Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan needs decisive leadership but Shafie isn't that person - 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.”

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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

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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Harapan needs decisive leadership but Shafie isn't that person - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 14, 2020

Mamakthir's Henchman

: “I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”- Harry S Truman, former US president  

COMMENT | Does anyone have any idea what is going on with Pakatan Harapan's leadership?

If you are not a toxic Harapan supporter, you, like the rest of us on planet real, are wondering how a construct like Perkatan Nasional still manages to squeak along when the opposition is formidable - if only because the current regime is in a political quagmire with allies it has to appease all the time held to ransom by various squabbling Umno potentates.

This is pure comedy gold, right here. We have BN secretary-general Annuar Musa babbling about seat allocation for the next general election referring to the Umno coup of Perak as a "framework". This means that Bersatu was screwed over in Perak and they will be again in the next GE.

Meanwhile, Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin has dismissed all this talk of a grand coalition and reminded everyone that such a "coalition of coalitions" was "intended to ride on the strength of the largest party, Umno". In other words, Umno intends to screw over Bersatu in the next GE.

Annuar also warned against efforts to dismantle the "No Anwar and No DAP" policy alluding to mysterious figure(s), which just goes to show you the kind of mess Umno is in. Forget about the mystery figure(s) for a moment and realise that there are some in Umno who are sick and tired of the political instability.

This is not to mention the dire economic straits this country is heading into with a PN government. Political stability achieved through cooperation among political parties that represent the majority of their communities worked well before, so why not now, is their thinking.

Anwar Ibrahim

In this milieu, Anwar Ibrahim should be playing for keeps instead of sniffing around looking for allies to prop him up. Instead of trying to take this government with another counter-coup, he should be positioning the coalition as an alternative to failed Malay uber alles politics.

Instead, he has been staging counter-coups that do not materialise and making sure his Umno or whoever his allies are, know how desperate he is to be anointed as the chosen one.

Warisan president Shafie Apdal is right when he said that Harapan needs a change of direction and leadership, but unfortunately, he is not it.

Shafie, like Anwar, says the right things. Unlike Anwar, who for better or worse, managed to cobble together a disparate coalition and who had a cadre of young leaders who, again for better or worse, handled opposition business while he was a guest of the state, all Shafie has is the imprimatur of the old maverick.

The opposition needs a decisive leadership

I do not even hold Shafie's latest loss against him. He gambled and lost, which is much better than allowing power to be manipulated out of your hands as Anwar did. What he did, although deleterious for Malaysia because of the pandemic, was a demonstration of political guile and one-upmanship that is the only language the Malay political establishment understands.

The opposition does need decisive leadership. It needs leaders who are willing to offer an alternative or if not that leader, who is willing to bet the ranch on dislodging PN even if it means losing.

As someone who has been critical but supportive of Anwar, all he has done is embroil his coalition in messy attempted coups that are destroying the credibility of the opposition but even worse, fracturing the base and creating a political quagmire in Harapan.

How long can you expect people to vote for your coalition when they see no action on the part of political operatives to carry out the mandate of the base?

Do you know what leadership is, Warisan? Instead of behaving like petulant children and disappearing from the whole bloc vote fiasco to "demonstrate dissatisfaction with Anwar", it would have been something if Shafie and Warisan demonstrated some cajones and made some noise in Parliament by supporting the bloc vote initiative by Amanah.

This way, we could see the kind of leadership Warisan is capable of, instead of the politics as usual, which the Harapan base claims it wants to move away from.

Warisan and Shafie would have demonstrated that they have what it takes to give the finger to the PN regime, instead of doing what the PN regime wants, which is to fracture the opposition further.

If Warisan and whoever else did not like Anwar's last-minute instruction, then they should have just said "the old man does not know what he is doing", disobeyed and justified their behaviour after. After all, this is what the base wants, and sometimes the leadership needs to be reminded of this reality.

What did Harapan political operatives do? They obeyed Anwar and then like spoiled little children whine about it in the press later. Everyone attempting to lay the blame somewhere else instead of standing by his or her actions. Is this leadership?

Mohd Azis Jamman

Warisan Youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman says that in politics we must be decisive. Of course, but what decisive manoeuvres has Warisan made beyond buttressing the PN narrative that the opposition cannot lead this country? Warisan made the same mistake as Harapan by making this about personality instead of policy.

In addition, asking for a change of leadership but not naming who you think is suitable for the job is disingenuous. If Warisan wants to make a play for the leadership role, well and good.

However, Warisan has done nothing to demonstrate that it can lead, beyond snipping at Anwar and parroting talking points from the old maverick. Power is always taken, never given, which is what Anwar for all his intellect and international standing has never grasped but folks like Mahathir do.

Because this is Malaysian politics, the only possible leader of the opposition is Malay or maybe a "bumiputera". Therefore, the talent pool is already constrained, not to mention that the said leader must not spook the Malays because a liberal Malay leader is not allowed.

Anwar is his own worst enemy and unless the state of play changes, the next GE could be the end of Harapan, as much as it could be the end of PN.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:58 PM  
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