Articles, Opinions & Views: Who is afraid of PAS’ 'con–vote'? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

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Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

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Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Who is afraid of PAS’ 'con–vote'? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Malaysiakini : “This will allow MPs, not only from PAS and Umno but also from Pakatan Harapan, to vote.”– Hadi Awang
COMMENT | While many folks have been slagging off PAS’ confidence vote in the old maverick Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I think it’s an extremely effective bit of political theatre that plays into the racial and religious politics of this country and lays bare the schisms of Pakatan Harapan. If DAP operatives vote against Mahathir (photo, above), this will play into the narrative that Anwar is their puppet, and they do not want a "strong" Malay leader. PKR, of course, with its Azmin/Anwar turmoils will be forced to openly declare their allegiance thereby destabilising Harapan further.
Umno, of course, is not exempt. There are factions within Umno who are busy sitting on the fence, cowardly waiting to see who emerges - or is that resurges - as the winner and declaring support for the old maverick would further destabilise the power structures in Umno, which has been slowly gaining ground with the wins of the last five by-elections. Mahathir, of course, dares anyone in Harapan to sack him. "Well, it is up to the party. They (Harapan presidential council) can sack me if they want to," he said. When told that Anwar said there would not be a no-confidence vote or attempt to remove him after the Tanjung Piai fiasco, "thank you" was his sarcastic reply.
No Malay political operative in the coalition will even consider such a play because to do so will invite the wrath of the Malay political establishment. Any challenge to Mahathir always came from the Malay establishment and the most notable, because of its political terrain shifting, was PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim (photo, below).
Hence this attempt by PAS works more in favour of the old maverick, and he has done nothing beyond unconvincing rejections of those plotting to keep him in power. He does not even have to work hard at these denials because he knows the longer people grow frustrated with this issue, the better chance he has of making a credible argument that Anwar is not the best person to lead Harapan because he cannot even manage his own coalition.
PAS, of course, is not afraid because they have nothing to lose. The non-Malay demographic - which is the base of Harapan - wants nothing to do with them while PAS' Malay base is content to wait to form whatever kind of government which emerges from the fractional political destruction of Harapan.
The fact that Harapan is so disunited and paralyzed with fear is indicative of how political operatives consider policy decisions. This is the beauty of this “confidence” vote. Like most scams, it unearths the banality and baser instincts of those being conned. When the old maverick claims that the press is fermenting trouble when it comes to the power tussle between these two, this is perhaps the most ridiculous thing Mahathir has ever said. Keep in mind it was the current prime minister who imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim and then set him free on the win by a coalition that Anwar cobbled together over the decades. If Bersatu had won big, I can assure you, the process of freeing Anwar would have been slower.
But the old maverick is not the only one who plays this blame the press card. PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil (photo), when dismissing claims that there are two camps in PKR, said: "That is something portrayed by the media. I understand that there could be a perception of such but the reality is, there are no camps. What we have now is Parti Keadilan Rakyat that is strong and united." This is Trumpian in its perversity.
The fact that political operatives like Tian Chua mimicking the narratives of the old maverick points to how the internal schism of PKR favours proxies of the old maverick. And this is really the point, isn’t it? If there is a confidence vote, these saboteurs will no longer have the advantage of plotting and skulking in the shadows. This is not a vote for Mahathir but rather a vote against Anwar. While the prime minister likes to blame the press for the so-called brawl between Anwar and him, the reality is that this strategy could be negated by the prime minister himself.
If Anwar has control of his party, this vote will mean nothing at all. The fact that he doesn’t points to how tenuous this alliance is. If Anwar is constantly looking over his shoulder and having to fend off enemies within his own parties, how is he going to effectively run this country?
And this is really the point. Look at how toxic the political landscape is now. Bersatu is not the main Malay power structure in Harapan. Mahathir has publicly admitted that he finds it difficult to get things done because he does not enjoy a majority that backs his every move.
He has publicly whinged about considering the needs of others and working based on consensus. And believe me, folks, if the crappy policies coming out of Harapan now is based on consensus, what does it mean, when there is no consensus?
What is really frustrating is that PAS political theatre is the perfect opportunity for Harapan to strengthen itself and send a clear message to Umno/PAS. This would be possible if Harapan really was an agent of change that it claims to be. PAS’ confident vote could be used against PAS and Umno, and both parties would be made to look like fools for this political gambit. The counter-strategy is as provocative as the vote itself.
All the old maverick has to do, is publicly endorse Anwar Ibrahim instead of the qualified statements and oftentimes contradictory statements he has been making about the handover. He should encourage this vote of confidence and publicly call on all Harapan political operatives to vote “against him” because this is in keeping with the Harapan manifesto and the transition of power.
This would reassure the Harapan base and at the same time, make it clear that Anwar Ibrahim has not only the backing of Harapan but also the prime minister of this country.
There is a reason why Harapan never calls the bluffs of Umno/PAS.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:32 AM  
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