PKR needs to be less of a cult and more of a party

SEPTEMBER 19 — I joke a lot about PKR being all about “justice for Anwar” over all things but the party has now become self-parodying.

From the deputy prime minister to Rafizi Ramli’s slavish praise for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, you would forgive outsiders for thinking he is the Malay saviour.

It stems, I think, from the feudalistic mindset we have not abandoned since 1957. This deference, this catering to huge personalities and egos, the bowing and scraping — it is so ingrained, many of us just don’t see it anymore.

I remember working with this one Datin Seri on a project and she brought in someone she called a “friend.” Said friend would not stop referring to her by her Datin Seri title, even in emails. Never mind that said Datin Seri’s staff all called her by her first name (she would complain if they didn’t).

Honestly I wish we could dispense with titles and the using of them in regular speech. One, there are too many Datuks and the like and two, it is tiresome. 

Conversations like the following, for instance, are not unheard of:
“Datuk said ” 

“Which Datuk? You mean Datuk Seri, right?”

“Yes, yes, you’re right ”

At this point I’d be amenable to even adopting the Indonesians’ “Bapak”, “Ibu” and other generic titles because our titles have become quite meaningless.

Titles such as Datuk etc should have been reserved for people who have genuinely performed acts of merit that deserve to be remembered forever.

Instead, we give them out to the friend’s friend of some other Datuk’s cousin’s brother-in-law.

Back to PKR. Let’s be real. Malaysians didn’t vote out Barisan Nasional (BN) to bring Anwar back, regardless of Rafizi and PKR’s delusions. They voted for change, improved governance and improved living conditions — not for a daily circus where licking boots is the order of the day.

Remember, in the end, not to make the same mistake BN did — ignore the people who have the power to vote you out.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.