Monday, December 17, 2018

The Ghost of Mahathirism Past is Nigh

Okay, Mahathir is truly an old man. He is a sprightly 94 going 110. But, to fixate on his age would be a major mistake when trying to analyse his second tenure as Prime Minister of Malaysia. So, let us just put his age out there and just leave it as a statement of fact. Let us not even try to be witty and say that he is an old man in a hurry.

What causes disquiet is the earnestness in which his Parti Pribumi Bersatu is courting UMNO MPs. 

In this respect Dr M and his would-be successor, Anwar Ibrahim exhibits a  common vulpine desire to induce MPs from one party to betray their party and hop over. Let us leave Anwar Ibrahim aside for now and focus on Dr M.

Pribumi is an overtly race-based party. It is a party for Malays. It has a superficial marketing tag line that covers other indigenous Malaysians to justify the Pribumi label in its name.

The realpolitik of the Malaysian political landscape in the wake of GE14 is that the Malay voters are divided 40:30:30. 40% UMNO, 30% PAS and 30% Pakatan Harapan coalition.

But, pause for a moment here. Context is important. In the run up to the May 9 General Elections, UMNO was a powerful juggernaut that was using the full might of its resources to reach into the Malay heartland to create strong imagery about how UMNO was the Protector of the Malays. Billions of Ringgit were poured in every possible media and outreach channel to create that sentiment.

And, with all those efforts, UMNO could only reach a paltry 40% of the Malay voters.

As for PAS, its ability to garner 30% of the Malay votes is very highly skewed to the East Coast, particularly its traditional strongholds of Kelantan and Terengganu. No magic charisma there.

So, what is my point? 

My point is that just by working hard, learning on the job quickly and staying corrupt-free, it is very, very certain that Pakatan Harapan's Malay voter base of support can only increase. I dare say, by GE15, 55% to 60% of the Malay voter base will shift to Pakatan Harapan's component parties.

So, my question is, why is Dr M in such a hurry to induce UMNO MPs to jump ship and betray the Malay voters who supported UMNO in GE14?

Ever the crafty vulpine fellow that he is, Dr M has lamented that many structural reforms cannot take place without the Holy Grail of the 2/3 majority in the Malaysian Parliament.

My answer to the 2/3 majority argument is, I am sorry to say, BULLSHIT.

Even as we speak, live and breathe today, since May 9, reforms are taking place. Not very visible, not high drama, but real reforms. 

The reduction of corruption at all levels of government is already one form of reform. 

The opening of tenders, with some necessary weightage given to Bumiputra contractors, is reform.

The Pakatan Harapan government is not perfect. Of course, it isn't. But, it has its collective heart and intent of corruption-free and efficient governance in the correct place. The Malaysian voters and Malay voters are not stupid. They will see and feel the advantages of reform. 

So, why is Dr M trying to gather the souls of MPs of the dying UMNO?

That is something that we need to ponder over.

In the meantime, I will just say this; Mahathir and Pribumi's inducements for UMNO MPs to betray UMNO and the Malay voters who voted for UMNO is very, very bad for Malaysian democracy.

And, in the wee hours that I am blogging this, in a moment of insane nano second flickering flash of insight, I may have had a delusionary thought that maybe, just maybe, but, I cannot be sure, Mahathir is wielding his secret keris to subvert the multiracial Parti Keadilan's position of having 50 MPs and the Pakatan Harapan coalition's equation of elected MPs so that Pribumi will dominate as the new UMNO. Nakhoda lama jadi nakhoda kapal baru. Nadi lama tak ubah langsung. Inilah sandiwara yang paling tinggi tahapnya. 

What is that old saw about a leopard being unable to change its spots?

But, no, it cannot be true-la. Mahathir has experienced a second Lazarus Effect. He is a manusia bertaubat. Surely, the old Mahafiraun, authoritarian Mahathir is gone and, now we have a brand spanking new grandpatriarchal Mahathir. Didn't he shed tears in the video ad when hugging the 2 innocent children saying that Atuk needed to correct past mistakes?

Ya-la. I am delusionary aren't I?

As a postscript, here is a piece of JFK wisdom imparted during his Inaugural Address on the freezing morning of January 20, 1961-

... remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

1 comment:

walla said...

One can be excused for thinking the GE14 winners are in a bout of LSS.

That's loose sarung syndrome, by the way.

The last time they won some (GE12), they were given a rude wakeup call by Umno.

The wheels of justice must turn faster; put the whole lot behind bars which will send a message to our Malays that crime makes time.

It will also remind M2.0 that his M1.0's aim of monetizing political power was what had created the monster that is Umno, today still whistling with hands in pockets after creaming over six percent of the country's GDP EVERY year.

This country has been run to the ground by idiots and some are still looking to save themselves or some crazy imperative based on RACE AND RELIGION all over again.

Malaysians of all miens are STUPID. M2.0 isn't going to last. AI could well turn out to be a lizard. So who will lead IF WE DON'T INSTITUTIONALIZE once and for all that is good and needed to unite a multi-racial, multi-religious and pro-modern country? It doesn't need a two-third majority to do so; as with Icerd, all the best rules and regulations will come to grief if the hearts and minds of men and women are backward.

All the problems have been caused by one community - our MALAYS. It is a joke the politicians have allowed this to continue. If they don't themselves have, go borrow some testicular fortitude to say and do the right things once and for all.

The citizens of Malaysia handed them on a platter the change of government in one swing that saved the nation from falling over some deep-shit precipice. Have they forgotten?

Remember how it all started with "Wake up, Malaysia"?

Now - "Wake the fuck up. Lah."