March 8, 2016
Message to those in league with Mahathir: Show us some Respect as we Malaysians are not Lemmings
by Hafidz Baharom
The recently launched People’s Declaration which showed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed joining hands with Pakatan Harapan (Harapan) leaders and activists from various NGOs in the hope of deposing Prime Minister Datok Seri Najib Razak has triggered a spectrum of reactions.
Some are happy, looking forward to what happens next, and even think this will finally be the undoing of Najib.Others are not so keen with this move. And the reasoning is simple. After 22 years of rule, and almost 20 years (come 2018) of vilifying Dr Mahathir to the point of branding him the Devil himself – and making this the selling point for general elections since 2008, the opposition and non-government organisations can just turn around and say “Oh, it’s okay. The past is the past, let us work on the future.”
I am sure by now it is obviously clear that Malaysians are not lemmings, nor are we serfs to just take the words of our supposed lordly political and NGO vassals and go forth as if nothing in the past two decades of Malaysian politics mattered.
Nor are we Malaysians a nation of Alzheimer’s patients to suddenly forget everything said by the political leaders involved in the recent press conference about each other and how Dr Mahathir triggered the rot.
And neither is the recently launched People’s Declaration supposed to be the Magna Carta – especially since it describes the issues limited to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as a trigger issue.
So yes, with all the above in mind, you believe that because those wronged worst than Mahathir can forgive, therefore we should be able to do so too?I’ll reply that with a two finger salute and a simple “(expletive deleted) you”.
Malaysians do not simply believe in a simple all is forgiven because of one reason – the Pakatan Harapan sold them wholesale that Putrajaya was corrupt because of that very man in their midst. And they pulled it off too well.
Similarly, the NGOs who decried freedom and electoral fraud, and a rot in the institutions also blamed that old man as well. Now you are saying it is all fine and dandy, that we should all join hands and sing Kumbaya?
Fahmi Reza is correct in his recent portrayal of clown faces yelling “we are all hypocrites”, because that is exactly what is pissing off the Malaysians who will reject this declaration – it is too hypocritical and irrational, as he himself points out.
But the greatest feeling of betrayal comes out of the belief that the opposition has broken their trust. See unlike us jaded and cynical Malaysians who just roll eyes and keep things to a simple sentence to describe this truly clowny affair, many Malaysians were trusting their politicians far too much.
They truly believed the DAP, PKR, PAS – now Parti Amanah Negara – coalition and their NGO allies would lead them to a better future without corruption, punishing the corruptors and their supporters.
Instead, now it is seen as if the so-called “clean” coalition is tarnished through a deal with the Devil – and that branding of the Devil was something that the coalition itself sold to the people.
You wish to point out that Najib censored The Malaysian Insider, The Heat, The Edge, Sarawak Report and even blogs, therefore the journalist fraternity should support this coalition.
Well, that Devil you branded shut down Sin Chew Jit Poh, Watan, The Star and The Sunday Star during Ops Lalang in 1987.Heck, he even whacked the people who initially supported Dató Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia Today.
So here is what will happen, as far as I can tell.There is now a break in the opposition supporting voter base while the government votes remain secure. The die hard supporters will remain true, but the independent vote is now fractured.
If a general election is called sooner than 2018, heck, even if he called for it today, the government has a stronger chance to win more seats in the urban centres simply because Malaysians will opt out of this election on the basis that a vote for Pakatan is a vote for Dr Mahathir.
And that will even be a selling point used by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to trigger either a switch vote or a low-voter turnout – since most would not vote Harapan or BN due to loss of trust in both.
Even the NGO support for Harapan won’t convince the Malaysian public to vote since it would be said that they too now suddenly back Dr Mahathir.
The outcome will be that BN will continue to rule Malaysia and the opposition will in fact lose a few seats where the non-Malay votes become kingmakers.
For the rural areas, the split between PAS and Amanah will make PAS become even more relevant in determining the government, especially if a deal is reached that UMNO will not contest against PAS.
The opposition loses all credibility and remain in political wilderness as it did in 2004, thus needing them to build up from scratch. If PAS sides with the government, expect an even more conservative ruling coalition in power.
And Malaysia wouldn’t have been saved, but brought to ruin by politicians who thought the ends justified the means.