(Kuala Terengganu, Monday): Recently, the mass media were full of write-ups about the imminent pull-out of the DAP and break-up of the Barisan Alternative.
These reports and articles could not be more wrong, for the question of the DAP pulling out of the Barisan Alternative never arose. What the DAP wanted was to ensure that the Barisan Alternative can sustain and mature as a political force for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
We do not hide the fact that there are political differences among the Barisan Alternative component parties, as between DAP and PAS, but what is more important are the common grounds which the component parties can reach agreement for the good of the people and country.
DAP, for instance, is co-operating with PAS in BA not to help it establish an Islamic State but to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance - and PAS is fully aware of the DAPís stand that Malaysia shall forever remain a democratic secular state.
Yesterday, top Barisan Alternative leaders met in Petaling Jaya for two-and-a-half hours and top DAP and PAS leaders have agreed to a more open and consultative process to address differences and unhappiness which had surfaced in the past eight months as a result of policies and measures in the PAS-ruled state governments of Terengganu and Kelantan - issues including karoakes, snooker centres and unisex saloons.
It would be most unfortunate if the great historic opportunity created by the Barisan Alternative to break the political hegemony of Barisan Nasional to restore justice and democracy in Malaysia is lost because of the inability of the Barisan Alternative component parties to address their differences.
One important reason why the Barisan Alternative was formed was to save the country from the whole series of "unmitigated disasters" which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had rained on Malaysia.
At the end of his recent four-day visit to Malaysia, Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that the handling of the Anwar Ibrahim case was an "unmitigated disaster" for Mahathir and he expressed surprise to find "a lot of cynicism and skeptism" on the ground.
In actual fact, Mahathirís "unmitigated disaster" is not just in the "errors of judgement" in the arrest of Anwar Ibrahim under the Internal Security Act "when four weeks ago he was Deputy Prime Minister" and Mahathirís claim that he did not know that Anwar was going to be arrested under the ISA, Anwarís "blue-black" eye as a result of brutal assault by the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor.
Mahathir is responsible for a long catalogue of "unmitigated disasters" in Malaysia which is the root-cause for the prevalent and deep-seated cynicism and skepticism in the country, creating the worst crisis of credibility faced by any government in the nationís history.
Lee is a very sharp and perceptive observer and he cannot be unaware of them but he was probably being polite and diplomatic not to refer to Mahathirís other "unmitigated disasters", which include: