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Thursday, March 4, 2021

GE15 Is Going To Be A War Of Perception

 

And this has to be Muhyiddin’s and Perikatan Nasional’s narrative. The Malays in the Malay heartland need to be convinced that there are certain Malays in Perikatan Nasional who are traitors collaborating with the DAP-backed Pakatan Harapan in an attempt to destroy Perikatan Nasional so that Pakatan Harapan can take over the country.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Over the last three years since May 2018, especially over the last year since 1st March 2020, so much is being said about the politics of Malaysia. But how much is fact and how much is fiction? Let us analyse the whole situation objectively.

Belief! That is the key to the whole thing. And belief is based on perception. If you perceive something to be true, then you will accept that as ‘The Truth’. It is what you believe to be true. And one person’s truth can be another person’s lie.

The perception created by the Young Turks in Umno in the run-up to the 10th May 1969 general election was that the non-Malays were stealing the country. The towns were owned by the non-Malays while the Malays lived in the kampung. The non-Malays owned the businesses while the Malays were farmers and fishermen. And much more.

Basically, this perception being created by the Young Turks was meant to destabilise the country so that Tunku Abdul Rahman could be ousted. It was an internal power-struggle within Umno headed by the Young Turks, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad included.

Mahathir, the master of deception and lies since the 1960s

The fact that Penang and Singapore had been ‘stolen’ by the non-Malays in 1959 and 1965 respectively proved this. And when the non-Malays ‘stole’ Kuala Lumpur in 1969, that confirmed it. The perception was: the non-Malays wish to kick the Malays out of the towns and reduce the Malays to hamba di negara sendiri.

Actually, the socio-economic development of Malaysia over 500 years leading up to ‘May 13’ is a more complicated story than that and it would require a thesis to explain what happened (which you will not read anyway even if I do write one).

But the issue here is not ‘The Truth’ but perception. That is the perception the Young Turks in Umno successfully painted and that resulted in the Malay ‘grassroots’ rising up in rebellion in what we know as the ‘May 13 race riots of Malaysia’.

Along the way, and a number of general elections more, this perception game was played again and again — 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1995.

Then came the historical 1999 general election where for the first time in Malaysian history the Barisan Nasional coalition faced a coalition of opposition parties, which was called Barisan Alternatif. And the November 1999 general election was the biggest perception game ever played.

The Malays had the perception that Mahathir is an evil and most corrupt prime minister in Malaysian history, and that Anwar Ibrahim was a victim of fitnah (lies), fabricated criminal charges, and a rigged trial in a kangaroo court. So, the Malays in the Malay heartland voted Barisan Alternatif.

The Chinese, on the other hand, had the perception that if Barisan Alternatif came to power, the country would be turned into an Islamic State with Hudud laws that included amputation for thieves.

The Chinese also had the perception that Barisan Alternatif was not capable of managing Malaysia’s economy, or had not yet proven it can manage the economy, and to ensure that Malaysia’s economy remains strong, and the non-Malays can still make a lot of money, Barisan Nasional needs to remain in power.

Hence, the Malays voted Barisan Alternatif, and the non-Malays voted Barisan Nasional, mainly because of perception. The Malays chose what they believed to be ‘justice’ and the non-Malays chose what they believed to be a ‘good economy’.

The 1999 problem was Mahathir. So, on 1st November 2003, Mahathir retired and handed power to Tun Abdullah Ahamad Badawi. Problem solved. In the 21st March 2004 general election a few months later, the Malays returned to Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternatif got wiped out (except in Kelantan where PAS was just slightly ahead of Umno).

That election was the best ever for Barisan Nasional and it was all because Mahathir left the scene, and the perception created was that Malaysia was going to be great again under Abdullah.

But that perception did not last. Just 27 months later, Mahathir returned to politics and launched his campaign to oust Abdullah. The initial perception in 2003 was that Abdullah was clean, holy, an ulamak, etc. In 2006, the ‘new’ perception that Mahathir successfully painted was that Abdullah was corrupt and a crook who was stealing hundreds of millions.

How could in just 27 months Abdullah’s image do a U-turn? How could Abdullah become Satan from an angel in just over two years?

That is because Mahathir succeeded in changing the perception while Abdullah’s people did nothing and failed to counter Mahathir’s propaganda (and I blame Khairy Jamaluddin for this failure).

In other words, Mahathir scored the goals because Abdullah’s goalkeeper just stood there and watched and did not stop the ball. Simple!

From 2015 to 2018, the same thing happened. Mahathir kicked the ball, again and again, and Najib Tun Razak’s goalkeeper not only did not stop the ball but even kicked the ball into their own goal.

That was why in May 2018 Mahathir won and Najib lost. Again, simple!

If Muhyiddin Yassin wants to win GE15, he must win the perception game. GE15 is not going to be about the truth. The truth has nothing to do with it. It is going to be about what people perceive as the truth. And unless Muhyiddin’s people are able to ‘reinvent the truth’, then GE15 is going to be Muhyiddin’s Waterloo.

Lokman Noor Adam has a very large following and his daily anti-Muhyiddin video broadcasts are very convincing and influential

The truth, today, is that Umno is being bullied and is being unfairly treated by PPBM or Bersatu.

The truth, today, is that, without Umno, Muhyiddin and Bersatu-PAS would not be in power.

The truth, today, is that Malaysia is not managing the Covid-19 coronavirus effectively and efficiently.

The truth, today, is that Malaysia is not managing the economy effectively and efficiently.

The truth, today, is that Malaysia’s economy is in trouble not because of the many years of bad management since Mahathir was prime minister but because of the last 12 months under Muhyiddin.

The truth, today, is that Malaysians are facing financial problems because Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government are hopeless.

The truth, today, is that Muhyiddin is a backdoor prime minister and Perikatan Nasional is an illegal-unconstitutional government.

The truth, today, is that Muhyiddin no longer holds the majority in parliament and that more than 111 members of parliament are against him.

Puad Zarkashi, the main in charge of attacking Abdullah Badawi in 2008 is now in charge of attacking Muhyiddin Yassin

Yes, there are many so-called truths. So how is Muhyiddin and/or his people going to counter the Umno-Pakatan Harapan version of truths with another or alternative version of truths? That is what Muhyiddin and/or his people need to tackle.

Pakatan Harapan and Umno are very smart at playing the perception game. And thus far they are winning. Does Muhyiddin (and/or his people) want to counter that perception by denying all those allegations with ‘the real truth’ or do they want to shift the game?

Sun Tzu says never engage your enemies in their gelanggang and on their terms. Draw your enemies into your gelanggang and fight them on your terms.

Mahathir was able to convince Malaysians that Abdullah was the most corrupt prime minister in history. Then he was able to convince Malaysians that Najib was the most corrupt prime minister in history. Mahathir was able to make Malaysians forget that he was the most corrupt prime minister in history.

Clever or not?

Two days ago, DAP said that the Malay support for Pakatan Harapan has gone up. Hence, because of this, Pakatan Harapan can win GE15.

Note what DAP said: the Malay support for Pakatan Harapan has gone up; hence Pakatan Harapan can win GE15.

What about Chinese support? Why talk just about Malay support?

MCA has already replied to that question. MCA said DAP (meaning Pakatan Harapan) won 95% of the Chinese votes and this is not expected to change.

Put another way, Pakatan Harapan will need Malay votes to win GE15, not Chinese votes. Even 100% Chinese votes will not matter if they do not get more than 40% of the Malay votes.

The Malays need to be convinced that Pakatan Harapan translates to the anti-Malay/anti-Islam DAP being back in power

So, it is going to be Malay votes, not Chinese votes, which will decide who gets to form the government after GE15. And if the Malays are united under Perikatan Nasional (meaning Umno, PAS and Bersatu are united under one coalition), then Pakatan Harapan is not going to win GE15.

Hence Perikatan Nasional needs to be destroyed. Umno, PAS and Bersatu must be made to fight one another. And this is currently work-in-progress. If Umno, PAS and Bersatu fight one another and Perikatan Nasional is destroyed, then Pakatan Harapan will be back in power after GE15.

And this has to be Muhyiddin’s and Perikatan Nasional’s narrative. The Malays in the Malay heartland need to be convinced that there are certain Malays in Perikatan Nasional who are traitors collaborating with the DAP-backed Pakatan Harapan in an attempt to destroy Perikatan Nasional so that Pakatan Harapan can take over the country.

The message must be that the Malays who are using all sorts or lies and lame excuses to destroy Perikatan Nasional are traitors to their race and religion. These are corrupt people who will sell their mother, race and religion for money. These are people who are trying to escape punishment for the billions that they have stolen.

It is the only counter to the many excuses as to why Perikatan Nasional needs to be destroyed.

Do not fight your enemy on his battlefield or in his gelanggang. Do not fight your enemy on his terms. You decide the time, place and terms when you face your enemy. And you fight fire with fire. And fires burning out of control need to be bombed to be put out.

Najib’s mistake in 2018 is he did not follow through till the end. Muhyiddin must not make that same mistake. Muhyiddin must ask for no mercy and must show no mercy. If not, Muhyiddin will suffer the same fate in GE15 that Najib suffered in GE14. That is the long and short of it all.

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