I was still a kid not yet of schooling age when the name Hasnul Hadi became the household item in the area where I was raised. I later learnt that Hasnul Hadi was a political figure contesting in an election on socialist platform. When I grew up, I never followed what happened to him, but what I knew was the socialist platform in the political scene in this country wasn't performing well.
When I was in the university in the early 1970s, to be associated with the socialist movement was the in-thing for most students, with Hishamuddin Rais leading the way. But again, on the political front, socialist political parties didn't seem to have the appeal of the masses. Figures like Kassim Ahmad and Syed Hussin Ali are towering personalities, but I couldn't recall if they made inroads on the political front.
Enter the PKR era, with political engineering, most of the people who adhere to socialism platform on the Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM) vehicle abandoned their ship to join PKR. And correct they were. Given a new vehicle and a face uplift as well as the correct political atmosphere, they managed to make in roads to the political scene of Malaysia with Anwar Ibrahim leading the way.
Now that Anwar is the verge of forming a new government, with the huge socialist figures on his list, plus the the socialist leaning of an important component of the pack, the DAP , and with the avowed agenda initially put forward, socialism is clearly riding high in Malaysian politics. Should Anwar's shadowy proposal becomes a reality, one would expect that prominent socialists to hold important offices.
I have always had this feeling that people of Syed Hussin Ali's stature ought to be given the opportunity to hold public office, so that new ideas can germinate and grow bountifully. Malaysians have grown tired of incessant ultra nationalistic stances of UMNO and BN as exemplified by the Ahmad Ismail debacle.
The only thing that may have some scratch is I think Syed Hussin didn't give his nod to my application for associate professorship when he was a member of the interview board.