Amanah’s sound and fury - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 17, 2018
Malaysiakini : What do we do now? - Bill McKay (The Candidate)
| To be honest, I have always been ambivalent about Parti Amanah Negara
(Amanah). As a splinter group of PAS, its creation was mired (rightly
or wrongly) in the kind of DAP politics despised by the hardcore but not
necessarily the Hadi supporting faithful of PAS.
Which is why Mat
Sabu (who would make a better minster of tourism, arts and culture then
his current Defence Ministry portfolio, which seems beyond his ken)
reminding the Amanah faithful that they need Pakatan Harapan because
they cannot stand alone, is music to the ears of many in PAS who still
The Amanah AGM has been getting some attention
because the usually quaint party has been been expressing some sound and
fury. This is to be expected in AGMs of these sorts (coming off a big
win) especially from younger delegates.
It is a venting mechanism,
which allows the older mainstream power brokers to get on with the
business of maintaining power, but presents a veneer of radicalism. This
“radicalism” is a good talking point for mainstream parties stuck in a
rut of conventional politics, which they do not wish to abandon.
know what is funny ? Amanah could be the kind of political party that
could be effective in this country if it just discovers its cojones. However,
this AGM does provide some interesting theatrics. If Amanah was really
serious about reform, indeed if Harapan were really serious about reform
they would pay attention to the issues brought up in this AGM.
would argue that Amanah power brokers should make these issues
“official” party policy so that Malaysians – however they identify
themselves – would have a better understanding of Amanah’s stance
instead of relying on the fact that urban voters consider them a
“moderate” Islamic party. A few issues stand out.
(1) What is the government hiding about Yemen?
is a good question. Is the present government hiding anything that the
former regime did in Yemen? Remember Saudi Arabia essentially uses other
(Muslim) countries as mercenaries. I assume that with all the
shenanigans that the House of Najib Abdul Razak was up to with the House
of Saud, our boys were used as some sort of bargaining chips, for the
present government should make public exactly what we did in this war
which caused the death and misery of thousands of Muslims in Yemen. I
can understand how the government would be hesitant in being
transparent. Muslims in Malaysia are brainwashed into thinking that
Muslims have to fear non-Muslims when it comes to their safety and
security, hence revelations of how our troops were used by the House of
Saud, in a conflict that is turning out to be a humanitarian disaster,
would be shocking.
Remember that the kind of Islam that the House
of Saud exported before the money ran out radicalised youths into
believing that established Islamic hegemons were a detriment to the
“true” power of the faith. Want to know how Muslims youths are
radicalised? Well, one of the ways is that recruiters point to the
horrors of Yemen perpetuated by corrupt Islamic kleptocrats.
(2) Malay privileges
think it is great to hear a Malay/Muslim delegate of the ruling
coalition party expressing the desire of most of the non-Malays in this
country. However, wouldn’t it be great if Amanah actually made this
official party policy? If the remarks of this young delegate sounded
remarkably similar to the provisions of Icerd, why then did mainstream
Malay and non-Malay power brokers remain silent, especially if this
meant reaffirming the kind of Islam that is supposed to be to the kind
preached to the thousands that showed up at the anti-Icerd rally?
Non-Malays need not worry, though. According to Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (photo)
other governments need something like Icerd but here in Malaysia, we
are unique and Islamic power brokers are more than capable of looking
after everyone. So, we get a delegate calling for time limits on
discriminatory practices and an older Harapan politburo member claiming
that the Islam they profess is better than any international treaty. Who
do you think is right ?
Remember, removing Malay privileges is
not so that the non-Malays can compete with the Malays. Instead, it so
that the Malays can compete with the non-Malays. These rights or
privileges, or however you define them, are holding back the Malay
community. Progressive voices in the community, which include
academicians and politicians, have been saying this for years. This
is why we get far right politicians making claims that if there was
“discrimination”, why is it there are rich Chinese? The answer is
obvious, Because those practices have not held back the non-Malays but
instead screwed the average Malay.
(3) Essay writing competition
people do not think that this is a good idea. I think it is a great
idea. I do think that this competition should only be for Muslims.
Firstly, non-Muslims talking about Islam plays into the hands of certain
morons and secondly, I do not want to read a piece by a well meaning or
deluded non-Muslim, which would probably be used as propaganda to show
how peaceful the religion of the state is.
But here is the thing
though. Amanah has not given us its definition of “religious extremism”.
How does Amanah define its stance when it comes to the other Islamic
narratives out there? As far as I can see, what separates their form of
Islam and the extremist ideas is better propaganda that works for urban
audiences, but does very little for the rural heartland.
Amanah offering something different from mainstream Muslim narratives
in this country? If you really want to change mindsets and use the
propaganda organs at your disposal, here is my suggestion. Give someone
like Siti Kassim (photo) a weekly talk show on RTM or whatever it is called now.
it comes to Islam, unless Amanah can demonstrate otherwise, all these
protestations about being different from PAS sound like a distinction
without a difference.
(4) Broken election manifesto promises
let me get this straight. The youth delegate rips up some paper as a
symbolic gesture of how the rakyat feels of the Harapan broken promises
but is confident that Tun would fulfil the promises in the manifesto?
The same Tun that said the promise was made because they – Harapan – did
not expect to win? The same Tun and Co, who have said that these
promises are unrealistic to keep, considering the sensitivities of
The same Tun and Co, who have been waffling on
nearly every single major campaign promise and claiming that further
investigation meant that certain pernicious laws were of benefit to
them? The same Tun who has said that our national debt is a trillion
ringgit but we can afford R&D for a new third national car? But do not worry, apparently even Prophet Muhammad broke a promise, once, so how could we blame mere mortals, right?
(5) Empower the ulamas
would think this is a good idea if the ulamas in Amanah were offering
something different from PAS. But do we really need the ulamas in AMANAH
getting into contentious religious squabbles with PAS and then
retreating with their tails between their legs and agreeing with PAS,
when the dust settles?
(6) Stand up to Mahathir on the third car
not play safe, because we want to retain our position,” a delegate
said. This may be true and it is linked with another important issue,
such as taking care of the East Coast communities. Standing up to Dr
Mahathir Mohamad goes beyond just the proposed third national car. It
means a rejection of the kind of politics practised by Mahathir. Right
now the coalition is dominated by sycophants. What happens when Mahathir
is no longer in play? What is Harapan’s agenda, beyond just jailing
So the big question is: can the sound and fury coming
from Amanah translate to action? Or is this just an opportunity for
some good press aimed at the demography that is keeping them afloat?