Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan has, not communications, but credibility issues - 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

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 has, not communications, but credibility issues - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 06, 2022

For Commander Thaya's detractors, he was in the Navy long before you were swimming in your father's balls or just a dirty glint in your daddy's eyes!!

Malaysiakini : “If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower

COMMENT | DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said recently that Pakatan Harapan needs to resolve its “communication failures” before the next GE if not it will suffer from “misperceptions”. The four issues plaguing Harapan as enunciated by Kit Siang are not communication problems but rather credibility problems.Do not get me wrong. Harapan’s messaging, to put it bluntly, sucks. It is extremely difficult getting the messaging right when you claim to be an egalitarian coalition when you are too busy not spooking the Malays.
However, this could be overcome by tempering propaganda and concentrating on bread and butter issues.The credibility problem is more damaging and points to the dysfunctional nature of opposition politics in this country and the often toxic nature of the discourse that Harapan engineers. As for the “contradictory perception” that the DAP was both anti -Malay and sold out the non -Malays. The former is a political strategy as admitted by none other than the son of the old maverick. Mukhriz Mahathir is on record as saying the demonisation of the DAP by Umno, and by extension, all Malay uber alles parties, was a specific political strategy when they could not answer for the failings of governance.

The latter, though, is factual - the result of crushed expectations and a deliberate policy to benefit the Malay polity at the expense of the non- Malays. How do we know this? 

We know this because the former Harapan prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said so when publicly castrating Lim Guan Eng, who was the finance minister then.

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng

To recap, Mahathir said - "We still have to give them, but what we gave to them was very small (compared to what the Malays got). But we could not say it then, because then the Chinese would be angry. "That's why we didn't talk about that. But now we have to because I have to explain this thing."

So, this idea of the DAP “selling out” the non- Malays is in reality the kind of politics that the DAP accused the MCA of practising. 

Not to mention while Guan Eng was kowtowing to the old maverick, he was waging a very public war with the MCA over the funding of TAR University College (TAR UC), going so far as telling the MCA, "Your time is up, your time is over. Let it be run as an educational institution."

While an education establishment, like UiTM – a bumiputera only one – gets all the funding it needs, TAR UC has to contend with the political machinations of the DAP using “government funding“ as window dressing to carry on a petty political dispute with an adversary it claims has no power or influence in the Chinese community.

This is why the Bangsa Malaysia kool-aid is so damaging to Harapan. The DAP for instance propagates this nonsense but neither in agenda nor policy does it have any intention of living up to this idea. 

I would argue that this propaganda has become some sort of political brainwashing.

The second issue is of course the failure of Harapan to deliver reforms. It is extremely cynical to claim that the Sheraton Move derailed the reform agenda. Firstly the prime minister had claimed that corruption was no longer a serious issue in Malaysia. 

Like I said in my previous piece, the old maverick prefers to advance a false narrative rather than confront the reality of corruption in Malaysia with all its religious warts.

Then the old maverick claimed that corruption brought down the Harapan government. Meanwhile, Harapan political operatives were busy attempting to retain power and publically feuding over who deserved to be prime minister when they obviously did not have the numbers to even make such a decision.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad

And as far as the reform agenda, Mahathir said that the Harapan manifesto was not worth the paper it was printed on - “We thought we were going to lose. We put in tough things in the manifesto so that if we lose, the (BN) government would be in a quandary (after winning the polls)."

“But now, we are the government. We are victims of our own manifesto.”

And before you go blaming the old maverick, Lim Guan Eng later admitted that everyone knew that Mahathir was not committed to the manifesto as reported in press – “Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was no longer committed to fulfilling Pakatan Harapan's election pledges, claimed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.”

We now know that the Sheraton Move was orchestrated by elements, including the former prime minister, and all Harapan and the DAP did was hoodwink the public by claiming that all was the figment of the imagination of the press.

As for the third point, that of ending the political hegemony of Umno. This all goes back to the Manichean view of politics that comes with two-party systems. Ending Umno hegemony means attempting to reform the system not merely replacing the pieces on the political chessboard.

The fact that Harapan chose to continue existing racial and religious policies and use the excuse of time, may satisfy hardcore supporters but for those who harken back to the days of Umno stability, this does not carry any water.

Harapan could have formulated policies and funded entitlement programmes which actually would have helped the dominant Malay polity - but it instead attempted to take over existing Umno programmes to maintain political hegemony and the result is that Umno still managed to make a comeback, with convicted political operatives leading the charge while embroiled in internal party feuds.

And finally the MOU. Come on, Harapan and the DAP were not transparent about this issue at all. The original deal that could have been made with former prime minister Muhddyin Yassin was the better deal. Indeed one of the architects - or at least the public face of the first one - said more or less the same thing.

Instead, Harapan used the first deal to go for the killing blow and turned this country over to a bunch of incompetent political operatives. 

The second MOU, or whatever it is called, is proving to be a fig leaf and not worth the time commenting on, so communicating to the rakyat of this worthless deal should not be in the messaging of Harapan. 

As someone who supported both initiatives, the failure of both serves to remind me how duplicitous political operatives are. As if I needed reminding but I was honestly hoping that some sort of bipartisanship would serve the public better.

How on earth could Harapan supporters believe anything coming from Harapan? We need an opposition to hold the establishment accountable but so far all Harapan is demonstrating is that it wants to replace the establishment without changing the system.

Wouldn’t folks just vote for the original instead of the neo?
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:36 AM  
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