Nurul Izzah is right - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Malaysiakini : “His supporters will push him to disaster unless his opponents show where the dangers are.” - Walter Lippmann
COMMENT | The latest Pakatan Harapan kerfuffle is the interview Nurul Izzah Anwar gave The Straits Times of Singapore, on how difficult it was working with a former dictator.
Harapan political operatives are up in arms about this interview and
are attacking Nurul Izzah and condemning her remarks as detrimental not
only to the current prime minister and Harapan, but also to the country.
the opposition, having nothing really to run but race and religion, are
hoping to manipulate the situation and cause confusion in the enemy's
ranks. Former PKR vice-president N Surendran gave a rather queer
response to this interview. His response begins with a question – Is
this acceptable? – and then he goes on to tweet that in the middle of a
bilateral dispute, the timing, manner and platform were all wrong. What
if there was no dispute between Malaysia and Singapore? Would Nurul
Izzah’s comments be acceptable then?
The key point is the
platform, I guess. For some, the Singapore press is not the place to
wash our dirty linen. This is hypocritical, especially coming from
people, who were on the sidelines for decades before the historic May 9
reversal of fortune, and who used every opportunity to voice their
opinions, especially in the foreign press.
If an opposition MP had
made a similar attack against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak
in the Singapore press, that MP would have been lauded. The then Umno
establishment would be calling out such behaviour, but the opposition
would throw their support behind the political operative citing freedom
of speech and expression and seeing no wrong in speaking truth to power,
even though the platform was the Singapore press.
Some will argue
that the reason why Nurul Izzah is getting flak is because she is
speaking as part of the establishment. Well, imagine if someone from the
Najib regime was critical of the regime in the foreign press. You can
bet your last ringgit that the then Opposition would be calling that
political operative the last honest man or woman in BN and singing his
or her praises.
The only people who are upset with Nurul are
people who cannot make a rational defence of Harapan backtracking and
diktats from the prime minister's office.
brew real trouble, Nurul Izzah should have made these comments in the
local media. That’s about the only issue I have with the MP. I would
like her to have made those comments to the local Malay press, instead
of the alternative press. I will take it a step further - I would like
her to have made those comments to Bernama TV and would like to have seen a panel discussion about her comments.
to the foreign press in English cuts down on the audience which should
be listening to the interview. In fact, the content of this interview
has been overlooked in the hypocritical outrage that Nurul Izzah has,
somehow, betrayed the country and Harapan.
Her comments were anything but immature. Immature are the comments from the defenders of the prime minister.
Saddiq, the youth and sports minister, rambles on about what a great
leader the prime minister is, forgetting the fact that it was the prime
minister who argued that the Harapan manifesto was written with the
knowledge that it was a manifesto impossible to fulfil.
affable Mat Sabu claims that, at times, Mahathir is too democratic -
which, if that were the case, would mean that the reason why reforms
have been sidelined is because a majority of Harapan political
operatives have abandoned reforms.
Others have skipped defending Mahathir and gone straight for the ad hominem.
Already the smear campaign is portraying Nurul Izzah and the Anwar clan
as some sort of duplicitous pretenders to the throne when the reality
is that the former prime minister and his boys are attempting to get the
old gang together again.
Should we question the motives of Nurul Izzah for her interview to The Straits Times?
Of course we should. When political operatives give interviews, it is
to gain publicity and send a message. What message was she sending and
who was she sending this message to? PKR is riddled with internal schism
and personality conflicts.
My take on comments that Anwar will be slaughtered
soon, last December: “Maybe this is the deeper implication of this
fight. Is Anwar relevant in this political climate? While the Harapan
grand poohbah has his loyal and public admirers, Anwar does not,
unfortunately. Nor does he have a legacy which he can shake off, unlike
the old maverick. In other words, Anwar’s 'sins' are never forgiven,
while Mahathir’s seem to be. And who are the other interested parties in
the schisms of PKR? Who benefits most from this squabble? There are
people in this government and outside of it who never really liked or
trusted Anwar. They view his ascension to the highest office of the land
as something calamitous.”
Nurul Izzah's detractors do not want to
address the deeper, more provocative aspects of her interview. If you
read the spouting of Harapan political operatives, policy decisions
begin and end with the current prime minister. Nobody seems interested
in formulating policy or tackling issues without the backing of the
prime minister. In the old days, he wielded brute power to get people in
line, but these days it seems Harapan political operatives are just
begging for his attention and his imprimatur.
part of the interview was this quote: “The government should take the
lead in bridging differences among races, rather than stoking a further
How has the government been stoking the divide further?
Anwar ‘s recent tweet is the opposite from his “don’t’ spook the Malays”
- “It is politically convenient to rile people up. But I will not
compromise on this issue – our economic agenda must be needs-based,
not race-based. We must shed racial politics and fear-mongering in
order for Malaysia to progress.” This, of course, runs contrary to Azmin
Ali's unapologetic bumiputera economic policy.
critics want to limit her platform. People who are taking potshots at
her and bending over backwards to justify the kind of behaviour they
said would never happen in a Harapan regime are the charlatans who,
unfortunately, play the game better with their slavish partisans.
the motives of someone who is drawing attention to the rot in the
system is the kind of strategy that enables the kind of politics Harapan
claims it wants to depart from.
Some people are saying there is a possibility of a political comeback for Nurul Izzah.
Comeback? I think the game is afoot.