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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Victory, naysaying and Umno’s game



“Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon.”
- Horatio Nelson
COMMENT Discerning Malaysiakini readers had a triple Chinese New Year treat. Two of Malaysiakini’s more insightful writers offered up two very different pieces and former MCA president Chua Soi Lek weighed in on the whole DAP/PAS marriage of convenience and dropped some hard truths about the current political terrain.
All three pieces were interesting (to me at least) because ultimately they all point to the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the opposition and the dangers of playing Umno’s game which I have been talking about for many years.
As one of those loud voices that are against any dealing with PAS, I have to admit that reading Nathaniel Tan’s piece, one thing become very clear. With the alliance between former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and oppositional factions in this country, a line was crossed which made any argument against dealing with a specific political party, meaningless.
In other words, because the opposition has decided to bury the hatchet with in PAS’s nomenclature - the “Mahafiraun” - the idea that anyone could make an argument about rejecting a certain political party or personality based on values and principles is absurd.
Therefore, Nathaniel is right (although considering his past political affiliations, he comes with a very specific set of biases) when it comes to building bridges with PAS because what the opposition has done is make it clear that there is nobody they would not work with, in order to get rid of Chairman Najib.
However, where Nat’s argument goes off the rails is when he attempts to make the case that the ideological dissonance between PAS and the DAP is the obstacle between the two working together. While the late Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat was pragmatic enough to sublimate principle and embrace political compromise, this is not the case with the current leadership of PAS.
The reality is that at this moment the power brokers within PAS have formed an alliance with the ruling hegemon and as I have argued before, all they have to do is hamper the opposition and remain relevant to Umno by maintaining at the very least a stronghold in Kelantan.
Hence, PAS’ value to Umno is their role in weakening the opposition and spreading around Islamic memes that ultimately destabilise the already weak secular foundations of the opposition. This late in the game, when the opposition has already let the enemy in the gates, it is pointless finding common ground, especially when the opposition is juggling so many disparate alliances.
Which brings me to what the former MCA president said about political opportunism. What can I say? If the political union between the DAP and PAS worked out, it would be considered a winning formula but when it breaks up, we can label it as opportunism.
The cracks in the alliance were already showing soon after their electoral victory. While Malaysians celebrated a new dawn in Malaysian politics, the firefighting going on behind the scenes and the reality that Tok Guru was holding onto the alliance with the force of his personality, should have been a wake-up call to all those politicians who claim to want change.
Instead what did they do, they carried on nurturing the Islamic apparatus in an attempt to gain Malay votes at the expense of reshaping the discourse now that they had political power.
Last year I reminded those who are interested that the opposition butchered the ideas of a secular state in a piece arguing that the way forward is not the way back:
“The inclusion of PAS into mainstream politics and the ‘PAS for all’ propaganda ensured that this Islamic sect gained credibility, but more importantly further entrenched ideas that were anathema to a secular state.
“The opposition’s propaganda is that Malaysia is a secular state or that the opposition professes secular ideas, but the reality is that the opposition has done nothing beyond aping similar BN tactics in its political war with Umno.”
Complex corruption scandal
People often talk about the “ignorant” rural Malay voter. How do you think it plays out when they see a supposed “Malay” nationalist and a supposed “Chinese” chauvinist, sworn enemies but who now are attempting to win over their hearts and minds, with a complex corruption scandal even though the former had his own complex corruption scandal?
Chua is also right that Bersatu is a single-issue political party. What happens if Chairman Najib resigns and the 1MDB fiasco is resolved? What is the connective tissue that binds all these opposition political parties? There really is no credible answer beyond removing an Umno potentate that everyone had a hand in creating.
The former MCA president wonders “Will Bersatu disband and return to the Umno fold, leaving its newfound allies in the lurch?”, and this is what everyone who can see beyond the 1MDB scandal wonders and how the already frayed opposition would recover if such an event occurred.
Josh Hong is correct when he says, “for all its flaws, Malaysia remains a prosperous, relatively efficient and economically vibrant country” which really does not go down with people who think that Malaysia is turning into a failed state.
Never mind that one of those people happens to be me. I have lost track of how many times I have pushed the “failed state” narrative. Moreover, let me tell you it is very easy to push that narrative when we see the failing system around us. It is very easy to push that narrative when we have something as calamitous as the National Security Council Act.
It is very easy to push that narrative when we have an opposition that seems incapable of subduing this hegemon and an oppositional meme that blames ignorant uneducated rural folk, indigenous people and everyone who does not vote opposition as if by merely voting means changing the system.
Josh says, “What if all these fear-mongering predictions did not materialise? Would that not undermine the credibility of those who made them?”.
The answer to that is, yes.
However, Josh’s piece is far too nuanced for folks who are only interested in removing Chairman Najib to consider. It is a difficult piece because it raises far too many questions about the opposition and those who support it.
I want to end this piece with a quote from Josh and a quote from a Malaysiakini reader (and something I have been saying for years) from a piece by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdual Rahman. I believe they both describe what is wrong with oppositional politics in this country.
(I would also like to thank a regular reader - you know who you are - for pointing out Proarte’s comment to me.)
From Josh - “After almost 10 years of political suspense, Malaysians are only growing disillusioned with both sides of the political divide, and even tired of the sad reality that the opposition is only busy with cheap antics, empty rhetoric and infighting.”
From Proarte - “I would think it would be foolhardy to allow an unstable coalition that is Pakatan Harapan to rule the country when they have no clear political direction or principles. How can DAP ‘work with’ a party which wants Syariah as the supreme law of the land and at the same time claim to abide by the secular constitution? How can DAP ‘work with’ Umno, the very party it wants to bring down?
“If these are ‘political stunts’, then it impresses no one. Our country is in dire straits; what we need is for Pakatan to accept the notion of equality of each citizen before the law, to clearly repudiate the notion of privilege and to reject racial and religious politics.
“If Pakatan can aim for the higher principle of equal worth of each citizen, then I believe we can achieve a political Tsunami which will bring down BN in the next election. Opposition politicians rather stupidly are operating on BN’s terrain.”

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.- Mkini

2 comments:

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      ASS..WR.WB.SAYA PAK ALERSKY TKI BRUNAY DARUSALAM INGIN BERTERIMA KASIH BANYAK KEPADA EYANG WORO MANGGOLO,YANG SUDAH MEMBANTU ORANG TUA SAYA KARNA SELAMA INI ORANG TUA SAYA SEDANG TERLILIT HUTANG YANG BANYAK,BERKAT BANTUAN AKI SEKARAN ORANG TUA SAYA SUDAH BISA MELUNASI SEMUA HUTAN2NYA,DAN SAWAH YANG DULUNYA SEMPAT DI GADAIKAN SEKARAN ALHAMDULILLAH SUDAH BISA DI TEBUS KEMBALI,ITU SEMUA ATAS BANTUAN EYANG WORO MANGGOLO MEMBERIKAN ANGKA RITUALNYA KEPADA KAMI DAN TIDAK DI SANGKA SANGKA TERNYATA BERHASIL,BAGI ANDA YANG INGIN DIBANTU SAMA SEPERTI KAMI SILAHKAN HUBUNGI NO HP EYANG WORO MANGGOLO (0823-3744-3355) JANGAN ANDA RAGU ANGKA RITUAL EYANG WORO MANGGOLO SELALU TEPAT DAN TERBUKTI INI BUKAN REKAYASA SAYA SUDAH MEMBUKTIKAN NYA TERIMAH KASIH
      NO HP EYANG WORO MANGGOLO (0823-3744-3355)
      BUTUH ANGKA GHOIB HASIL RTUAL EYANG WORO MANGGOLO


      > >> >> KLIK DISINI << << <











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