WE are disappointed and dismayed over the recent article in The Star by Baradan Kuppusamy on the forum organised by Kairos Research Centre, “New Political Activism and Realignment: Implications for Malaysia’s GE13.”
The article reported on the forum speakers with its claim that “Academics and other opinion makers said to be close to Pakatan Rakyat praised the Prime Minister’s reformist credentials while questioning Pakatan’s readiness to rule the country.”
For example, Bridget Welsh pointed out that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak faced difficulties in carrying out reforms for Umno despite electoral setbacks. Her caveat included the observation that Umno had not reformed since 2008 due to pressure from the “tremendous legacy” of restraint left by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was completely left out.
Baradan’s quotation, “Dr Welsh said Najib ‘deserves credit’...” ignores the thrust of her cautionary judgment that Najib’s ‘reforms’ were in the end ineffective.
Baradan failed to do Andrew Khoo justice when he took Andrew’s words as casting doubt on Pakatan’s readiness to rule because it had not announced a shadow cabinet.
The remark was an answer to what was a final question of the forum and should be understood in the context of an earlier discussion that lasted two-and-a-half hours.
Andrew had previously mentioned that Najib’s so-called reforms, when looked at more closely, were not comprehensive and deep rooted, and therefore not as significant as they were made out to be.”
That being the case, the question arose as to how Pakatan could do better, to which Andrew raised the role of a shadow cabinet. One may debate the merits and demerits of the role of a shadow cabinet, but it would be doing Andrew grave injustice to suggest that he therefore cast doubt on Pakatan’s readiness to rule.
It should be stressed that the purpose of the forum by Kairos Research Centre was neither to praise nor to blame any political party.
The ethos of Kairos forums is educational with the aim to inform Christians with accurate facts pertaining to social-political developments and educate Christians on the criteria of justice and good governance and to engage with civil society in building robust democratic institutions.
Strong democracies and good elections result from voters who have been properly informed by journalists writing with professionalism and moral integrity. As concerned Malaysians we expect nothing less.
DR NG KAM WENG
Kairos Research Centre