Articles, Opinions & Views: Has Harapan done enough that it deserves Putrajaya again? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“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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Has Harapan done enough that it deserves Putrajaya again? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, March 01, 2021

Politically Correct Useful Idiot

: “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

COMMENT | 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.

Pokok 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 frogs.

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. 

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution

This does not inspire confidence in the rakyat, especially since Harapan spectacularly imploded with the Sheraton Move.

Post-Sheraton 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"?

And because 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 members.

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.

Remember 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 never materialised?

No race-based parties

Harapan’s 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 establishment. 

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The 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 manure. 

Maybe it would take Harapan longer to achieve its goal of claiming Putrajaya without a Malay-based anchor, but it is not an impossible goal.

Is Teo right that Harapan has not done enough for a second term? Who knows? 

Harapan 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.

People 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."

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:40 AM  
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