Friday, January 19, 2018

PH struggle to defend Mahathir

The silence from his new found friends in the opposition is deafening as Tun Dr Mahathir had to face a barrage of attack and criticism for his past record.

Despite overwhelming presence of opposition in the social media, even the voice of PPBM President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin could not be heard. Though he may have been accused of stabbing his boss Dato Najib in the back, he remained a team player.

It is the media that is not picking up his overly cautious and calculated words. Mahathir is a bigger news item. His private grumbling over the poor return on political investment on the hundrerds of million spent could be heard.

Now that Mahathir was officially proposed as PH's proposed Prime Minister, it has attracted heavy criticism.


From within, one can hear the opposition of the Reformasi to the appointment. Their sole existence was to topple Mahathir and raise Anwar Ibrahim to be Prime Minister but their political vehicle is proposing Mahathir.

Karpal Singh's Sangeet Kaur openly declare her late father would not have agreed. Lim Guan Eng to whack her. The sons were silence.

Despite agreeing to the arrangement, Nurul Izzah condone the action of Sangeet. Selangor state PKR disgreed citing a younger candidate to meet expectations of the younger demography.

There have been a friendly exchanges between Mahathir and Azmin. By the look of it, he could be testing the water to push Azmin's name or Azmin may have felt played on with past promises.

Mahathir's reply was quite diplomatic. He could be a better choice but was not selected. The wrath of Mahathir awaits.

Insider sources claimed DAP meeting after the PH Convention reflected that reservation. It was Gobind who told members to be realistic.

Win first using Mahathir to sway UMNO votes then talk later. Swaying does not mean PPBM could dominate PH. It will remain DAP.'

A PPBM division officio too express rejection to the notion of Mahathir returning as PM.

The most disappointed. must be PAN whose leaders made the inroad to get Mahathir to join forces. They accepted the fact that Mat Sabu is no PM material.

However, least do they expect to have their expected seats taken away. PPBM got the brunt of it. Before the convention, Khalid Samad confidently claimed they could win 20 seats but now embarassed.

PAN was allocated Grade C seats said Dato Ibrahim Ali. They are reduced to irrelevence and lost before the fight begin.

To make matters worse, their taukeh was not consoling. Berita Harian reported Guan ENg lambasted PAN. Naturally he denied when caught.

Nothing can eras the past. Few would believe Mahathir changed and could change. No fancy quote like "Civil society didn’t change, Dr M did" from Art Harun is belieavable.

PAN Strategic Director, Dr Dzulkifly wrote in TMI to call upon readers to accept his apology and conveniently agreed some of the allegations against him are unfounded.

Extending the hypocrasy, he described the move as a master political stroke and served to debunk kleptocrasy.

Tidak mudah lupa

Just like Anwar is a master orator, Mahathir is a master political strategist. No revision of history could erase the fact that the end justify any ruthless means to him.

Mahathir is known for his Melayu mudah lupa poem but thy past sins tidak mudah lupa. This piece in The Star last week is a reminder of his past:

A blast from the past

Saturday, 13 Jan 2018
The Star

6:43 PM MYT

by Ivanpal Grewal

The French talk about “déformation professionnelle”, which means the way your profession or your post can subtly warp your judgement so that you only see things from one perspective.

And that is the problem with opposition politicians and their ardent supporters in Malaysia. They only see the things they want to see, they do not see they things they do not want to see.

For Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its coterie, it is perfectly fine to support a man they built their careers opposing because it is a means to an end: with the end being power.

Throughout human history, the pursuit of power has sometimes lead to disastrous outcomes.

So it is important to understand and appreciate history as we seek to build the future.

The selection of Tun Dr Mahathir as the Prime Ministerial candidate is a blast from the past but not one that is easily fathomable.

Tun Dr Mahathir drove the modernisation and industrialisation of Malaysia, and put Malaysia on the world map. Friend and foe alike must applaud his sacrifices.

However, like all great leaders, he too has his weakness. Many who worked for him talked about his intolerance for dissenting views and he also fostered a climate of crony capitalism that the present government has had to struggle to set right. Lopsided toll agreements, costly and floundering privatisations and the subsidy culture were also hallmarks of his tenure.

Another lesson in history comes to mind; Ashoka who remains a legendary figure of Indian history was a great conqueror and leader. However the costly and bloody war with the Kalinga Empire started to ebb at his veneer of stardom and he stood aside and became a Buddhist monk.

The opposition claim of the politics of hope has come to nothing because they are relying on a leader who is not only advanced in age but also someone who they despised and derided.

As the saying goes, politics make for strange bedfellows. It was indeed a sight to behold when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was humiliated, beaten and jailed after he was sacked by Dr Mahathir, endorsed the latter’s appointment as PH’s prime ministerial candidate.

Furthermore, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who were detained without trial by Dr Mahathir have now placed their fates and that of the country in the man they once derided as a “corrupt dictator.”

Sangeetha Deo, daughter of the late Karpal Singh challenged this political summersault eloquently. She said, “The focus should always be on policies and principles, not personalities, and leaders must be groomed to ensure continuity.”

She added, “the argument that working with Tun (Dr Mahathir) is only to ensure change no longer holds water. He will be prime minister all over again, introducing the rebirth of ‘Mahathirism’.”

Barisan Nasional (BN) on the other hand offers the politics of hope. The Prime Minister has talked about a new future for the country predicated on progressive politics and inclusivity.

The National Transformation 2050 (TN50) has sparked a national debate on the future we want and the future we deserve. The government and BN by extension have challenged Malaysia to work collectively as we write a new Malaysian story.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has been consistent and focused in developing on the promises that were made in the last election.

Rationalising subsidies and implementing the good and services tax (GST) have widened the government’s revenue base allowing more money to spend on development. Furthermore, financial assistance by the government is now targeted ensuring those who deserve help receive it. These decisions were made, despite the political challenges because BN makes decisions based on what is right and not what is politically popular.

The Opposition in its many derivatives have been consistently inconsistent. They have been unable, either willingly or unwillingly, to coalesce around a single position on many important issues such as taxation, subsidies, development and infrastructure.

What we have seen is intense infighting, leaders being arrested for corruption and ensemble of leaders from days past attempting to dictate the future direction of Malaysia.

Ironies aside, it is time for some hard thinking on the part of Malaysians. It is time to subject the opposition to the same level of scrutiny that BN had been subjected to in the past and asking the toughest question: are they serious about governing the country.

The opposition’s “agree to disagree” model has lead to disastrous quarrels and a complete inability to devise coherent policies.

For example, we simply do not know where the opposition stands on hillside development because in Penang, slicing the hills seems to be the favourite pastime for the state government but in Selangor they have taken a more nuanced and controlled approach.

The opposition critics BR1M but continue to dole out cash handouts in Penang and Selangor.

So these are two simple examples that exposes a massive disconnect between what they say and what they do and their continued compartmentalisation of their approach exposes a scary discrepancy.

BN, on the hand has always been consistent even at times we are not the best liked because doing the right thing is simply that, doing what is right regardless the political costs because posterity demands it.

So as the opposition celebrates a blast from the past, BN will continue planning for the future.

Ivanpal Singh Grewal is a graduate in law. He is currently Gerakan Selangor Youth Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Gerakan Political Bureau.

PPBM option to address their weak narrative is to undertake a propaganda effort to spin, create fake news, conjure up conspiracy theories, creating fear and outright lying.

It will not sustainable. Near general election and come campaign time, all will be spilled out there. Truth will prevails.

Hafidz Haron, a public relation practitioner wrote in The Sun. Mahathir the brand will not be enticeable and saleable to voters. If PH lose badly, it is their own undoing.

"Malaysia cheated if Dr M is P again", said MCA's Ti Lian Ker to The Star.

And, it is will not be just Mahathir that will make voters fed-up and supporters not come out to vote..

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