When the price of RON95 petrol shot up from RM1.90 to RM2.10 a litre in September last year, Pakatan Rakyat politicians laid low. Perhaps this was due to election fatigue.
However even the recent price hike of RON95 from RM2.10 to RM2.30 a litre, has failed to get even the smallest squeak out of them.
Granted there were the few who spoke up – Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad from PAS and Lim Guan Eng from DAP – but on the whole, PR has remained strangely but surely silent on the matter.
Which begs the question, “why?”
It does make one wonder if PAS’ Mohamad Sabu being down with dengue fever has anything to do with it. As most PR watchers know, it is usually this fiery politician who gallantly rallies his supporters and boldly heads protests when the government is seen to have stepped out of line.
Now however, something is decidedly amiss with many thinking PR leaders must still be reeling from the aftermath of the Selangor Menteri Besar saga. Their apparent silence and feeble attempts at condemning the fuel hikes does nothing to inspire confidence. If anything, it has firmly planted the idea in most people’s heads that all is not well in the coalition.
Interviews conducted with twenty PR supporters elicited this same viewpoint: “Something is wrong in Pakatan Rakyat”.
Everyone interviewed agreed it was time PR got their act together and attended to pressing issues at hand.
Five of those interviewed were of the opinion that by staying in the sidelines, PR was losing a golden opportunity to regain the public’s support at a time when fuel hikes were burning an even bigger hole in the public’s pocket. As one bank executive said, “Pakatan has malfunctioned.”
PAS Youth Chief, Suhaizan Kaiat has informed this columnist that he will be organising a protest. We will wait and see.
PR has to snap out of its inertia and get back to championing the issues affecting the people. They have to find their voice so that they can be the voice of the people.
Many of those interviewed remarked it was pointless to have the word “Rakyat” in the coalition’s name if its leaders have forgotten about the rakyat.
“If Pakatan does not want to speak up on this RON95 issue which is of paramount importance to the ordinary citizen, then they might as well close shop,” commented a taxi driver in KL.
Selena Tay is an FMT columnist