Pakatan Harapan or Pakatan Rakyat or Whatever–The Opposition has an Identity Problem

March 16, 2017

Pakatan Harapan or Pakatan Rakyat or Whatever–The Opposition has an Identity Problem

by Scott

Semua mahu jadi tauwkey, hanya rakyat boleh jadi hamba, sama macam UMNO

Opposition supporters are apparently divided over former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal that Pakatan Harapan undergo a rebranding after his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia joins it. Mahathir has suggested that Pakatan adopt a new name and a common manifesto and symbol.

To some, the call confirms their suspicion that PPBM is merely a reskinned UMNO and the inclusion of the party in a grand coalition will simply make it a version of Barisan Nasional, with Mahathir in control. After all, old habits die hard, especially the habits of a confessed dictator. Mahathir ruled for more than 22 years and is used to having his way.

Image result for Is Najib the Boss

Le Boss not like a Boss

Of course, this theory assumes that the other parties are willing to make way for Mahathir to ascend to the position of opposition leader and will unquestioningly give in to his dictates. Given PKR’s lack of direction, Amanah’s continuing search for a concrete identity and DAP’s poor appeal among rural Malays, it isn’t hard to imagine Mahathir leading the charge.

However, PPBM does not enter the coalition as the first among equals. It joins as yet another party despite the pedigree of its luminaries, and fittingly so. Mahathir & Co will have much work to do in convincing liberals, progressives, and moderates that PPBM is not Umno in sheep’s clothing. What good would it do to replace a government if it merely results in more of the same?

So the first order of business, should Pakatan accept PPBM into its fold, should be to come out with a concrete policy platform, one that looks at the specific laws and practices that must be reformed, mechanisms that must be reviewed and government agencies that must be revamped.

Although Mahathir’s proposals are still merely suggestions, Pakatan’s discussions around them are sure to be robust. Nevertheless, it is hoped that all the Pakatan parties recognise the suggestions as eminently reasonable.

Pundits have long pointed out the need for a uniform identity and platform for Pakatan Harapan, and the appearance of being united via a common symbol is a first step towards consolidating the coalition as an entity. With PAS poised to be a spoiler in the coming election, it is more important than ever to present a unified front. Certainly, only one candidate from the coalition should be fielded in every constituency.

Whether Mahathir’s agenda dominates the coalition platform is truly a problem for the three Pakatan parties to hash out on their own. There is little to suggest that Mahathir will get his way unquestioned, but perhaps ideas coming from a field-tested veteran of political battles will be beneficial in the long run.

Scott Ng is an FMT columnist.


12 thoughts on “Pakatan Harapan or Pakatan Rakyat or Whatever–The Opposition has an Identity Problem

  1. Tok Cik and Orang Malaya,

    There are no Indians in the Political Opposition except Chiefs. They all want to be PMs. Aren’t they counting chickens before the eggs are hatched? I know them well. Before 2008, they were very humble and idealistic, but after that, semua mahu jadi Yang Amat Berhormat.. They are no different from UMNO. Kalau ada perluang mereka pun boleh jadi korup dan gila kuasa.–Din Merican

  2. Water will find its level. In life we must aim for the highest branch. If we fail at least we can catch the second or third branch on your way down.

  3. Quote:- “They are no different from UMNO”

    Yes, that may be so, (though not entirely), but the attempt now is to evolve a 2 party system, and a 2 party system will never ever come about unless the present Opposition coalition is given a chance at federal power. Then we shall see their true colors, one way or another.

  4. //There is little to suggest that Mahathir will get his way unquestioned, but perhaps ideas coming from a field-tested veteran of political battles will be beneficial in the long run.

    I like how Scott Ng ended his article. I wish more Melayu of this generation could be more ambitious.

    This is what I have learned from Niebuhr some years ago.
    //Niebuhr has given us the knowledge that political organizations would always only coerce. But, modern day pragmatic political theory reminded us that 2 other forces, that is the force of distortion and subjugation, are always at work. The force of distortion happens whenever princes fight amongst themselves vying for ‘Ketuanan’. The force of subjugation from the rakyat wishing to get their rights represented gets the princes work for their good. Since neither of today’s forces of distortion by the princes in Malaysia are fighting for justice and truth of ending Ketuanan, perhaps, it is good for a few good rakan-rakan to shore up the courage to put aside what we own today, and share our thoughts for the greater good that has been distorted by Ketuanan.

  5. Yes DDM too many Chiefs and no Indians, Chief Booming Thunder, Chief Shitting Bull, Chief Leap Frog, Chief TwoFace, Chief Medicine Man, and many more. Pakatan or whatever name they chose to call themselves don’t have a good election manifesto apart from getting rid of Jibby which is not an election manifesto but a personal agenda.

    Reducing taxes often works but not in Malaysia and many electorates don’t pay taxes and thus are not motivated. Getting rid of GST is a good call as everybody is affected.

    The Opposition needs to have think tanks addressing the economy, finance, taxes and national security in developing their election manifesto. Provide data and numbers to show how their plans are better than the BN’s plan. Simply accusing BN of poor governance is not enough. Provide evidence and projections if Opposition are voted in.
    The Opposition must also learn how to rule and take care of the welfare of the citizens from day one. Stop thinking like the Opposition. When you are in charge then prove yourself and live up to your election promises.

    Stop squabbling for seats for EXCO or CM or MB positions. Pakatan must remember they lost Trengganu, Perak and Kedah because of this. Last but not least have a unified stand and drop the objectives and purposes of the component parties.
    Good luck Pakatan errr.
    Orang Malaya, and CLF,

    I could not have said it any better. I agree with you that there are many bull(s) in the Opposition and also in UMNO-BN. Malaysians have been taken for a long ride by these do-gooders. As a result, we have become a nation of suckers.

    You and I know Najib will win GE-14. Given the divisiveness in the allocation of seats among the Harapan side, the Prime Minister may even regain two-thirds majority in Parliament and that means less chief sitting bulls on the other side of the aisle.

    Good or bad with Najib in charge to realise Vision 2020 sans Idris Anak Tembak Jala. Well, it is no longer the issue. We have to learn to accept reality that Mahathir is no longer our leading light Lady Macbeth like Rosmah Mansor who has taken over will be emboldened and very assertive. If you don’t believe it, ask our Blue Ocean strategist and Chief Secretary Hamsa Ali.–Din Merican.

  6. Is there still any Harapan? Really?

    These disparate and desperate entities within Pakatoon are like teams of bullocks each pulling Malusia in opposing directions. All they know is to hammer the useless Feudal Kleptocrats and Hadified Mohammedans, black and blue.

    They can’t even come out with dynamic solutions to the horrendous socio-economic ills that we Malusians face. They remain reactionary not proactionary, especially their Chinapek component. Arrogance, sectarianism, irrelevancy and downright opposing for the sake of opposing seems to be their charter.

    So for the DAP-PKR-Amanah-PPBmahatir nexus:
    Leadership? Anwar.., err, Octo.. err, Muhyi.. err, Nenek.. err Nenas?
    Meritocracy? That’s licking the ass of your perceived Supremo.
    Corruption? Mana takde.. For party and many, not for self. Any difference?
    Education? University and Colleges Act mah. Difficult becuz all are dullards.
    Freedom of Religion? Don’t ask pastor mana.. Okay?
    Economic Transformation? Whazzat. NEP, BR1M okay what..!
    GST? Ban, destroy, repok. No need to reduce. Taxes? Huh?
    Civil service transformation? Ass lickers will be promoted to their level of incompetence, as before.

    Quite a few of the Chinapek businessmen supporters of the Oppo are having serious doubts about the viability of such political bollocking. They are rebooting their support for the Lap-mongrels, so they can grow longer canines and carnassials in order that they bite their masters. Doubtful but doable. After all a dingo knows best, ya?

    I don’t know much about MIC, but their ‘datos and datins’ are kinda dodgy at best. Geng apa?

    Now, don’t get me started on Klepto-King-Queen and his merry band of Thugs..!
    A less emotional response may be this:

    Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea, i’d rather fly away. But where to?

    • Please, fly away, i’d rather fight tooth & nail (legal & non-violence of course) with the greatest corrupter *be.end* in our country right now.

      Let the other (pakatoon or whatever you decide to call them) have a go in governing our nation. I can see my light & hope, for you the pessimist, the door is always open for you.

    • matasoul and like minded poor souls,
      Do you know the difference between Systemic and Specific? Or a Symptom does not a Disease make?

      The Oppo only has a ‘specific’ agenda – i.e fight fire after it’s started, while the whole Establishment problem is Systemic with all it’s implications.

      If the Oppo had grandiose Systemic plans where is it? How does anybody “save” a nation without a holistic strategy? 1MB is a Symptom, not the Disease, comprendo?

      Or look at the furor created by the Oppo about Permata/FLOM – which is extremely minor in the larger scheme of corruption. Or the MP who wants to go after a bauxite hole in the ground, while Lynas, which still hasn’t got any clue of where to dispose the waste poses a greater long-term danger for the community. Instead of whacking Lynas black and blue, we must come together to solve the issue. But because of hard headed opportunism, nothing gets done. This cannot, that also cannot. We are in a state of Tetany!

      Thinking in short jerks and spurts just because they make good sound-bites doesn’t solve our existential crises. Sometimes bipartisanship, not outright hatred and dispute makes for maturity and ensouls the nation.

      I’m definitely not an apologist for Be-End, nor am i blinkered by hatred. The simple questions i posed above are examples of what you Pakatoons have to answer before wet dreaming all night long. Otherwise, might as well sink Malusia deeper.

  7. In fact, all political parties and their leaders have an identity problem.

    They could NOT identify themselves as ” WE ARE, Above All, MALAYSIANS ! ”
    Yet, Shamefully cling on to Power and Wealth that only Malaysia can provide, regardless of their racial origins, religions and personal beliefs or otherwise.

    It has become the primary source for Unlimited Exploitation of the leaders to selfishly gain and sustain power by creating Chaos, Divissiveness, Bigotry,Hatred ,Mis/ Disinformation among the people within and outside the parties.

    They are in perpetual SELF-DENIAL.
    They have BETRAYED the Trust of the people and country.

    That need to change for a better future of Malaysia.

  8. The identity problem, fundatmentally, is Not restricted to oppositions.

    Quality-less Leaderships are the Consequence.
    Burden befell on the innocent Rakyat who are victims.

  9. Folks we have a crap oppo because nobody holds the oppo accountable. The goal of ousting Najib has become the only goal and if you look at the online discourse from oppo supporters it is drenched with outright and crypto racism.

    Oppo personalities think that if they win the online war they are winning the political war in the real world. Oppo supporters dismiss any criticism of the opp as the words of “dedak” eaters while they ignore everything wrong with the oppo as being less “bad” than UMNO.

    Oppo supporters assume that people who do not support the opposition are racists, ignorant and not truly Malaysian. Honestly I have never seen the vitriol coming from oppo supporters coming from Establishment supporters.

    The Malaysiakini comment section is by far the worst and if it is indicative – I hope not – of oppo Weltanschauung, then I really think there is no difference between UMNO and the Oppo.

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