Articles, Opinions & Views: Can Harapan move on from Anwar Ibrahim? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“When you're left wounded on

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.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

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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Can Harapan move on from Anwar Ibrahim? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, December 17, 2020

Malaysiakini : “Yet it's not for want of future that I'm here, he thought. It's for want of a present.” - John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy

COMMENT | The problem with Pakatan Harapan’s leadership issue is that nobody is stepping up and challenging Anwar Ibrahim for the top job. Folks complain and moan about his leadership, but nobody wants to step up and offer an alternative vision. Mainstream Harapan dogma, compromises of bromides like “reform agenda” and challenging the status quo but everything that Harapan has demonstrated so far is politics as usual for the opposition. 

How can the base evaluate if someone is capable of leading the opposition charge when nobody wants to put their political careers on the line? Sure, Shafie Apdal and the two-times former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as recent as September was still advocating for Shafie, saying "he is still one of the candidates”, and of course the very public statements from various political operatives of the manoeuvrings within Harapan to realise this possibility destabilised the opposition instead of galvanising it.

Anwar has bungled so many times that not resigning now as some claimed he would, would be just farcical. Of course, if he resigns who would replace him? That is the tragedy, that there are no leaders groomed to take over. There are no political operatives who have the will and charisma to assume leadership. There is no succession plan for PKR, and everyone is betting on Anwar Ibrahim. This is an extremely dangerous situation to be in.

Ironically it was Azmin Ali who was power-hungry enough and had the political skillsets to engineer a coup that Harapan base wishes Harapan leaders had. 

Hassan Karim

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said that Harapan needs consensus on leadership and Anwar should be chosen. But this would mean that Harapan and the base need to ignore every wrong move that Anwar made and pretend that his leadership has benefited the opposition.

As I said in my last piece that Shafie is right that there needs to be a change of leadership and direction but I did not think Shafie was it. Mind you, if he actually came out and challenged Anwar for the leadership of Harapan instead of these weasel-worded attacks then a review is in order and the base should give Shafie a fair hearing.  Keep in mind what the old maverick said during a campaign stump during the last Sabah elections that a vote for Shafie was a vote for him. Oh, dear.

Meanwhile, anyone who attempts to deviate from Anwar dogma and attempts to criticise the PKR leadership is publicly excoriated. This, of course, is extremely funny because when Azmin was making all those moves that eventually brought down the Harapan government, Anwar and his coterie did nothing but bury their heads in the sand and told the base that all of this was a figment of press imagination. To be fair to Anwar - and I am loath to be “fair” when it comes to politicians - Harapan has never fully committed to Anwar becoming the next prime minister.

It was excruciating seeing how many political operatives were bending the knee to the old maverick while chastising Anwar for wanting a timetable for a hand over of power. During the old mavericks brief reign, Anwar was made to look like the one who could not play well with others, all the while because of his ineptitude with dealing with Azmin, the Harapan house of cards came crashing down.

Rafizi Ramli

Rafizi Ramli breaking his silence and warning of scoundrels surrounding Anwar is a good political narrative but it also points to the fact that if Anwar is so weak-willed as to be easily influenced by scoundrels, how on earth is he going to stand up against the mainstream Malay political establishment?

Anwar has never known who his friends and allies were, and this is extremely dangerous for political operative manoeuvring in a political terrain dominated by race and religion. Running to the palace, not telling his allies what his plans were and destroying the credibility of his partners are making the job easier for Perikatan Nasional, Umno and PAS. How can someone like this lead Harapan?

Mahathir when he was in power bent the establishment to his will. He knew when to use the carrot and when to wield the stick. All Anwar can come up with is, “don’t spook the Malays”. Even now when he attempts to spin the budget fiasco as some sort of victory nobody believes it.

Yes, PN is weak but the problem is that Harapan is weaker and mostly because of the strategies on Anwar. The fact that there are those in Harapan who still want to return to Mahathir should tell you how screwed up all of this is.

If only Anwar had kept his mouth shut, not attempted his various farcical counter-coups, strengthened his power base within the opposition while opposing the machinations political and social of the PN regime, his loss in the budget vote could have been spun as a loss for a government with only a three-vote “majority”.

The fact that Anwar can claim that some MPs voiced opposition to the budget in private but still voted for it, is demonstrative of his lack of political skills not to mention basic common sense. Politicians will say anything in private, especially when they are trying to manipulate the leader of the opposition for their benefit.

While Anwar claims that political operatives were hesitant to vote against the budget because PN state erroneously linked the budget to the functioning of the civil service and payment of salaries, the same could be said of him and his waffling at various stages of voting for the budget.

Anwar is projecting when he talks like this and it is obvious to anyone who has followed this fiasco, that it is Anwar who has failed in the leadership test. Anwar’s loyalists tell me, that now that this budget issue is over, Anwar can fully turn his attention to the next general election. He can finally be free of all “these temptations” to dethrone the PN government and commit to building and rebranding the coalition.

The fact that they can say this is indicative of what they actually thought of those stratagems that Anwar employed to the lead up the budget reading. Harapan needs to be united under strong decisive leadership. The tragedy is that nobody is stepping up to the plate. It is not that PKR needs to be honest about Anwar, it is that Harapan needs to decide what kind of coalition it is and if Anwar still is the only person who can lead it?

Harapan should stop acting like a suicide pact.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:38 PM  
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