Dirty wine in a new bottle

RPK must be so disappointed with PKR that his latest post is titled:  UMNO is beginning to look better than PKR.

Looking at how the bickering inside the party,  how recent PKR  elections were run, and how Zaid,  Nurul and others were being treated , I tend to agree with him that more and more people are disgusted with the politics that are being played in PKR.

It is just like a bottle of dirty and unpalatable wine stored in a new bottle. The bottle may be new, the wine is as lousy as before, and maybe getting even worse, since the new bottle may have something that make the wine even dirtier and more unpalatable than when it was in the old bottle.

That is the scenerio today, just 2 years and a half after 308. At the time of the tsunami,  the new bottle was so so shining and the label so attractive that everyone wanted to taste it.  People did not have to think twice to cast votes for the new bottle. Moreover, the old bottle was so full of  ‘sh*t’  on its surface that it made the choice easy for the rakyat.

The warloads within PR have failed to realise  that they have not won the Federal government yet; but the way many of their members act, it is as if they are already enjoying the spoils of war and everyone is trying to fight to get a share of these.

I have written after 308, even though i am a member of Gerakan, I was glad that a 2 party sytem, however imperfect, was taking shape. I thought Malaysia would be a better place if BN loses one term. I have also advised PR parties that the main priorities for them is to rule the  states under them well, so that to win over the trust of the people, and  show that they are indeed ready to take on bigger things such as ruling Putrajaya. They have to show the people that they are not just a new bottle; the wine inside is of good grade, too.

But even before the dust has settled, internal squabblings have started and the quarrels even went public. Yes, even BN parties are not immune to internal fights and EGMs and so on, but as a party that is is projecting itself as the hope for change, PR should project a better image than BN, if it wants to not just retain its support level, but to improve on it .

But as things as going, it will not only fail to improve on its support level, but also runs the real risk of losing those who are not die-hard supporters of PR.

I have compared this to the Tai Ping Rebellion of China during the Qing dynasty (refer to my article in July 2009 here) . A rebellion full of potential to overthrow the Manchus failed because its leaders were engaged in infighting, backstabbing, and fighting for the spoils of war even before they have reached the half way mark. The bickering and plundering sealed their fate and the Manchu army was able to defeat them, even though the people of China then had no affinity at all for the Manchus.

PR must realise that out of the 82 seats it won, over 30  were won on wafer thin margin. Just a swing of a few hundreds votes would mean the end of their dreams.

It would be a real pity if Malayisa, after coming so close to a 2 party system, falters again because the party crying for change cannot deliver change.

As for gerakan, this is what RPK wrote: I think I will go join Gerakan if they promise to revamp the party and change its leaders and leave Barisan Nasional to start life anew as a Third Force for all Malaysians fed up of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

In fact, after 308, I have known and spoken out often  that the only chance for Gerakan to survive is to change and come out of BN, and pick up the baton of nonraicsm  that was dropped when it accepted Tun Razak’s invitation to join BN as one of its founding members. Once it is out, i am sure tons of good people would join, and Gerakan could have become a real people’s movement.

Read also: A social movement as a third force


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chanjoe1
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 14:27:16

    If PKR has became a new bottle with old wine…so will Gerakan be cuz majority of leaders in Gerakan are more lousy wine and thats why rakyat tasted for so many years but got no better wine and so they can stay in power for so long…..but now bettet wine is here though it may be lousy but at least it wont make you vomit compared to Gerakan wine.
    Leaders in Gerakan can go in thru backdoors and so what kind of wine is this? No matter what, PKR will stay as a much better wine than Gerakan.


  2. CYC
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 14:46:47

    Some treat this RPK’s confession as a ray of morning sunshine to BN. But imperfection is but part and parcel of political games. By saying so, I don’t mean to defend PKR’s current turmoil. What is more important is to recognise its short coming while sternly be warned of potential damage BN has inflicted upon the nation for 50 years and continue to get worse. I hope that some damage control will be in place when the whole PKR direct election process is over. Its difficult but not impossible.My trust on the younger breeds supersede the worries cast on the ex UMNO fortune seekers. Over confident ? Yes, I prefer to pine my hopes on something new rather than fall back to something already proven rotten beyond repair.

    3rd but only a name. Any agent of change other than the existing 2 political coalitions can be regarded as 3rd force. There are many of them in our society and its only a matter of whether they are recognised as one. Gelakan will never to become a potent 3rd force simply due to its affiliation with BN far too long to eradicate the tail of corruption, cronyism, nepotism and rent seeking deeply planted with majority of its members. Some may disagree but truth shall prevail no matter how hard you try to defend otherwise. The argument is the same as one pointing to the old ugly scars of ex-UMNO PKR members. I hope i am wrong on my assessment.

    Strengthen your conviction in voting for a change before our country is bankrupt and destroy by the current regime. This writing is on the wall if you try analyse the implication of the methodology how they dish out mega projects to “selected’ cronies. We will definitely taste high inflation even before you could even dream of high income. A nation will not achieve high income without proportionate increase in education standard. We will never able to raise the bar of our education standard so long students and undergrads are denied the space to think critically and widen their perspective with all the restrictive acts still there. Common sense tell us no employer will give you pay increase of 8 to 10% annually without achieving the proportionate increase in productivity. But it could be achieved on the lab by inserting some silly assumptions and then produce report to substantiate it with some nicely drawn graphs and charts.

    Dr, my opinion expressed here is not aim to counter your expectation of renew hope on Gerakan to transform itself as 3rd force but purely on fear of your influence upon the readers to lose hope on PR. It may do a lot of injustice to you as member sitting the other side of the fence but my passion of getting rid of BN is just unstoppable.


  3. Dr Hsu
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 15:39:20

    My purpose of this article , and i think RPK must have the same thought, is to jolt those politicians in PR into realising that they are actually shooting themselves in their own feet. Sometimes winning too many by elections may give these people a false sense of invincibility. In fact, soemtimes it may be good to lose a battle but win the war..


  4. A true Malaysian
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 16:01:50

    No one here is die hard fan of Pakatan, I inclusive.

    My observation is this, I don’t discount third party has a hand in these so-called internal bickering. Remember RPK wrote, moles are everywhere in Pakatan. New moles will be penetrating Pakatan as well out of $$.

    For this reason, my vote is still to Pakatan as the fact is that there are still many principled, hard working politicians in there that carry our hope to have a brighter & better Malaysia.

    Let these moles show their tails through forthcoming PKR and DAP party elections. The members’ eyes are clear to choose who to helm the parties.

    With Umno around, I don’t put any hope on 2-party system as you can see their resistant to it so far.

    On the surface of it, many, like RPK and Dr. Hsu, are disappointed with what is going on, but don’t you think that these Pakatan politicians are so dumb as to bring such bickering to public?

    The fact is this, we have limited choice for who to go to especially good people in the so-called ‘Third Force’ reluctant to fight under the banner of Pakatan and play the role of third force within Pakatan. We can see this in Gerakan where Dr. Hsu always claim there are many good people in it yet they still want to remain within the control of Umno?

    Just put aside the play in bickering. The aim is to put Pakatan in Putrajaya to put back the pillars in shape. The open letter by an ex-CID chief as we read in MT tells us the deep sh*t Malaysia is in. How rot Pakatan can be as compared to this rot we see in this open letter? Mind you, it is only a tip of the iceberg.

    Dr. Hsu, your efforts in correcting Gerakan from within is failed miserably, at least to me. Now, would you think these politicians outside Gerakan will listen to your views? Fat hope.

    That is the reason why in Malaysia, for someone to exert influence, one needs to take position in politics. It cannot be neither here nor there and not consider oneself as a politician to exert change. The only person can do that is none other than RPK.


  5. A true Malaysian
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 18:02:49

    The Deputy President post of PKR should rightfully goes to Khalid Ibrahim as he had proven himself that :-

    a) he can withstand pressure from Umno
    b) he has multiracial mindset
    c) he can be fair and is in favour of meritocracy

    It is important for Azmin Ali to prove himself that he has the 3 qualities above for him to be elected DP.

    As for Zaid Ibrahim, he is still new to PKR and without grassroots support. With or without position in PKR through party election, he can still play important role by ‘appointed’ position if he failed in the party election.

    As for Nurul Izzah, this is not the time for her for the DP post. Anyway, time is at her advantage as she is still so young.


  6. pilocarpine
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 18:44:03

    i agree with A true Malaysian.
    Despite internal bickering, it shows that PKR has more to offer.

    Gerakan, with the right people, can still go forth and reform and be the 3rd force that everyone is looking forward to. with the right people and a lot, a lot, a lot of aspiration and difficulty


  7. Jayjay
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 19:43:09

    In my opinion, I think PKR is still not mature and they need to grow and grow fast !


  8. AgreeToDisagree
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 19:59:29

    Anyone can be a 3rd force. Just stand for election with the intent to remove patronage cliques and nepotist oligarchies or bad politicians pushing oppressive or profit oriented laws. Even the response to the below simple examples could sound out who we citizens want in parliament :

    15,000.00 election deposit to be reduced to 15.00.

    750,000 for CM’s funerals, 2,000 for all others.

    It’s policies and issues things like these that show the person within. PSM’s Employment Bill 2010 also is good. Just imagine too much power to the Minister or how they will use pro-BN ladies to cause harm by accusing of sexual harrassment.

    Hats off to PSM’s action there, even though they are unapproachable and dismissive of ordinary citizens at times which makes them more of an NGO than a political party.


  9. wisely
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 21:25:28


    Tonight news speaks it all. Azmin and Anwar prefer candidates are made to win and when lose declare invalid the meeting. And all this in the name of keadilan and demokrasi! Sooner or later this party is going down the drain also.

    I agree with u Gerakan is going nowhere today and being a third force can and might be a good option since present leaders are not reforming or positioning the party well enough. After next GE, everything will be clearer. I doubt they are willing to change now. After next GE, all will be forced to change – my prediction!


  10. disgusted
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 22:15:54

    It’s tough to understand. I can’t. When Anwar was in jail, he sent his wife to some people to set up PKR and with limited resources, those committed people managed to set it up. There was no proper premises and no decent records of membership.

    It went through the tsunami and came up surfing on top the waves while others went under. The rest is history. What I am trying to say is that, there was trials and tribulations, it was tough.

    When a person went through hell and came back, don’t you think he should really “appreciate” the blessings especially the peoples’ support being the most precious. Why would he shoot himself in the foot and start screwing everything up? Self destruction, suicide?

    That’s exactly what Anwar is doing to his party and in the process screw everybody’s hopes along with it. Yes, none of us are fanatics of PKR but the whole affair is just Saddening.


  11. amywyon
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 22:18:26

    Vote of no confidence and get KTK out… like, yesterday already.

    He’s a lame duck in semi-retirement mode enjoying his portfolio-less position. He’s dragging his feet with Gerakan. Seriously, ever since losing Penang… I don’t think he cares about the future of Gerakan anymore. It’s pretty obvious from the way he behaves.

    The longer Gerakan waits for something to happen, the more certain its demise. The problem with Chinese in politics is the ‘respect’ and ‘face’ issue: must respect the chief, kenot give him vote-of-no-confidence because must give face the chief, must respect seniority and all those things. Arrrrggghhh… ‘face’ & ‘respect’ is more important than Malaysia’s future hor?


  12. Jong
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 01:28:13

    The decades old ‘Gerakan wine’ has gone too sour and beyond hope. The EGM over the weekend revealed they don’t even have the will power for change and it was a shame. Teng Hock Nam and Koh Tsu Koon rejected by Penangites should have been flushed down the toilet long ago! What a disgrace.


  13. CYC
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 11:35:26

    Najib is pouring old wine into new bottle with trendy labels. The fools shout hurray in approval of something they thought is gift from heaven. Least they realise its the same wine they have been drinking for ages since the old manufacturer Old Horse’s heyday. Economy will grow at least 6% per annum and our average income will hit USD15000 by 2020, so was the mantra of our govt. The many labs under PEMANDU is busy doing some creative mathematics/accounting by working backwards to arrive at the magic figures of some billions or trillions ringgit investment needed to achieve the holy goal of high income society assuming the world will be in stagnant mode waiting for us catch up. The rule of majority need some handicap while the minority should forgo their credentials to achieve a harmonious society envied by the whole as they proudly claimed. But never will they dare to risk losing a single vote and hence a u turn again just day before tabling Budget 2011 with the announcement : no immediate implementation of GST. ETP is only a joke as far as implementation is concern. Its all but a real estate play without being supported by any sustainable long term strategies.

    Lets be screwed folks as the govt need some excitement to inflate its ego of being man with high fertility. Whether the offspring will face with famine or malnutrition is matter for the next generation to worry about. You sacrifice a little first for their immediate consumption. Not a bad day living in the “petai” democracy, old wines still aplenty and smelly too like after eating petai.


  14. A true Malaysian
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 16:10:09

    The reason behind my choice of Khalid Ibrahim as DP of PKR is quite similar with that of RPK.


    and I agree with RPK for his statement here,

    “Some think I am getting too personal about the PKR party contest. Maybe I am. Anything that affects the future of Pakatan Rakyat I take very personal because this invariably affects the future of Malaysia as well.

    So we need to look at the big picture. I couldn’t care a damn who becomes the number two of PKR if it is just about PKR. But when the outcome has a bearing on the wellbeing of Pakatan Rakyat, then it becomes everyone’s concern, even those in PAS and DAP.”

    But, what differ my view and RPK’s is that Khalid Ibrahim is my choice of DP, not Nurul Izzah simply because :-

    a) Nurul Izzah is still too young for the post
    b) Umno & BN may accuse of nepotism in PKR if Nurul Izzah is elected DP, which in fact, is not to me.
    c) In case Anwar lost his war in Sodomy II case, Khalid Ibrahim, which had proven his administration skill, is there to be PM or DPM when Pakatan taken over Putrajaya.

    The fear of RPK that Khalid Ibrahim, being MB of Selangor may affect his performance as DP can be neutralised by appointing Nurul Izzah (or other caliber people like Elizabeth Wong, Sim Tze Sin of Jerejak) as his personal assistant to assist him in his party duties. In this way, PKR can train up youngsters with potentials for future use.


  15. petestop
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 21:49:48

    Totally agree with you, Doc.

    It is shameful the way they jostle for position, not only PKR, but the likes of Perak DAP, as if the next GE is already in their hands.

    It is really hard to find principled politicians nowadays, especially when they stand to gain from their position.

    Political parties should practise zero tolerance with respect to indiscipline and any wayward behaviour of their members. Only this way they can cull the herd so that only those of quality can qualify to stand for election.


  16. AgreeToDisagree
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 22:07:30

    This partially dismantles the nepotism issue. It is very good that “A true Malaysian” is conscious of the nepotism and oligarchy issue (hopefully patronage cliques as well). If only Nurul had been more patient this round, we’d all be able to trust her abit more in a few decades.

    Careful of Nurul’s propensity to ignore ethical / conflict of interest protections or be guided by the unprincipled wishes of her followers ignorant of ethical/oligarchy-preventing strictures. Some of us are kinda youngish still, so now ok, remember what is said this day 14th October 2010;

    *** Nurul has a child, will this child be active in politics 20 years from now.? Oligarchy is endless and will end up as power mad behaviour, I don’t want to hear of Nurul, husband and child being all in politics then as well in 20 years as well, understand? I don’t want hear how Nurul wants to give her child ‘something she never had’ – an Oligarchy at the expense of the people! ***

    It’s a government NOT a family business. Government cannot belong to anyone without causing conflict of interest or having that power corrupt them or set precedent for everyone else to do the same – it is not sustainable, like allowing seawage to flow into the sea!

    Any where else outside of GLCs as well, I wish the very best for the Ibrahims and that their prosperity and well being, but stop inflicting conflict of interest and Oligarchy on public sphere!

    Just for good measure, heres that link on nepotism and deference to fellow citizens again :

    The column that wasn’t – Marina Mahathir – 3rd March 2010

    We must help temper our political scene or we will end up having Oligarchs and dictators, patronage cliques and cronies and lapdogs at the end of the day.

    Don’t insult the intelligence of the Rakyat and think we can accept OLIGARCHY/DICTATORSHIP! Whats thing going to cause in Malaysia? Another North Korea?

    Go set up the biggest baddest Paul Harris Fellowship / Worship Club you want to in private sphere and not a peep will be heard, but HANDS OFF OUR GOVERNMENT OR BUREAUCRACY! Even PLUTOCRATS and ANTI-TRUST ANTI-MONOPOLY have to be abided by in the Commercial Private Sphere much less Oligarchs and Dictators in government . . .

    So NEVER allow nepotism and oligarchy or it’s second nearest sinner patronage, cliques and cronies in government. These are elements of corruption, decadence and ethical neglect in government! If you love Malaysia, remember that the only dynasty acceptable is that of the various Sultans!


  17. A true Malaysian
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 23:21:39

    It’s alright to me if Nurul Izzah is elected DP of PKR. Don’t get me wrong here.


  18. CYC
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 21:36:17

    Glance through the main points of 2011 Budget, wonder how could it transform our economy into a high income nation ? By merely setting up a talent corporation and increase allocation for upgrading civil servants skill ? Or by building a 100 storey skyscraper and renovating PM residence which cost us millions ? Its a joke which only comprehensible by BN mentality, Gerakan included of course.

    -Operating expenses 3/4 while development expenditures only 1/4. Such an impressive ratio only an stagnant economy will employ. How synergise the economy and what kind multiplier effect could u expect from the (1/4) development expenditures ?

    -How will 100 storey skyscraper impact our economy in the long run? are we only going for short term thrill and forgotten the what constitute sustainable effect on real economy ?

    -Where is the political will of our govt to implement minimum wage policy ? By introducing 500 to 700 per month salary to security guards depending on locality ?

    -Freeze on toll charges hike for next 5 years without explaining or telling us the quantum of compensation involved ? Another lie aimed to cheat the uneducated segment while continue to squeeze the middle income segment.

    -Pending implementation of GST, service tax is increased by 1%. Rationale unknown to us. could we still trust their promise that GST will be pegged at 4% if it ever being implemented ?

    -Over the past 10 years, our govt only managed to attract 1000 plus “talents” back to serve our country. This figure never tell us whether all of them still remain here ? So, will talent corp succeed in their mission ?

    I leave the rest till I read the newspaper tomorrow. Well, on personal level I benefit nothing from this budget except to be burden by an extra 1% service tax on my subscription of Astro. Cheers to a caring and innovative govt, of course Gerakan being part of the establishment.


  19. FOO
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 21:37:02

    1st. priority in the 13th GE is to knock out UNMO and BN, vote in PR no matter how bad PKR is right now.

    UNMO’s and BN’s behaviour and methods have not changed since they loss 2/3 majority in 2008. They have NOT learnt their lesson. Make them the opposition party next time around and they will definately wake up.

    Having a 3rd force will defeat or weaken PR’s chances in next GE. PR and PKR especially are not prefect, even BN with 60+ years experience is rotting by the day. PKR was form from breakaways from BN, so what do you expect? Currently they together with DAP and PAS gives us the Rakayat the best option to vote out BN.


  20. looes74
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 21:37:14

    Fellow countrymen,
    Good analogy to this current situation is to read the history of WWII. Plus some Malaysian political history in the 50s & 60s. Malaysia was filled with all kinda of forces going in all direction.
    Just as Stalin is murderous bastards but does not mean one must drop Soviet Union from the The Allied Force & fight the Nazi only on the western front.
    What about the disastrous “Operation Market” campaign? Or counter offensive by the desperate Germans/Hilter in the Battle of Bulge who seeming winning the war? Endless shouting matches between PATTON & MONTGOMERY throughout most campaign.

    Gerakan has his chances. Gerkan has squandered the chances. Like Lim Keng Yaik said, Gerakan has had it good for 40 years….To what end…..Syed Husin Alatas & Tan Chee Koon & son have given……I am sorry to repeat again…..Why flagging a dead horse
    You talk about Taiping rebellion in Pakatan Rakyat. Then, I counter with the reestablishment of monarchism movement at the beginning of the Republic

    Going against the tide is futilte. My suggestion is just like the Allies in WWII. Sink Nazi Germany & Japan….Then, talk


  21. disgusted
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 23:09:57

    Folks, so the “Bad-get” is out for 2011. Sigh!

    100-storey Tower for 3 million mentally unstable Malaysians? Putting nation in world map. I don’t know what type of mentality our leaders have.


  22. A true Malaysian
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:52:32

    It is a ‘Spend thrift’ budget before their rein is over.

    Imagine the Warisan Merdeka building will be completed in year 2020, who got the contract, we got the money? Even if they are no more in power, big chunk of $$ still need to pay to you-know-who. Brilliant?

    5 years no toll hike for plus highway, but government still need to pay compensation to PLUS. So, whose money?

    Huge budget, where does the money flow to? That’s the big question.


  23. disgusted
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 16:59:09

    With the MRT project next year, can you imagine the “driving Hell” Valley will become, with chronic traffic jams. They can justify all types of stupid reasons to justify a project. “The project will reduce traffic ….more people do not drive, reduce petrol cost, toll cost and even accidents will go down,” a goon said.

    The same said for the LRT. And also when the Dayabumi project was launched many years ago. Always fantastic reasons. And yet time finally tell us the truth, they always screwed up everything.


  24. disgusted
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 17:05:10

    The infamous toad in ICU. Will his sins be buried soon?


  25. AgreeToDisagree
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 22:47:33

    Gerakan’s 2nd liners or early leavers could still present a force twice as strong as PSM, but they must pull out from BN first and be Pakatan friendly though not beholden to Pakatan, or Gerakan is indeed finished.

    Dr.Hsu, any thoughts? Maybe get together for a round table with Dato Gark Kim and the NON-LAPDOG Gerakan members who are still left or the Gerakan members who are ready to launch expositions on BN’s corrupt practices and file suits.

    As I said, the margins of losses might not be too large in some seats, and with the launch of such suits and expositions by current and former key members, who knows, how about roping in Dr. Lim Chong Yew himself to expose the fraud and collusion with dr.Evil he was involved in?

    Tun Chong Yew may be old, but not too old to see that the Chinese community could still appreciate such a gesture, self destructive as it is to Chong Yew himself, he will at least pass on with a clear conscience, which should be the most valuable thing at his age . . . his pathos (equivalent to dr.Evils at least), ethos (twisted as it is) and sheer wealth (though ill gotten) could be sufficient to compensate the H-Bomb effect of the Logos of what I suggest here . . .

    Penang could still be yours, and save the Chinese from hegemony of the DAP, we can never give carte blanc to any political party IMHO . . . the 3rd Force will be most viable if Chong Yew would lead the Chinese via this method, in this probably last and biggest political expedition of his lifetime, going out with a bang instead of a whimper . . .

    Any thoughts, Third Forcers and reformed Gerakaners? Dr. Hsu, Dato Gark Kim? A return of the Old Guard would create quiet a stir, and this time they would be here for a good cause, righteous cause, FACE-SAVING cause . . .


  26. klm
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 11:38:10

    Dr Hsu. This Ibrahim Ali fella was reported to have 3 arteries block. Maybe this heaven’s way of punishing him for the 3 shits. But anyway, What is the odd of him surviving the heart surgery? I am interested to know.


  27. disgusted
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 19:03:30


    I remember the joke on all the organs (in body) quarrelling over which is the boss calling the shots. Of course, the heart was one of the quarrelsome organ but we all know the “ass” won the debate.

    As for the toad, it is a complete ass. Hope it recovers. It is good for shitting at white ants.

    Pardon the language, Dr. My proficiency in the English language is quite bad. Can’t think of better words.


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