaps, when you’re dealing with potential ingrates, the one-eyed is King among the blind. Why must our wakil rakyat be molly-coddled with kid-gloves as if they are the precious commodity when it is they who should actually show their earnestness to ‘die’ for civil society’s aspirations?

The NST has this report:

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today failed yet again to form the next Government, further undermining his eroding credibility after missing several deadlines he himself had set for becoming Malaysia’s next Prime Minister.

Despite his numerous claims that he had managed to coerce Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over, Anwar told a news conference today that he was setting yet another deadline – “a few more days” – and claimed yet again that he had the majority but would only release the names to Prime Minister Datuk seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi “when he agrees to meet me.”

Earlier following March 8 election, Anwar had promised to form the government earlier but not beyond Sep 16. “God willing, we will be there. If not next month, the following month, then if not June or July, (it will be) on Merdeka (Aug 31) or Malaysia Day. I think we should not go beyond that (Sept 16),” Anwar was quoted on April 25.

Constitutionally, Anwar does not have to meet the Prime Minister if he has the majority. If he had the numbers as claimed, there is no necessity for him to seek an appointment with Abdullah.

According to constitutional lawyers, if Anwar indeed had the majority of Members of Parliament supporting him, as he has claimed many times since the March 8 general election, there are several possible constitutional scenarios.

If Anwar can prove he has the majority supporting him, he could table a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister in Parliament when it convenes.

If the BN loses the vote, then the Prime Minister and his Government will have to inform the Yang di Pertuan Agong that the BN no longer commands the majority.

If Anwar is chosen by the other opposition parties DAP and PAS to lead them, then the Yang di-Pertuan Agung will have to instruct Anwar to provide proof that he has the numbers by proving its majority in the Dewan Rakyat. Only then would Anwar be invited to form the Government.

Abdullah has another option if the opposition parties can successfully mount a no-confidence motion in him. He can opt to seek dissolution of Parliament and in a snap election – only for parliamentary seats – seek a fresh mandate.

There is no necessity to dissolve the state governments as they have a mandate to rule until 2013.

The likelihood, observers say , is that Anwar has not been able to coerce or entice enough BN MPs to join him and hence, that is why he has proposed many dates for forming the government – none of which have materialised.

The next few days will be crucial as both factions hunker down to face the onslaught of counter-moves by their opponents which I hope will not lead to an increase in public apathy and a disenfranchised electorate because the younger voters are just beginning to make their presence felt. To me, if it happens, that will be Malaysia’s biggest loss.

Therefore, despite AI’s repeated promise through his oft-said ‘we have the required numbers’ to form the new federal government under PR, the 45th Malaysia Day celebration has come to pass without the ultimate birthday present – the New Malaysia with better governance will have to wait for another time.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MALAYSIA.

P.S. Ever heard of the song titled “Tanah Pusaka“? Go listen and have a good cry, will yer. And thanks, sis.