Saturday, May 16, 2009

Talkers

Last week, right after the unofficial announcement by PD that Boediono would be selected as SBY's running mate for the upcoming Presidential election in July 8, leaders from PD's coalition parties, especially PKS and PAN, voiced out their disappointment, suspicion, accusation and even threatened to quit the coalition with PD, if SBY didn't change his preference. We know that PKS finally stayed with PD, while PAN showed their half-hearted support to the pair. I am no politician, and never want to be one, but a few thoughts below may be worth to consider.


The first one is about PKS. The reason why I casted my vote for PKS in 2004 general election, and might be the same reasons for many others, was not because its Islam platform, but because of its strong image as a clean party and more importantly because its people were always one of the first groups to be out there in the fields at the time of crisis or disasters, without too much of a fuss.

In the past, PKS was seen as a party of doers, instead of talkers. PKS had ever brought fresh wind into the country, making it different from the other political parties where its leaders did too many talks and self publicities with no or little works. PKS was also trying to project its moderate and tolerant image, and avoiding any linkages with an alleged grand scenario to convert Indonesia into Islamic state practicing strict shariah laws.

The incident in West Java, where the governor of a PKS cadre banned the traditional dance of Jaipong, tarnished not only its tolerant and moderate image, but also raised questions on its stance and appreciation towards diverse and rich Indonesia cultural roots. Meanwhile, its image as a party of doers was not as strong as before, and its clean image was overshadowed by the achievements of the current administration in combating corruption.

What PKS leaders did last week related with Boediono's selection as SBY's VP had caused further damages to its reputation. Not only people saw that PKS leaders were tempted to be talkers on the media, instead of channeling their concerns directly to SBY without creating unnecessary fuss, it also revealed the harder side of its face by pushing SBY to choose an Islamist figure to be his running mate.

PKS should learn from its mistakes and blunders, or else it would be fallen into just another Islamist party that cares for names instead of substance, that uses mouths instead of deeds, that looks for power instead of trust.

What about PAN? I have only one comment: pathetic.