Harapan should just stop 'interim PM' nonsense - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Politics is a matter of choices, and a
man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to
make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how
much it cost you. There is always a price.” - Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
COMMENT | What is this horse manure about “mixed views”
on whether Mahathir Mohamad should be named “interim” prime minister?
When will the amateur hour end for Pakatan Harapan? When Harapan
embraced the former prime minister in their epic quest to oust the
current Umno grand poobah, what did they think it meant? What did anyone
think it meant?
As quoted in the press, some believe the term “interim” does not
inspire “stability” which is why there should not be any doubt as to who
will wear the crown if Putrajaya is taken. Forget about interim, just
name the old man as prime minister and get down to the dirty business of
winning the federal government.
This, after all, is what Harapan signed up for. This, after all, is
the inevitable outcome of aligning with mainstream Malay power brokers.
This is what happens when you claim that the country is in dire need of
saving, and people must not be selfish and that there are no credible
alternative plans to save the nation.
Mind you, I think there have always been people in the opposition or
who support the opposition who have offered up credible alternative
ideas but as usual they were shouted down and dismissed as “idealists”
or worse by people who have placed pragmatism over anything else.
Commit to chosen game
The opposition is not offering any visionary ideas; merely
apocalyptic ones. Maybe this has something to do with the religious
overtones of the opposition but at this point it really does not matter.
Choices have been made. Compromises struck and the most important thing
the opposition should do is commit to the game they have chosen to
This is what I wrote
last year: “As I argued the former prime minister plays for keeps and
if removing, the current Umno grand poobah is the main goal than the
former prime minister who has resuscitated the floundering opposition
has to be given free rein in the possible destruction of Umno. That is
the only tactical play.”
You know what would really suck? If the opposition could actually win
this election by aligning with the former prime minister, yet because
they are acting like a bunch of precious snowflakes, with each group
attempting to gain some concessions, they lose the plot and game.
How bad would it be if the opposition hamstrings the movement led by
the former prime minister because the opposition is too busy squabbling
over the prospect of a man they termed dictator getting back into power
on their backs? These are the stakes you created and this is not the
time for attempting some sort of compromise in case things go south.
Are people still holding out hope that political prisoner Anwar
Ibrahim could be prime minister of this country? Who knows what could
happen but the possibility of Anwar becoming prime minister should not
be one of the goals when naming the position of the big cheese,
especially not when the former prime minister is in play. And why even
use the term “interim”? Who does that term benefit? What is it supposed
to signify? That the former prime minister, who the opposition at one
time termed a tyrant, does not have a permanent hold on the position?
That there is a possibility that a more politically correct or
acceptable candidate could fill the position? That the opposition is
still committed to the reform agenda, hence “interim” could serve as a
seat warmer until someone more credible steps up or is discovered or
merely plays the political game mendaciously and inherits the crown?
Reimagining alliance politics
Look, what is really happening is a reimagining of alliance politics.
The opposition keeps telling people that unlike Barisan Nasional, the
non-Malays will have a say and not kowtow to the dominant Malay power
structure if they choose Harapan. In other words, this is the new BN. If
the former prime minister could reimagine Umno, then why not reimagine
BN? That is the draw and what people think is a stable choice for this
At this moment in time, the average rakyat is on edge. They realise
that they could vote for stability and continuity or go with something
they are unfamiliar with. The former prime minister is something they
are at least familiar with. While the establishment may paint him as
someone who is corrupt, there is a large demographic who are willing to
bet - vote - that he and he alone can get this country back on track;
that his party and his men, will take care of their interests and things
will return to the imagined glory days where Malaysians were proud of
god knows what.
Umno political operatives are laughing their behinds off because all
this waffling makes Harapan look like a bunch of amateurs. It makes it
look as if personal agendas trump winning at any cost, which is what
Umno understands. It is also what the former prime minister understands,
which is why in numerous articles, I have argued
that the opposition should make it very clear that Mahathir Mohamad is
their war chief and that ultimately the crown will rest on his head.
Has the opposition actually thought out how it would be if they win
this general election? Have they got plans in place? I know for
establishment power brokers like the former prime minister and his
coterie, they actually do have a plan; who knows, this may even include
some kind of reform of the system.
The reality is that the opposition has made the choices that it made. Collectively they brought us to this point.
Stop fondling and just roll the dice.