“Every page should explode, either because of its staggering absurdity, the enthusiasm of its principles, or its typography.”
― Tristan Tzara, ‘Manifesti del dadaismo’
COMMENT | Is the Pakatan Harapan manifesto worthless? Yes, it is. Most manifestos or campaign promises are suspect but now we know that the Harapan manifesto was void ab initio (void from the beginning).
Politicians who make campaign promises make an attempt to fulfil them and would make excuses if they could not. What they never do is say: “We made a bunch of stuff up to get your votes which we knew we could never fulfil.” This is exactly what the old maverick has said.
Claiming that you made promises while actually believing that you could not win is really dumb. I mean, the people who voted for you had faith in the movement and obviously thought you could take Putrajaya.
It’s funny, isn’t it? That we now have the prime minister saying that those promises were made when Harapan operatives did not really believe that they could take Putrajaya. I wonder what prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim’s promises to the folks at Port Dickson are worth.
Mahathir is not some neophyte political operative. He is a seasoned political operative who managed to get people to vote for his coalition even with the systemic corruption, systemic discrimination and race-based ideology for decades. Granted he was operating in unfamiliar terrain with the then opposition but even in this marriage of political convenience, surely he must have believed in some parts of the manifesto, right?
Surely there must have been Harapan political operatives who did believe in the manifesto and did not just say things because they believed they could not win. Was that really the strategy? Make a bunch of stuff up and then if victory was miraculously achieved, claim that they could not fulfil those promises? Moving forward, how can people ever trust anything Harapan officials say when it comes to policy?
Bersatu’s Rais Hussin claimed that a lot of thought went into the manifesto but apparently the prime minister does not think it means all that much. All these people that Rais talks about, who put in the hard work of drafting the manifesto, did they not have access to the facts when they promised they could abolish tolls, for instance?
We always get this horse manure that the manifesto promises cannot be kept because new information has been “discovered” but really, the Harapan political elite had been claiming that we were reaching failed-nation status, hence whatever “new information” that has been discovered could not be possibly worse than the apocalypse they believed would happen if they did not win.
Remember that they claimed that the government was bankrupt at one point. Surely all this must have gone into the number-crunching done by Rais' so-called experts when they were formulating the well-thought-out manifesto, no?...