Harapan's blame game continues - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, January 20, 2020
Malaysiakini : “The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never
revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are
not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become
aware that they are oppressed.” - George Orwell, 1984
| The recent by-election loss in Kimanis has brought out the usual
platitudes from Pakatan Harapan. For the record, I believe that Sabah
Umno played the “all politics is local” card better Warisan. We need to
redouble our efforts, said embattled prime minister-in-waiting Anwar
Ibrahim. Which begs the question, redouble Harapan’s efforts in doing
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said
policies take time to implement, which has not stopped the Harapan
political apparatus from engaging in all manner of subterfuges and
chicanery to impede the process of reform in this country.
reality is that Harapan has until the next general election in 2023 to
demonstrate that they can manipulate the system to their advantage and
leverage that for another term. This is the realpolitik of it.
people when they write to me say that Harapan is a “new” government and
I should not be so critical. Of late, the number of people saying this
has dramatically decreased. Look, Harapan is not a new “government”.
They have controlled states – vital ones – and they have for years
engaged with the federal government. They have political operatives who
at one time were part of the federal government or high ranking civil
It is pointless for political operatives to convey to me
that I am adding to the “negativity” on social media, which only helps
the “opposition”, when Harapan’s incompetence and failure to get its
message out - whatever it is – is subsumed beneath the racial and
religious politics it demonised Umno/PAS for playing.
It is also
for pointless political operatives claiming that there are internal
efforts to hamper reforms – which may be true – when the prime minister
himself said that the Harapan manifesto is not worth the paper it is
Former National Human Rights Society president Ambiga Sreenevasan (photo)
says she does not recognise some in Harapan who were so fearless
before. As for me, what amazes me is the level of hypocrisy in these
political operatives, especially the non-Malay ones.
political operatives defined the discourse, especially on social media,
with regard to how establishment non-Malay political operatives are
defined. Because they did not “stand up” to Malay power structures,
they were deemed house negroes, or worse. Any policy debate then becomes
Take education for instance. It simplifies the
debate to bite-sized talking points, which the far-right blogosphere
regurgitates as evidence that the DAP is fighting the “good” Chinese MCA
over “Chinese” education. MCA’s history of nation-building, the kind
which involved managing expectations, compromise and yes, complicity,
became a big juicy target for a mob fuelled by ahistorical polemics and
politicians who promised that the non-Malay communities would not have
to beg for scraps from the table.
Furthermore, the level of
sycophancy among the non-Malay members of Harapan towards the old
maverick has reached epic proportions. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan
Eng dismissing the need for the Harapan presidential council to set a
date for Mahathir to retire is the kind of optics which only advances
the running dog narrative of the party.
This idea that Harapan is a
victim of its own success is a rather dumb justification for political
expediency and subservience. It is pointless when Lim said that 60
percent of the manifesto has been fulfilled, and the old maverick claims
that Harapan has solved our corruption problem.
Forget about safe
seat narratives as the opposition has been winning by-elections even
though the federal government is playing the same game of inducements
and other forms of electoral vote-buying. This should tell us something
about the voting demographics. It is kind of funny. The stereotype of the Umno voter is a “dedak” eater who votes in kleptocratic politicians for the “tongkat”.
Well, in all these by-elections, the Malays (and non-Malays) who voted
for opposition politicians did not give a damn about the enticements
thrown their way by Harapan but instead voted opposition.
would mean they did not care if the opposition could not do anything
for them. This also means you either have to be really pissed off with
the federal government or you do not care if voting for the opposition
disenfranchises you in some way. Then, of course, there is all
this talk of ignorant rural voters. Rural Malay voters understand they
have nothing to lose if they vote for the opposition because they
understand the game is rigged in their favour.
They know that
Malay power structures will not do anything to “punish” them because
they hold so much power – unequal power – when it comes to who is
running this country. Malaysia has not seen a rise in identity politics
because the foundation of Malaysian politics is identity politics.
Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) director Cynthia Gabrial
said on corruption reforms: “It’s the same crony capitalism style,
privatising public services, selling off government assets, using GLCs
(government-linked companies)…” So, is it that difficult to
believe that voting demographics, which have no other comparisons to
what is possible, would go back to voting for the “safe choice” instead
of the continued incompetence and infighting of a coalition which has
demonstrated that it can’t even live up to its campaign promises?
folks are appalled about how Najib can walk around campaigning for the
BN. I have only written a couple of articles on Najib since the historic
Harapan win because the attention should be focused on the coalition's
regime. Harapan’s continued obsession with Najib could be their
downfall. Look, if Harapan falls, Najib is going to be let off the hook.
Harapan partisans should come to grips with is whether it will be
better for the country in the long run if Harapan falls, even though it
makes egalitarian reforms which a majority of voters reject? Or, Harapan
falls by playing the same game as Umno?