Has Harapan done enough that it deserves Putrajaya again? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, March 01, 2021
Politically Correct Useful Idiot
Malaysiakini : “I personally won’t say (that we have done enough to convince the
rakyat). We could have been more organised and put aside personal
grievances, among many things." - Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching
Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching is one of the few
Pakatan Harapan political operatives to rightly reflect if the coalition
has done enough to prove that it deserves a second chance at the
Putrajaya hot seat.
As it is, nobody but the hardcore base of Harapan thinks that it deserves a second chance in Putrajaya.
Sena MP Mahfuz Omar believes that Harapan “still has a strong core, as
well as grassroots support", key factors that he said "could determine
the outcome of GE15”. But let us be honest, even the base is fractured
along party lines, which makes cohesion even more difficult in these
turbulent times. How turbulent?
Well, PKR secretary-general
Saifuddin Nasution recently warned that opposition MPs are either being
enticed or threatened to jump ship - "It can be related to (threatened
action like) income tax issues, police investigations and MACC probes or
(incentives) like project offers and GLC positions."
What happens next? We have Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador warning
that titled “drug kingpins” are on the radar of the state security
apparatus. “Although I know they are (with the titles) Datuk, Datuk Seri
or Tan Sri, we will expose their irresponsible acts and bring them to
justice, or at least place them under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959,"
Hamid had said.
As someone, especially in his early days of writing for Malaysiakini,
who explored the nexus between political power and the criminal
underclass, it would not surprise me that we see high profile
individuals who are proxies for the certain cretins in the political
class being named and shamed, unless there are very public leaping of
Those projects and GLC positions seem tempting now, don’t
you think? Personally, I do not see how political frogs are so onerous
to Saifuddin, considering that PKR is accepting Amanah members into its
fold, which is causing distress among the Harapan allies.
This does not inspire confidence in the rakyat, especially since Harapan spectacularly imploded with the Sheraton Move.
Move, Teo believes that Harapan could have been more organised and put
aside personal grievances that would have inspired confidence in the
base and reassured undecided voters. But here is the thing: Harapan has
never come clean about the Sheraton Move.
Not only was the Harapan
regime reneging on its manifesto, but they were also enabling forces
within the alliance to plot and scheme all the while and demonising
critics who were sounding the alarm bells. Remember the time when
dissension within Harapan was deemed "fake news"?
Harapan has never acknowledged that the Sheraton Move was part of the
dysfunctional compact they made to secure power – which even the old
maverick did not believe they could do, hence the system wrecking its
manifesto – Harapan seems to be making the same mistake over again by
attempting to forge alliances and placate political operatives who have
no intention of supporting the kind of reforms that Harapan claims it
wants to make.
PKR’s Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said the
blame for Harapan not fulfilling its reforms while they were in power
falls on Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Abdullah Sani said: “The majority of the
reforms we wanted did not materialise. He was never sincere about making
changes; he was just being frivolous.”
But then, why was it we
had Harapan political operatives falling over themselves defending the
actions of the prime minister, blaming everyone from the “deep state” to
the machinations of Umno and PAS? Nobody, certainly not the MPs
speaking up now, stood up and called out the old maverick, except for a
few brave souls who were then shockingly vilified by their own party
The rakyat notices things like this and social media is
not a good barometer of how people feel about the government of the day,
especially since the swing vote is not inclined to air their views on
traditional friendly opposition media.
The DAP played by the rules
– unfair though it may have been – and let down its base when it came
to various hot button issues, and yet this was not enough for the gang
from Sheraton or even Malay power structures in Harapan.
how Harapan had all these select committees, which turned out to be
impotent bodies waiting for the old maverick to tell them what their
purview was? Or how about all those supposed bipartisan initiatives that
No race-based parties
greatest strength is that it was a coalition that had no race-based
parties. Now, the argument could be made that racial politics dominated
the Harapan discourse in substance, but in form, they were a multiracial
coalition and this was a good start.
Good enough to wrest power
in certain states from the Umno hegemon and good enough to make the
Malay establishment fear the rise of a multiracial block because the
“Malays” were split.
We know, from reading the public statements
of various Harapan political strategists, that the DAP essentially
rolled over for the old maverick and his coterie of allies in the name
of racial and political unity, but it was outplayed by the Malay
fact that post-Sheraton Move we have witnessed very public humiliations
of high ranking non-Malay political operatives, who during their brief
tenure were impotent in the government, does not inspire confidence,
especially now that Harapan is still ironing out the differences between
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir and "don't spook the Malays"
seems to be driving policy considerations.
I have argued that
Harapan, flawed though it is, is a potent multi-racial alliance capable
of dismantling race-based hegemonic entities. This idea that a
“Malay-based party" is needed to anchor the alliance is complete horse
Maybe it would take Harapan longer to achieve its goal of
claiming Putrajaya without a Malay-based anchor, but it is not an
Is Teo right that Harapan has not done enough for a second term? Who knows?
state governments have been doing the same thing PN state-run
governments have been doing, which is navigating the pandemic while
attempting to regain some sense of normalcy.
Does this translate
to something more, especially now that the PN government, rightly or
wrongly, claims that it has got a handle on the pandemic? The emergency
was not the galvanising incident Harapan hoped it would be.
who are thinking that maybe Harapan has not done enough to deserve a
second chance can take comfort in the words of William Munny from one of
the best Western’s ever made – “Deserve's got nothing to do with it."