Tan edging closer to join PKR
Posted July 22, 2008on:
And edging closer to the ambit set for September 16th.
New Politics offer the sky to politicians with the heart for the Rakyat.
But then again it is not a privileged position to be a Pakatan Rakyat politician representing the people.
It is a total difference in mindset and culture…
It is about the Rakyat taking responsibility to ensure that the leaders conform to the ideals of New Politics. The Rakyat themselves must be well-versed, too about New Politics…racial and group centric policies and operations in governing the country becomes obsolete in New Politics. The Rakyat themselves must also change to effect changes…
|Tan edging closer to join PKR|
|Chan Kok Leong & Ng Ling Foong | Jul 21, 08 4:48pm|
|Fed up with the limited role she has played in MCA and the limited time she has left, former MCA Wanita deputy chief Tan Yee Kew, 55, is now “very likely” join Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
During an exclusive interview at the Malaysiakini office today, Tan admitted that she will most probably join PKR although she has yet to submit her application.
“PKR is a new multiracial party and it has a lot of room for future development. And because it’s new, it’s also more receptive to new ideas and changes,” said Tan.
Tan was also anticipating some 1,000 others to join her at PKR and she was currently busy looking for a proper venue to host an event next month to announce her final decision.
But in typical political double-speak, Tan added that while she has not encouraged MCA members to join her, she will nevertheless not stop others who feel the same way too.
“Well, I can’t stop people from joining me and on certain occasions I’ve had to explain myself. And if they share my views and see what I see, they will join me. But this is not due to blind loyalty,” she added.
During the 50-minute interview, she also denied that she had been offered a post in the Klang Municipal Council. She noted that the rumours had been circulating since elections were over and she had not discussed her new role in PKR.
“At this junction, party positions are no longer of interest to me. When I joined MCA in my 30s and I had different objectives then.
“But now, I’m in my 50s and already have a family with children, my intentions are different. At this juncture, personal interests are no longer crucial anymore,” she added.
At the moment, she is happy to enhance the attraction of PKR by making it less of a Malay-only party.
“In the years (to come), if I can add strength to a two-party system, I’m happy.”
A new start
“Well, I’ve been contemplating to make a new start to my political career for some time now. I’ve been trying very hard to look for new meaning in my career.
“After March 8, I see the changing political scenario where it has provided me new hope and a renewed sense of purpose.
“In the past, even though I was unhappy and frustrated, there was no alternative. The changes after election have also opened up a new arena for everyone and we now have a viable choice,” said Tan.
Tan, who has a doctorate in regional development, agreed that the safe option would be to stay with MCA.
“If I stayed, I would have contested for a high position in the party and even though I may not do much, not many will criticise me. But I can do more.
“The people want a two-party system and if I can add strength to them it is a step worth taking.”
One poignant observation by the former two-term Klang MP (1995-2004) was on why she has opted for PKR was about its political courage on the New Economic Policy.
“In this matter, I’ve a lot of respect for Anwar (Ibrahim) as he is willing to discuss very openly with the Malays on this policy,” said Tan.
“Many people know that NEP only benefits a very small group of privileged Malays but very few dare say it. When more discuss the NEP openly, they will soon realise that it’s not just a race issue anymore.
“If we want do tackle the issue of poverty, let’s deal with poverty and not something else. And that’s how corruption and abuse of power arise and hide behind NEP,” she added.
Failed to achieve objectives
“I’ve not been able to do as much as I’ve wanted to do. Twenty-two years is a long time and in the end when you can’t achieve what you had set out to do, that is the biggest disappointment,” said Tan.
“And when you realise that you don’t have another 20-30 years ahead of you, it is frightening. Time is short and I’ve make the most of the years when I’ve still got the energy to go on.”
On her frustrations with MCA, she said there seems to be no will to resolve some of its most basic problems.
“Take for instance phantom members,” she said.
“There are thousands of phantom members everywhere, in all the divisions. I’ve tried in the past to rid the party of them but there seems to be resolve by the leadership to do the same.”
Certain leaders, Tan said, use such phantom members to shore up their popularity despite them not having the support of grassroots members and the community.
“And because they can control these phantom members, they always triumph during the party elections.”
Limited scope in BN
“Take my role in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (parliamentary secretary from 2003-2007) for instance. Despite the good leadership, one ministry alone cannot do much.
“You also need to have the political will of the country to make significant progress and political reform. And I don’t see that here,” explained the former Klang MP.
Although the allocation she received during her time as a parliamentarian helped, she was less happy with her role in Miti.
“I only read prepared text in Parliament and I can’t even take part in any of the decision-making processes,” said Tan.
On leaving the Chinese-based party, Tan said: “We’ve already tried many years in MCA and BN and it has not worked. So maybe, it’s time to try another platform.
“And although Pakatan Rakyat has only just begun to administer Selangor, it has given us a lot of confidence.”
A two-party system, she added, can help push reforms quickly.
“What we were in previously is one-dominant political party (BN). And no matter how good it was a case of absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is precisely what is happening in Barisan now,” said Tan.
“With another party of equal strength in the equation, you can have a sort of check and balance in the system. And if Pakatan fails in the future, people can vote them out as what they did with BN.
“At least there is a choice. When there is no choice, you’ll find corruption, complacency and abuse of power.”
Tan, a MCA senior central committee member, tendered her resignation letter from the party on July 17 after 20 years of serving the party.
She cited disenchantment and frustration with MCA’s leadership as her reasons.