Umno-PAS union – Harapan spooks easily - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, September 16, 2019
When Fanatics and Supremacists become allies??????
Malaysiakini : "Pakatan must be brave and not be hesitant in
fulfilling its promises, especially on the Malay and bumiputra agenda,
which is an integral part of the national agenda. We must do so without
feeling apologetic or be fearful of criticism from others."– Azmin Ali, PKR deputy president
| The quote that opens this piece is indicative of how easily Pakatan
Harapan gets spooked by the far-right forces in this country. Azmin Ali
blurted this out after the loss in the Semenyih by-election. And of the
Umno-PAS union, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari says: They will
create racial politics, and there will be a movement of extreme racial
I am worried this will happen even though they have a
constitutional basis, but I hope they are not extreme in pushing their
This is the problem right here. Firstly, Umno
and PAS are not the only ones creating racial politics. Bersatu and the
majority of elected Malay political operatives are playing racial
politics. Furthermore, racial politics is also played by non-Malay
political operatives of Harapan in the way how they either compromise or
fight for race-based preoccupations, which truthfully is what got them
elected in the first place.
The reality is that MCA and MIC were just
caving in to Umno’s demands.
when Amirudin says that “they have a constitutional basis” what does
this mean, exactly? Well, the Malay political narrative has always been
that their rights and privileges are based on the Federal Constitution.
Now, whether this is true in law or principle is beside the point. The
Constitution has become some sort of totem for Malay power structures;
hence, Azmin can get away with saying what he says and the blowback is
muted because nobody wants to appear to be against the constitution or
lose the Malay vote.
Take a close look at the five points of the
Umno-PAS charter. Is there anything in this charter that has not been
said by the mainstream political elites in this country? In fact, the
charter is neither radical nor threatening, since those five points are
exactly the ideological basis of an organisation like Bersatu.
you read closely, the Umno-PAS five-point charter is really just
Bersatu’S 13-point principles condensed into a more user-friendly
political narrative. It is all there. Everything Umno-PAS wants to fight
for, Bersatu is already fighting for. At least that is what Bersatu
says. Now did we hear any Harapan political operatives objecting to
this hand-wringing about racial politics and staying the course is just
crap. Racial politics is embedded in mainstream Malaysian politics.
There is nothing in this charter beyond the political baggage of Umno
and PAS that is anathema to Harapan’s political narrative.
we are really being honest, the political baggage Harapan is carrying is
not really any different from that of Umno and PAS. Folks who go on
about Malays who would vote for corrupt leaders don’t seem to mind the
numerous allegations of corruption and political malfeasance that were
committed by their anointed ones before they joined Harapan.
PAS, oftentimes, gets the short end of the stick when it comes to
religious politics. After all, when it comes to the policy initiatives
of Harapan’s religious czar Mujahid Yusof Rawa, can anyone articulate
the differences between what comes out of Putrajaya and what comes out
of the PAS muktamar?
At this moment, Mujahid (photo) seems big on standard operating procedures (SOP)
and state rights. Before the election, he was talking about the
spiritual connectivity between the Abrahamic faiths, well, at least
between Christianity and Islam, and was talking about the need for a
plurality of Islamic voices instead of the propaganda of the state.
Syiah crackdown is part of the Umno state narrative as well as that of
PAS. Instead of reforming the religious bureaucracy, Harapan’s religious
czar is enabling them to carry out the pre-election racial and
religious agenda of a political party which was defeated in the polls.
Unless, of course, Mujahid sees nothing wrong with the way how the
religious bureaucracy operates, which is at odds with his pre-election
When we talk about Harapan backtracking on
Icerd or the various other international human rights conventions, what
we are really talking about is the principle 'perjauangan' of
race and religious-based parties. The Umno-PAS charter, far from being
an extreme document, is so mainstream it is laughable.
someone like me, I hoped that it would be more radical in the sense
that it clearly articulates Abdul Hadi Awang’s ideological stance that
non-Malay/Muslims are in reality 'pak turut', but
when I read the points, I realised that I was not only reading a
condensed form of Bersatu’s principles but rather the polemics and
policy coming out from mainstream political parties.
disappointment. Where is all the religious extremism that non-Malay
political operatives were babbling on about? Where are all the doom and
gloom which would paint a bleak future of the further Talibanisation of
Malaysia? The charter was anodyne. So, when Harapan political
operatives sound the alarm, it is really extremely hypocritical. It is
not as if Harapan has an egalitarian ideology which is the opposite of
what Umno and PAS are offering. PAS, of course, comes off better like it
did when it teamed up with the (then) opposition parties.
this does is give PAS national exposure. It gives PAS a platform on
which to further erode the democratic and secular foundations of this
country and the Federal Constitution. Who knows if Umno and PAS can
manage the seat allocation conundrum, but all PAS has to do is spook
Malay power structures to get them to fertilise the ground in which a
large section of the voting Malay demographic become normalised to PAS'
vision of Islamic hegemony.
Umno needs them and Harapan Malay
political structures are afraid to go against mainstream Islamic
narratives in this country. Getting hot and bothered about the Umno-PAS
union is a red herring. It is a political ploy used by political
operatives who want to mask their religious and racial politics with
another convenient enemy which is perceived to be a greater threat.
the real issue with Umno-PAS union. It is further evidence that
mainstream Malaysian politics is entrenched in racial and religious
delirium, but more importantly, it has the potential of further spooking