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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

YOURSAY | Is it time for the opposition trio to step down?

 


YOURSAY | ‘I, too, dream of a day when a leader in his or her 30s or 40s become PM.’

COMMENT | Who will bell the cat - tell opposition trio their time is up?

Lepak: This comment piece perfectly sums up the frustration many feel at not being able to effect the political change they seek. But it seems more driven by emotion than reality.

This is not the first time we've heard this mantra about bringing in younger, fresher faces, as though that by itself will magically transform things.

Yes, on the surface, what could be wrong with "handing things over to the next generation"? But there are some broad assumptions here that will not withstand the harsh reality of our complex socio-political situation.

First, the people this writer (ES Shankar) thinks need to go. Not even Nurul Izzah Anwar, Rafizi Ramli or Yeo Bee Yin can magically charm hard-bitten political operatives to suddenly give them a parliamentary majority.

Why is it Anwar Ibrahim's fault that politicians made their cold calculations and more of them decided to throw in their lot with the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Umno-led government?

Anwar and company delivered a legitimate majority by winning the most seats in GE14. How is it their fault that Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the PKR's "traitor cluster" stabbed them in the back?

Why should these stalwarts be thrown out when the voters who put them in have not had a chance to have their say again?

We need not just a fresh face and the charm of youth to make a mark. We need people with political guts, something that Nurul and Rafizi did not show when push came to shove. Instead of staying and fighting, they bolted for the exit.

Or take another young politician - Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is now making all the right noises when no longer in government. Yet, this same youth had no qualms about hosting an intimate dinner for a foreigner on the run from criminal charges who is intent on deepening the divisions here.

Heck, there's a whole posse of young people running around on the governing side who don't seem to be too different from their elders.

The opposition leaders Shankar wants thrown out have made their mistakes, but by and large, they're the ones who stuck to principles.

Competing against an establishment that is now firmly embedded after 65 years of running things is never easy. Idealism is great in a vacuum. But it seldom survives when the tires hit the road.

Anon1984: The leaders of the opposition in Malaysia took on a daunting challenge to confront one of the most entrenched political mafias in global politics.

They have painstakingly constructed a powerful movement that is slowly but surely dislodging this cancer bit by bit, not without personal cost to themselves as we all know.

Rome was not built in a day and it is no mean feat to upturn the establishment, but Shankar is dismissive and impatient of the now older men who have sacrificed their life's work (and liberty) to this task and he is fed up with them for not having succeeded sooner with some click of their fingers against all the instruments available to undermine them.

He is looking for some shiny new product to flick the switch. In fact, perseverance and persistence are what pay and experience counts, so the opposition should stick to its guns for now and to its tried and tested leaders who have not wavered from their determination to reform Malaysia.

Unspin: All three heads of Pakatan Harapan's presidential council should join DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang by taking a step back to play the mentor/adviser role to the younger leaders.

Anwar, Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu cast a large shadow over the younger leaders making it difficult for them to get noticed and shine.

Moreover, the negative perception of the three existing leaders is difficult to shake off: Anwar – impatient and desperate; Guan Eng – arrogant and stubborn; Sabu - an easy-going guy and a comedian.

LuvMysia: Yes, it is time for the opposition old guard to pave the way for new and capable leaders of a true Keluarga Malaysia. They have to step aside as they stand as the last bastion against the formation of this dream team.

It does not require anyone with an IQ greater than 70 to see that this Kerajaan Gagal 2.0 is bound to fulfil what it is destined to do as their name implies and will not be around for long. For the sake of Malaysia's survival, we must have this dream team ready.

Omar Iz: I, too, dream of a day when a leader in his or her 30s or 40s become our nation's prime minister. However, if such a person were there, he or she should rise to the occasion. He or she should come forward with fresh ideas and administrative capabilities and win us over.

That theoretical person, alas, hasn't done so yet. Among all the individuals suggested above, only Rafizi stands out. He is certainly a person of great calibre. But he left politics following his loss in the party polls. He has to come back and get back into the game.

Abdul Razak Hussein became a PM when he was 48. I am sure we want another who is just as young, if not younger. But the person cannot expect power and position to be handed over to him or her in a silver platter.

AB Sulaiman: I write this after listening to the new cabinet lineup. True enough, Sankar's article should be extended to cover not only the trio he mentioned but well-nigh to most names mentioned in this lineup.

The bell should be hung to the neck of many of them. In their place should be names having great understanding of the 'Ketuanan virus'.

Affinity for one's race and religion is fairly common everywhere. Individuals and communities have tendency to favour their own kinds. But in this country, it is institutionalised. Our leaders use them in virtually all public policy formulations and applications, thus legitimising racism and bigotry.

Race and religion, in other words, have been intertwined with government. It's a fairly unique situation. You can hardly see this mix in any other country.

Exile: The phrase “To bell a cat" is attributed to one of Aesop's fables, though the provenance is disputed. Nevertheless, in the folktale, the mice held a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the cat.

After a general discussion, a young mouse rose to present a proposal.

“You will all agree,” he said, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape.

“I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon 'round the cat's neck. By this means, we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.”

This proposal met with general applause until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the cat?”

The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said: “It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”

It would appear that Shankar in his haste has unwittingly “sawed off the limb” on which he was perched. I am sure that the leadership in PKR and DAP, who are the only serious opposition and threat to the current occupants of Putrajaya, are wise enough “to beware the Greeks bearing gifts". - Mkini

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