It is a huge waste of resources should polemic surrounding Kongres Rakyat only lingers around an idiom of dog and pig. There is a hill in front of us and Kongres Rakyat can be the right convention to take it to the next level.
In his “Membina Malaysia Sejahtera” keynote speech, TGHH has let down his antagonists by steering away from Hudud. Instead, he started off with the famous verse from Al-Hujurat that celebrate human diversity and dignify those who threaded this diversity with utmost fear of God. He cited Bani Quraish’s leadership during Prophet’s era and quoted Ibnu Khaldun’s theory of civilization to illustrate the importance of Malay Muslim as the majority to lead rakyat’s struggle and determine the future of this nation. However, he cautioned against extremism, racism and injustice as only out of fear of God this leadership should be built.
By staging the rakyat, PAS is making a significant improvisation to fill up the void due to its internal struggle. The stage certainly did not disappoint the crowd with speakers coming from various background highlighting real issues that require real solution. Less rhetoric, it was refreshing. A nice blend of expertise and experience coming from many walks of life. At times, it was like listening to the Malaysian version of TED talk.
Kongres Rakyat’s declaration is a way forward should Pas take the heed. It is based on a commitment towards unity and national integration in addressing current problems. It intends to act impartially in empowering the rakyat to restore the fundamentals of Malaysia through a sound constitutional framework. It aims to create a healthy political landscape that is nurtured by integrity and transparency thus putting an end to any political act that destabilize this nation's harmony.
In realizing economic, social and political reforms, the Kongres put a strong emphasis on educating and enlightening the mass which is imperative in molding awareness without causing chaotic response. The speech by the representative of fishermen, farmer and OKU were so heartfelt that the audience felt closer as to what life in Malaysia meant to them so far. Hence, the Kongres pledge to do whatever within its capacity to improve the life of those sidelined by today’s development regime.
The Kongres also demand in the strongest possible term of a renewed determination from the government of the day to uphold separation of power between executive, legislative and jurisdiction to ensure sustainable integrity and transparency in its administration. And, to resolve economic crisis, the Kongres moot the need for a consultative body that is inclusive, representative and independent. Come 1st of Muharram 1437 (15th October 2015) a Plan Tindakan Rakyat will be announced by the secretariat head, Tuan Hj Mohd Azmi, as a roadmap to pursuit this declaration.
Coming back to the subject, Pas will want to believe that it can move forward with Kongres Rakyat. Its declaration paves a pathway towards saving this nation from Barisan National’s calamities while winning back the heart of many. Consequently restoring Pas as political king maker once again and effectively rendering Amanah redundant just days before its official launching. But skeptics will want to wait, how will Pas leadership decipher the Kongres consensus into actions? Perhaps it is too soon to tell. Plan Tindakan Rakyat will be of great interest to learn if Pas leaders have what it takes to shoulder the ambition of the Kongres.
Moving on, Tuan Hj Mohd Azmi has realized that the Kongres was too short with too many issues to put up and ideas to digest. He had proposed more conventions specifically looking at separate issues at a greater depth. Hopefully, there will be Kongres Ekonomi Rakyat or Kongres Kesihatan Rakyat in the future. In terms of participation, the secretariat should aim for more involvement from real NGOs and fence sitters in the future. This time, the majority if not all of the audience are Pas supporters which is not bad either way. It was an excellent exposure for them to listen to speakers who are not politicians. It should have broadened their perspective and equip them with more substance.
On to the next level, organizing town hall meetings to create a wide spread engagement at grass root level is the way forward for Pas. These meetings will provide an ample space for voters and fence sitters in every locality to ventilate issues that are close to their heart. Political lectures can remain as it is but as news travel faster than the blink of an eye and people are virtually more entitled to opinion now more than ever, having political leaders attending locale meeting will demonstrate genuine concern and accountability. It is an ample opportunity to seek to understand and in return to be understood. After all, Pas should have learnt from one of its own. Ustaz Azhar Idrus has been proven to be a hit among many Malaysians as people would buy his audio recording just to listen to his Q&A sessions.
In its true spirit, Kongres Rakyat and its further engagement will flourish the concept of syura. Literally, syura means to extract honey from hives. This translates into its application in prophetic tradition and Islamic principle as a process of consultation and deliberation by bringing forth precious ideas and opinions from people minds. Like bees, this will require hard work and steadfastness. As maladies continue to cripple this nation, the onus is on Pas to deliver.