Saturday, May 10, 2008

Karpal saga - Johor DAP Vice Chairman agrees with Nathaniel Tan

Possibility: Karpal alone to sink Pakatan kapal?
Posted on May 10th, 2008 by Nathaniel Tan
It’s just a question, before diehard Karpal supporters start flinging brickbats. I must say I felt for the poor guy, who talked about rushing out to war and suddenly finding comrades you expected to be there behind you conspicuously missing. In this case however, perhaps it was a case of one general not consulting fellow generals, colonels and privates before rushing out.

I’m the last person in the world to comment about where royal boundaries begin and end. It’s simply not my area of expertise. But from a purely political standpoint, surely there is a need for some nuance here. The question I believe should face YB Karpal is, is it worth it?
Yes, I can totally sympathise with being unflinchingly true to ones principles. It is admirable no doubt.

For me, one principle is knowing what to give and what to take, to maximise the good of the people. Having recently rewatched Hot Fuzz with polytikus, I know the dangers of being obsessed with the greater good, and indeed, the line must be drawn somewhere. Indefinite detention without trial or torture for instance. Or even, I’m prepared to concede, super (and I mean super) dramatic cases involving serious overstepping of boundaries where the royalty or religion is concerned.

But drawing the line at the Sultan’s objection with regards to the appointment of a state religious chief? At a time when race relations are facing unprecedented challenges, and the unscrupulous (Utusan) waits to pounce on absolutely anything remotely perceived as anti-Malay? It’s not about sweeping everything under the carpet until Pakatan sweeps into power. It’s about being respectful of people’s beliefs, and what they hold sacred. If indeed someone’s right to swing his fist ends where your nose begins, I think we may have reached more than a few nostril hairs by now.

I think even Anwar, even riding the height of his credit ratings, prefers to consult with the party before deciding on major policy stances, statements, and the like. I certainly shouldn’t presume to tell others how to do their job, but perhaps not making such consultations has resulted in YB
Karpal’s current unenviable position?
Again: especially if you share my view that this is no slippery slope yet, is this really the place to draw that line?