Monday, September 20, 2021

Harapan government was then bloody useless, willingly a bodek-ish captive to the spell of a dictator

S Thayaparan

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”

- James Baldwin

COMMENT | Ambiga Sreenevasan, in her latest piece, writes that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) has given us time for valuable introspection.

Pakatan Harapan supporters have been emailing and texting me, talking about the apathy that has been setting in. Does Harapan really care about people who vote for them, one asked?

 Here is the thing. Harapan showed no interest in the feelings of the base when it was in power. Harapan was exactly the kind of government BN was. The only difference was that the Harapan base – at least some of them – could indulge their fantasies of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in an orange or purple jumpsuit.

I mean most of us who endorsed Harapan also endorsed someone, who was not only defined as a tyrant but also someone who was at one time an existential threat to this country. At that time and maybe even now, Kua Kia Soong is probably one of the last few honest men in Malaysia.


(FMT) – Human rights activist Kua Kia Soong, criticising Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for referring to Malays as the indigenous people of Malaysia, said today only the Orang Asli are recognised by the Federal Constitution as indigenous.

Kua, an adviser to Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), said the constitution does not define Malays as indigenous to Malaysia, and it was “grossly erroneous and factually incorrect” to refer to Malays as the indigenous people of the peninsula.

“I didn’t know we had an Orang Asli prime minister!” he said in the title of his statement. “The prime minister should be more sanguine and careful in his reference to the peoples he governs in this country.”

Kua said the “special position” of the Orang Asli was not recognised despite being the rightful natives of the land, citing a United Nations’ definition of indigenous people.

“Today, they are the most marginalised and malnourished community in the country struggling to exist without the recognition of the native customary land rights they deserve.

“Indigenous peoples’ Native Customary Rights lands are constantly violated by the government and private companies through land-grabbing or illegal encroachment,” said Kua, citing the Bakun Dam and Sungai Selangor dam projects.

He added that these projects had displaced the community’s source of provision and ancestral burial grounds.

Mahathir yesterday made several references to Malays being indigenous, when commenting on criticisms of the Malay Dignity Congress held earlier this month. In one instance, he said: “It hurts me to think in their own country the indigenous people are not supposed to have their own gatherings without being accused of being racist.”


Beyond that, the old maverick had everyone wrapped around his fingers and Harapan was not only busy strengthening institutions of repressions but also cavalierly dismissing anyone who was reminding the government of the day to carry out reforms.

I mean everyone was saying that BN had decades to screw up the system, so Harapan needed more time. Everyone except people like Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy and Sungai Pelek assemblyperson Ronnie Liu, who suddenly found themselves targets from their own coalition because they were unafraid to shout out that the emperor had no clothes.

Now, of course, Harapan political operatives and talking heads are saying that if Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob wants reforms, he could do them easily and that he needs to prove his sincerity when it comes to reforming the system.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Never mind that when Harapan was in power, they were attempting to do stuff that even Umno could not be bothered doing, like policing the comment sections of online media.

Honestly, the kind of changes that could be made, that should be made, are not changes that take decades. They are changes that could be carried, barring certain procedures and other legislative arcana, almost immediately, if people are committed and willing to make those changes.

You know, some folks say that things will never change in this country. They are probably right, but imagine if we had a coalition that was an alternative to BN politics and not a substitute.

Surely, because of all the gerrymandering, Harapan may find it difficult to take Putrajaya but at least half of this country would have an alternative to the kind of politics that people claim they want for this country.

This is a possibility we never had. We never had it because the Harapan base never demanded it. They never demanded it because it is easier demonising Umno personalities than holding your political party accountable.

Propaganda about DAP

I wish Harapan leaders were deathly afraid of their supporters, like how the GOP (Republican Party) in America is afraid of its supporters. Imagine the possibilities if Harapan actually had to fulfill their mandate, if not the base would not turn out to vote for them. Hey, if the country is going to hell in a handbasket, we may as well enjoy the ride, right?

You know how people are always blaming the majority of Malays for voting for Malay uber alles parties. Most of the people I come into contact with have always been Umno/BN supporters.

Now sure, some of them have been swayed by the propaganda about the DAP but most of them cannot tell the difference between Harapan and Umno/BN. So vote for what you know, right?

Malaysia has never, ever had a secular alternative to Umno/BN. Malaysia has never had a political coalition, which has championed values that were in direct contradiction, to the mainstream Umno/BN politics.

If we had a secular and democratic alternative, then this would actually unify the country. Because this would be a coalition that did not depend on race and religion, to carry it to electoral victory.

And yes, I think that young people are the key, but I do not think most people understand that young people, especially young Malays depending on their socio-economic background, have been indoctrinated by years of religious education by the numerous tahfiz schools or whatever other tributaries from the vast religious bureaucracy of this country.

You do not think a religious political party like PAS knows this? Do not fall for Abdul Hadi Awang’s young people who are too immature to vote spiel. The PAS president is just hedging his bets, in case the indoctrination process is not ready to bear fruit yet.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang

The PAS strategist I talk to, too, thinks they stand a good chance of getting a slice of the youth vote if they tailor their message correctly. So too do the emissaries from the vast religious bureaucracy, which Harapan failed to curtail during their reign.

This is why I have always argued that religious extremism is an existential threat to Malaysia. And with the pandemic and the changing geopolitical equations here in South East Asia, the situation is going to get worse.

Local government policies, aimed at creating “unity” among the Malay policy, are only going to worsen the situation. And if we did not have a state security apparatus, especially intelligence divisions which are still functional - despite the best efforts of political operatives - we would be in an even worse situation.

And all this talk of young leaders, as I discussed here, young leaders must want it – “How on earth can anyone cheerlead for political personalities when they have shown no interests, but even more importantly, willingness to step into the ring? Unlike political parties all over the world where young people are striking out on their own and against the political order of their parties, it would seem that young political operatives here want to be anointed to higher office.”

As long as people continue voting for a substitute, things won't change.

The question is, will a certain section of the voting rakyat continue voting for a coalition because they believe there is no other choice as opposed to not voting at all or voting independent?

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."


  1. Malay-sians should not give up on Harapan so easily. We gave Alliance/BN chan THIRTEEN TIMES, GE1-13 didn't we? Even though they screwed up every time. But Harapan only had HALF A CHAN, 22 months, we give up on them oredy.

    Would a parent give up on his child if the child didn't do so well in 6 months out of 12 years of schooling? Surely not. But if the child fails exams 12 years out of 12 then it is different.

    1. Blurred mfer, what r u inhaling now?

      "Would a parent give up on his child if the child didn't do so well in 6 months out of 12 years of schooling?"


      How do that gel with yr spurious eugenic fart of America/Afghanistan occupation?

      Ooop… Afghans have 20yrs! That's yr f*cked difference!

  2. We gave BN 13 times and Malaysia developed into middle income country. Not top of the class but still in the top 10 among developing countries.

    We gave PH one time and we went backwards in governance, corruption and policy. Unless the supposed reformers reform themselves I don't see why we should give them another chance. We have not seen any evidence of an internal reform at PH. Anwar still there, LKS, LGE still there.

    1. I have higher standards. In the same timeframe, 60 years, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, HK have overtaken us as Asian Tigers.

      Chinese-Malaysians used to send money to poor relatives in Bullyland, today they are our DaGe, bullying us in the Southern Seas.

      And even if you are correct then you agree that Toonsie 1.0 was "Father of Modernisation", when he was Minister of Trade, PM etc. But now you disagree?

    2. In those 13 times BN was given chan.......

      S Korea coming out of a war in the 1950s with the North (sapoted by USSR and Bullyland), under the protection of 500 yo Bully developed their economy to be the same size as Rusia today, GDP-wise, even though Rusia has 3X more people and infinitely more natural resources.

      Taiwanese companies today make virtually all the iPhones in the world. World class in microchips.

      Singapre currency 3X Ringgit.

      Hongkieland World Financial Centre (until Bully interfere ha ha ha).

    3. U have higher standard, indeed, in consistently fart with lies!

      Ooop… standards according to moral meter used in that fart filled well!

    4. robby, seems like some people don't know their ass from their elbow, mahathir is never a reformist but unfortunately he was given the chance to helm the ph government from the beginning and he was the obstacle and resistance to the ph reforms agenda, if he had stepped down as agreed things would have turned out differently

    5. TS you have totally unrealistic expectations. SG/HK are city states not comparing apples with apples. If you just take Klang Valley as a city state then klang valley already developed nation.

      Yes Taiwan and Korea done well. But we have done ok. Malaysia not homogeneous like Taiwan and Korea. Very hard to manage unlike Taiwan/korea.