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YOURSAY | Harapan must lead the opposition, not Dr M

YOURSAY | ‘It is about time Mahathir is made to dance to Harapan's tune, otherwise he should not be touched with a barge pole.’

Dilemma in Bersatu over Dr M's 'rebellion'

Proarte: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's sole aim is to make sure Pakatan Harapan does not regroup and rebuild itself into a formidable opposition to take on Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the next election.

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim rightly has already said that Mahathir and Bersatu are not part of Harapan and I hope there will be no vacillation on this.

To date Anwar, the erstwhile 'PM in waiting with divine patience' allowed Harapan to sleepwalk into collapse because of an absent, or at best pusillanimous, response to Mahathir's agenda.

Mahathir's agenda was to deny Anwar the PMship and to engineer the collapse of the Harapan government. It is about time Mahathir is made to dance to Harapan's tune, otherwise he should not be touched with a barge pole.

To take on kleptocrats, Muslim supremacists and Malay sense of entitlement, Harapan component parties must have political philosophies and policies which brook no hint of racism, racial privilege, Islamic supremacy. They must instead promote racial equality, a needs-based affirmative action policy and a genuine sense of belonging to the land of Malaysia by all the races.

Harapan cannot rely on 'tweaking' the old Umno formula which Mahathir advocates. It repeatedly has proven to be a failure in realising real progress for the nation - be it economically, socially, environmentally and educationally. There must be a complete overhaul of a political system which currently promotes and protects kleptocrats paradoxically in the name of Malay upliftment.

'Ketuanan Islam' and 'Ketuanan Islam' is an evil policy which belongs to the dustbin of history. It only benefits the crooked Malay elites who don’t care a damn for the Malay community and the country as a whole.

The rhetoric ad nauseam of Malay upliftment must be changed to Malaysian upliftment. No more zero-sum game racial politics. The 2018 election showed us that Malaysians can come together in a spirit of unity, equality and freedom and bring down an entrenched corrupt government.

The shock election outcome, however, was a serious threat to the old order and the Malay elites systematically sought to undermine the 'New Malaysia' paradigm and succeeded in bringing down Harapan through backdoor manoeuvres. Significantly, these Malay elites came from Harapan as well.

Mahathir added to the instability by not honouring the mandated requirement to hand over power to Anwar. For their part, the component Harapan leaders played into the hands of the 'deep state' by their cowardly silence over the obvious sabotage of the 'New Malaysia' paradigm.

DAP and PKR were rudderless because the 'supremos' in both parties, namely Lim Kit Siang and Anwar, were excluded from the cabinet, which was outrageous. Are were surprised that Harapan was so unstable?

For a start, Mahathir must get over his visceral hatred of Anwar and put the nation above his personal pettiness and prejudice. For Harapan to succeed, Anwar must lead the coalition with Mahathir agreeing to support his candidacy for PMship and Mahathir playing a mentor role.

PKR, Amanah and DAP must insist on new ground rules which outlaw racism and discrimination of any kind to be in line with universal moral values. The proof of their sincerity is the commitment to ratify Icerd (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

A manifesto must explicitly outline these pillars of faith and must be realistic, not like the last manifesto which Mahathir in effect claimed was not truthful because they did not think they could win the election!

A needs-based policy will benefit the B40 (bottom 40 percent), the majority of whom are Malays, and this must be emphasised repeatedly in order not to 'spook the Malays'. The rest in the B40 category such as the Orang Asli, bumiputera of East Malaysia and the Indians will also benefit.

Bersatu can only be accepted into Harapan if it totally rejects any links with PN and must open its doors to all Malaysians as equal members who can hold elected office.

If Mahathir refuses to subscribe to civilised values and wants to operate like Umno, then he must be told in no uncertain terms that he and his party cannot be part of the opposition coalition because Harapan will not condone racism.

I personally believe that with Harapan 'pillars of faith', such as outlawing discrimination and racial privilege but never forgetting the underprivileged, it will be able to win over the rakyat who felt betrayed in the last election. The groundwork must be done now.

Otak-Otak: Please do not even have the slightest glimmer of hope on this cunning old fox.

In fact, he is totally hopeless after given all the opportunity and power to steer the country to the right path of reform. Instead, he backstabbed his supporters/voters, his working alliance in Harapan, 'busy-bodied scolding' foreign countries unnecessarily and U-turned on promises, etc, just to appease to the Malay Muslims in the country, especially Umno and PAS.

At 94, he finally ended up with zero trust, zero dignity, zero respect as the country is brought down to such a state worse than before he was made PM the second time.

Cogito Ergo Sum: After gauging that his support has catastrophically dissipated among both Malay and non-Malays, Mahathir now pretends to hold all the cards by insisting he sits in the opposition corner. This gesture, he hopes, will boost his flagging support and appear as a champion of the people.

By now, most already know that he is in it for himself and his family. If ever a vote of no confidence is mooted, he will abstain, saying that under a crisis or war-like conditions, we must support the government of the day.

But that illusion will only work among the intellectually and politically challenged, like the DAP. The rest of us who broke our backs getting Harapan voted in, are weary of the old fox’s playbook. Where he sits makes not one iota of change to our dire political and economic landscape.

Fair Comments: It is a poignant reminder of the importance of the long-term survival of a political organisation (indeed all organisations) to have a clear succession plan.

A good example is the PAP in Singapore. They have always announced the key next-generation leaders a few years in advance. During the interim period, before the following general election, the incumbent leader would always give true meaning to the succession plan by gradually delegating power to the successor for a smooth transition when the time comes. In this way, political stability is maintained thereby giving great confidence to foreign investors.

In the case of PKR, it is high time that key next-generation leaders are named, especially the successor to Anwar. To my mind, Nurul Izzah is eminently qualified to take over. She is youthful, intelligent, energetic, personable and charismatic in addition to being an eloquent public speaker as well as having a largely unblemished record.

It is imperative that the succession plan to be activated now to give sufficient time to the next generation in the leadership team to run the party and to prepare for GE15.

Failure to do that will spell the beginning of the end for PKR as when the ageing Anwar leaves the scene, there will most likely be lots of infighting which will split the party leading to its disintegration.

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