Is this the Harapan New Deal? By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, May 07, 2017
Malaysiakini : “I see Datuk Seri Najib is bending backwards to appease the
Chinese, in the process of course he has antagonised quite a lot of
- Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad
Everything columnist P Gunasegaram wrote in both his articles about the former prime minister and does 'Harapan need Mahathir'
is correct and if you believe that saving Malaysia means getting rid of
the current grand Umno poobah then yes, the opposition does need
“Correct” in everything, other than bringing PAS back in the fold.
Then again, it is somewhat correct. I know what Guna means about
bringing PAS back in the fold. There is a dialectic going on within PAS
that scares the hell out of the Abdul Hadi Awang/Umno wing of PAS and it
is probably this element that Guna thinks is worth working with.
Hopefully the strategists in the opposition are working on this
because the opposition has only ever been successful when they present a
unified front against the hegemon. While Abdul Hadi Awang attempts to
work his magic for his patrons in Putrajaya, he is mindful of manoeuvres
from within to undermine the post-Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat reality he
is attempting to forge. But this is not what this article is about.
As I have argued, needing Mahathir is a Hobson's choice of the
opposition’s making and while racial politics has always been a feature
of opposition politics, the rhetoric coming from the de facto opposition leader is furthering the fear-mongering racial narratives that used to be only the province of Umno only.
Those dark paths to retaining power is always fraught with danger and
it is naïve to think that the opposition is “using” Mahathir. Nobody
has ever used Mahathir and as one dejected DAP political strategist told
me, referencing a line from a forgettable Nicholas Cage film ‘8MM’,
“When you dance with devil, the devil doesn’t change, the devil changes
You have to give it to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Even when he is peddling his ‘Malay’nationalistic narrative, he manages
to include the ‘domestic’ Chinese under his protection by claiming that
“local businesses, largely Malaysian Chinese owned, will definitely lose
out to those of the mainland Chinese.”
The operative word here is “Chinese” and even though Mahathir said,
“It is this massive immigration that we object to. If the project is by
Indians and a few million Indians are to come and live in Malaysia, we
would also strongly object” - this probably does not include a certain
Indian national who has been granted PR status and will no doubt be the
loudspeaker du jour from the Umno regime to shore up ‘Malay’ support.
While Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali is grateful that the Bandar Malaysia, or
whatever is called, is flushed down the toilet at the moment, I do
wonder though that if those “local largely owned Malaysian Chinese”
concerns are as relieved as Perkasa? This considering the fact that
business in Malaysia is an unholy brew of ‘ketuanan’ politics and
Chinese plutocrat enablers.
Foreign interlopers are a legitimate concern; that is why the
strategy is used the world over and extremely effectively by far-right
political parties. Here in Malaysia, where the distinction between local
and foreign Chinese is unappreciated in the crowd that Bersatu and
Pakatan are attempting to win over, this idea that appealing to the
baser fearful instincts of the Malay electorate spells nothing but
trouble for Malaysia.
Anti-Chinese narratives fuel ‘ketuanan’ politics and while it may
seem like a good political strategy to further the narratives that the
Malay community is under threat from foreign Chinese intervention, the
reality is thanks to Biro Tatanegara (BTN) courses, the social contract,
the racist rhetoric of Umno, the ‘putarbelit’ narratives of the
opposition, this meme that the Malay community will always be under
siege, is what is going to destroy this country in the near future.
When the former prime minister writes - “Pimpinan tertinggi DAP
mengaku bahawa oleh kerana penduduk Cina adalah minoriti di Malaysia,
tidak mungkin DAP mendirikan kerajaan di peringkat pusat di Malaysia,
jauh sekali menjadi perdana menteri walaupun jika DAP menang semuakerusi
yang ditandingi,” in attempts to reassure the Malay polity that
all is well in the state of Denmark, the only thing the DAP can do
assume the role that MCA played while the Umno regime made its
carpetbagger deals with the Malay community.
Just four years ago, DAP’s Tony Pua was warning Malaysians of the
former prime minister’s attempt to redefine racism. He wrote - “When
Malays vote overwhelmingly for Umno in the past, it is never ‘racism’.
When a 100 percent Malay crowd hold weekly protests against the Pakatan
Rakyat government in Penang, it is not ‘racism’. When Chinese voted for
MCA in the past, that can’t be ‘racism’. When Chinese also voted
strongly for PAS and PKR in the current elections, PAS and PKR are not
accused of ‘racism’.
“When Malays increased their support for the DAP candidates in the
same election, Dr Mahathir accused DAP of spreading “propaganda” that
influenced educated Malays into perceiving the Barisan Nasional (BN)
government as corrupt.
“However, when the Chinese also voted strongly for DAP, that is proof
of DAP ‘racism’. When many Chinese turns up at Pakatan Rakyat events,
that is beyond shadow of a doubt, Chinese ‘racism’. What type of senile
perverted logic is that?”
Some would argue that it is the same “perverted logic” that sustained
the hegemon and still does all these years. Does anyone really think
that there would be no blowback from this kind of rhetoric? Racism and
racial politics do not exist in a vacuum. There is a reason why the
former prime minister is relying heavily on the DAP to provide him with
his anti-racist credentials.
What the DAP has become is the fig leaf for the type of ‘ketuanan’
dogma that the Najib refuseniks hope will cause enough rifts within the
Malay community that would cause Umno to implode from within and enable
them to pick up the pieces when the dust clears. In other words, the DAP
has become those best friends in the “I am not racist as some of my
best friends are black people” defence.
Like I said, in another piece,
Mahathir could be the Trump vote - “Trump used every bigoted trick in
the book, from demonising Muslims to scaremongering about a ‘Mexican’
menace to warning about the yellow peril all because of a weak
entrenched political establishment. The de facto opposition
leader is doing the same thing now - pointing out compromised trade
deals made by a weak potentate and the threat of ‘foreign’ migration. As
with Trump, he camouflages these with legitimate economic and social
anxieties. And like Trump, he has a diverse coalition of ideologically
disparate power groups working with him to destroy the establishment.”
What has Trump been doing since he won and promised to drain the swamp? Simple, he has been placating the far-right elements of the GOP
(Grand Old Party, or the Republicans) while attempting to maintain the
status quo and re-energise a divided GOP.