DATUK Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made some startling admission which was published by the newspapers today. He admitted that he did not move fast enough to push the reforms he had promised and that it was serious misjudgement on the Government's part where cyber battles were concerned.
The Prime Minister was quoted to have said that the Barisan National lost the on-line war, adding: "We didn't think it was important. It was a serious misjudgement."
I respect the PM's views, even though many would say that it's quite normal for everyone to be wiser after the event, or to be wise on hindsight. In this case, the ruling coalition paid dearly for this 'misjudgement' and its inability to move fast enough to deliver promises made after the landslide victory of the 2004 general election.
Critics of the PM may try very hard to suppress their smirk, but the fact is that his inability to follow through the promises has caused untold damages. Losing the two-third majority and surrendering five states (including two of the richest) to the Barisan Rakyat are records which are credited to Pak Lah's administration.
The prolonged internal squabbles to form the state governments of Perlis and Terengganu did little to ease the pain and humiliation of the defeats stated above. Now, the Prime Minister has promised to make good following the people's clear message conveyed to him via the ballot boxes.
But actually, the challenges for Pak Lah to deliver these promises are that much more difficult than before. In layman's terms, he has less soldiers to do battle (there aren't even enough MPs to be appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries); and the formula for effective collaboration between the Federal Government and the State Governments under the BR have yet to be fully worked out.
The rakyat too have become more discerning. Those not under the BR administration are watching closely how the BR are governing theirs, which means that the voters now have a bigger sampling to compare the style and effectiveness of a BN state and that of a BR state.
It's going to be very interesting. As I've said in my previous postings, Pak Lah, already facing some serious political manouverings in his backyard, have more than just governmental reforms to undertake. Events in the coming weeks or months need to be followed very closely and may have an impact on whether or not these reforms could be undertaken.