Hornbill Unleashed

April 3, 2017

Only in Malaysia, it’s either ‘Rakyat’ or ‘Harapan’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

“Politics is so difficult, it’s generally only people who aren’t quite up to the task who feel convinced they are.”

– Alain de Botton

Well, that is not entirely fair. I am sure the Bersatu president did not mean it as a choice between the “rakyat” and “harapan” when he made the suggestion of renaming the grand opposition coalition to Barisan Rakyat to oust the dark lord Najib Abdul Razak from Putrajaya. It does raise some interesting questions though. Who are the “rakyat”?

Considering the rhetoric coming out of Bersatu and Umno, with the former playing the realpolitik card of “Malay” majority instead of the latter’s “Malay” supremacy, would it be politically incorrect to assume that the “rakyat” are made up entirely of “Malays”?

Furthermore, what of “harapan”? Considering the current political climate of the oppositional forces in this country, would “harapan” be a false hope? If Najib is overthrown by his own people or removed in the election, would this really “save Malaysia” or would the opposition crumble under the weight of majority Malay expectation and entitlement?

People sometimes ask me, why I “bash” the opposition. Well, it is because opposition politicians say rather dumb things, like “It must be a Malay-led government. I am mentioning this here not because I want to favour anyone but because I know the majority of the rakyat are Malays.”

I have had a problem with the Bersatu president before when he was in Umno. Here’s something I wrote previously – “Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s clarion call for Malaysians, specifically Malay-Muslims, to unite under the BN banner is problematic for a variety of reasons but he is absolutely right when he reminds non-Malay Malaysians to be cognisant of the fact that the ‘future of the nation depended on Malay/Muslim unity’.”

Of course, now he says the same thing which just goes to show you the more things change the more they stay the same. There is this dissonance when people accuse Umno of perpetuating an apartheid system but support an opposition that does nothing to change that system.

There is a difference in acknowledging that the Malay majority is a major factor in regime change and supporting racial policies that are detrimental to every community in this country. This distinction seems to be lost when the goal of removing Najib has become an obsession in oppositional politics.

A former Umno operative quoted back to me something I had written to a year ago about the Malay oppositional politics – “I have no idea if the Malay community will not remain pawns to the alternative political parties and their mendacious schemes that pay homage to old corrupt ideologies in their quest to seek power, but I do know there is great comfort in voting corrupt potentates out of office when we still have the chance.”

He told me that what the Najib refuseniks were really aiming for in the Malay community was the protest vote. They were trying to incite the Malay community to flip the bird at Umno because their standard of living had gone down, not because of the historic policies of Umno but rather because this particular Umno regime was so corrupt that the average citizen was bearing the brunt of Umnoputra excesses.

All this talk about our land sold to China was an attempt to rile up the already disenfranchised base and make this an issue about neglecting Malay rights because Umno are beholden to Chinese overlords. The only problem with this strategy, he continued, was that Umno was doing the same thing. Umno’s claim was that the Malay powerbrokers in the oppositional front were beholden to the Chinese mandarins of DAP.

Destabilising the Malay vote

The so-called deal with the House of Saud – ‘so-called’ because Putrajaya has been signing these MOUs (memorandum of understanding) all over the place but reserving the real deals for China – was an attempt to demonstrate to the Muslim community that even the House of Saud acknowledges the legitimacy of Umno. Furthermore, because they know that a credible alternative alliance would be one also made up of PAS – like in the good old Tok Guru days – and Umno has been attempting (successfully) to wreck the relationships between PAS and anyone else.

What they successfully managed to do is isolate PAS in the hopes that the formidable PAS election machinery is something that the opposition coalition will not have access to. They have also been using PAS to advocate religious ideas that Umno cannot do because its tenuous grip on power is bolstered by Sabah and Sarawak, which have made it very clear what their state rights are in connection with PAS’ Islam.

This former Umno operative claims that the Malay base is fatigued and Umno worries that they may actually just vote for change because they realise they really have nothing to lose. This is why the regime fears former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It reminds the Malay base of the “glory days” of the Mahathir regime.

There is this canard going about that the opposition cannot run the federal government. This is total bull crap because the opposition, especially when it comes to the ‘Malay’ components, are made up of former Umno establishment politicians and bureaucrats who have been part of the system for a long time.

Regime change does not necessarily mean ideological change, which is why those people who actually have an ideology are mortified that this opposition is in league with the architects of the Umno system which is slowly but surely pushing us over a cliff.

However, Malay powerbrokers in the alternative front are playing a deeper game. Even if the current Umno grand poobah is overthrown by elements from within his own party, the Najib refuseniks win the game, which is why they can claim they will never return to Umno.

If the Umno grand poobah falls by swords from his own party, there would be a mass exodus of Umno members and politicians to Bersatu. They would never join PKR because they know that Bersatu is more in line with their way of life than the political party dominated by the flotsam and jetsam of the reformasi movement.

Mahathir knows all too well that attempting to get the majority of the Malay vote would be an uphill task. Instead, his strategy is destabilising the Malay vote which would jeopardise Najib’s standing in the eyes of the petty warlords and worried potentates of Umno Baru.

What opposition supporters have to consider is this – what will be a “meaningful win”. In another article, I summarised as follows –

“What constitutes a meaningful win if the opposition ever gets control of the federal government? Will the opposition amend laws that create economic, social, racial and religious disparity amongst Malaysians? Will the opposition slay sacred cows or nurture them for their own purposes? Is changing the system the reason for regime change or merely replacing the current BN line-up with a more acceptable less corrupt counterpart?”

The last part – less corrupt counterpart – is problematic. Convincing people you are less corrupt in not a strategy that works, especially when race and religion are thrown in the mix.

Beyond the echo chambers, people are extremely pessimistic. I suppose they see it as a choice between “Malays” (rakyat) and “false hope” (harapan).

Yesterday: Nobody ever leaves or returns to Umno

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.
Source : @ Malaysiakini




    With this Father of ALLRacist, do you believe leopards akan let go its spot..??? before winning the election, this kacang yg dah LUPA Kulit kit-lin said: apa apa request from Cina Babi community bolih consider…, lepas Menang, Cina Babis are COMMUNISTS….tiu, kit-lin Hai….read some where lately that reporting this kacang yg dah Lupa kULIT kit-lin, said to Tiongkok: no worry if i come back to POWER,……LOL…LOL…even US is worrying Tiongkok, you want today’s Tionkok to worry you…Choon Hai…DAP..Bye…Bye…Bye….

    Comment by tiuniamah — April 5, 2017 @ 10:01 AM | Reply

  2. Rubbish lah, ni semua Ulars di sa Kolam now,

    Comment by tiuniamah — April 3, 2017 @ 12:57 PM | Reply

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