When the norms of power sharing are turned upside down, it is expected that our social foundation will be upended too. A destabilized country is never a safe country.
Contrasting Harapan with BN
• In BN, the premier is from the biggest party; the Harapan PM is from one of the smallest parties
• In BN, cabinet seats are distributed proportionately; the Harapan cabinet disproportionately favours Malay party Pribumi and Islamist party PAN at the expense of multiracial parties PKR and DAP – see charts below
• In BN, handmaiden MCA does not try to topple apex party Umno; Harapan has a PM in-waiting from the apex party impatient to take over from the “minority PM” who doesn’t appear to be willing to relinquish power within any time frame
• For BN, voter support comes from the majority race; Harapan does not have popular support from Malays
• For BN, its opponents are multiracial; Harapan’s opponents are monoracial (Umno & PAS)
• BN is moderate, they never sought the total destruction of the opposition; Harapan is extreme, its 95 percent Chinese supporters want MCA, Umno and MIC annihilated
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The two graphs below not only visualize how PKR and DAP have been shortchanged but Mahathir’s immense greed!
The first pie chart above shows the percentage of MPs that the Harapan parties plus its ally Warisan have in parliament. PKR (light blue segment) and DAP (red) have many MPs; Pribumi (dark pink) and PAN (orange) have few MPs.
The second pie chart shows the percentage of full ministers that the Harapan parties plus Warisan have in the Mahathir cabinet. PKR and DAP both have relatively few ministers; Pribumi and PAN have disproportionately too many ministers and not to mention Pribumi grabbing the most important portfolios with the biggest budgets.
(Charts sourced from Malaysiakini article ‘Mahathir’s patently unfair cabinet’)
ABOVE: Harapan’s “10 – 100” … Ten promises for its first hundred days
The honeymoon is over
This Friday the 17th, the Harapan administration would have crossed its 100th day milestone in government. We can see from their shoddy performance these past three months that the portents are bad.
Promises in their trumpeted election manifesto are to this day unfulfilled. In vintage Mahathirspeak, voters have been told by his Malaysia Baru team that fulfillment of the promises is delayed due to circumstances caused by BN. Disappointed voters take it that promises by politicians are not made to be kept.
Some of the ten manifesto promises – which Harapan voters hope will be met by this Friday’s 100th day deadline – were unrealistic to begin with but Dapsters determined to drink the Kool-Aid anyway. It is their nature intrinsic – suckers for cure-all Holy Water.
They will of course now double down, like deluded members of a cult always do, in the face of their dawning disillusion.
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Mahathirism 2.0 all over again
Only five days after GE14, Opcom Holdings Bhd – a company linked to Mahathir Mohamad’s sons – was awarded a multi million contract by Telekom Malaysia. Business as usual.
The Lim family however get a consolation prize: Kit Siang’s DAP daughter Hui Ying has very recently been awarded a senatorship. To the victor go the spoils … in differing measures, that’s all.
Instead of policies on poverty alleviation or cost of living taking centre stage, Malaysians are being distracted by ‘Pero tiga’, a third reiteration of Mahathir’s favourite brainchild – the failed national car project. Vision 2020 recycled looms large even though the Harapan government is supposed to be one of Hope & Change.
What change? It’s the same old, same old.
The Harapan regime is really an internal struggle for power between (old wine) Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim and (new bottle) DAP. So far Mahathir is winning.
It is Mahathir who has successfully installed his scion in power. Although their party Pribumi won only five seats in the Kedah state assembly compared to PKR’s seven seats, it is Mukhriz Mahathir who is elevated to become Menteri Besar. Mahathir’s mojo is evidently stronger than Anwar’s.
Not only that, Mahathir has hoisted Azmin Ali – who is Anwar’s main rival within PKR – to the specially created and powerful portfolio of Economic Affairs Ministry.
And Azmin was appointed to the board of Khazanah Nasional Bhd too by his political godfather Mahathir. Guan Eng, despite wearing the mighty mantle of Finance Minister, has not been named a Khazanah director.
“Azmin, I think, has his plate full. He has to manage almost RM1 trillion worth of assets from Khazanah, Felda and others.” — Nurul Izzah in her 24 June 2018 interview with NST
While Azmin “has his plate full” managing our country’s trillions ringgit assets and economic affairs, Guan Eng is mostly busy running down Najib Razak and the latter’s previous administration. After all, hateful propaganda is what DAP leaders are best at.
Vindictive Guan Eng is seen as tasked by the equally vindictive Mahathir to be the hatchet man taking the axe to Najib’s already broken reputation. Or in plainer words, Guan Eng’s petty actions (see below) have the intended result of making the public hate Najib and wife Rosmah even more.
BAWAH: Guan Eng cadang untuk lelong barangan Rosmah yang dirampas
MCA is dead, BN is dust
The flip side to the Harapan euphoria is how the BN losers are coping with their loss. Looking at the way ex-BN chairman Najib is being treated, there’s little doubt that Harapan is bent on eradicating their enemy.
Third parties such as China and Singapore find themselves inadvertently caught in the Harapan-BN crossfire.
Unlike the warm ties Najib cultivated with China, Mahathir’s ‘Look East’ preferance is towards Japan. Hence the Beijing-Putrajaya relationship is not so warm, what with China and Japan being long-time foes (the countries fought two wars in modern times) and the acrimony over infrastructure projects signed by the Najib administration and cold storaged by Mahathir.
Singapore also – see below – is put out by Malaysia’s summary cancellation of the mutual high-speed rail project.
Half a dozen top diplomats have been axed since Harapan commenced its rule, including the ambassador to Vatican City, Bernard Dompok, an ex-president of former BN component party Upko as well as the ambassador to Finland, Blanche O’Leary, the wife of former BN component party (MyPPP) president M. Kayveas.
DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai is the new special envoy to China replacing former MCA president Ong Ka Ting who held the position under the previous BN government. It’s just swapping MCA with MCA 2.0 but business as usual nonetheless of political appointees nominated by whichever party is ruling.
Interestingly MCA has decided to ditch the BN dacing logo for the upcoming Balakong byelection it’s contesting in favour of its own yellow kuomintang star party logo. MCA disassociating itself from BN is like a resentful, disdainful wife on the eve of her divorce.
The Sabah and Sarawak components as well as Gerakan and MyPPP have all left the coalition. Umno’s last reliable BN satelite is the faithful MIC.
Witch hunt and massive upheavals
The purge extends to well beyond BN elements. Dozens of senior civil servants and GLC top executives have been sacked by the Harapan government.
Many more volunteered or were coerced to resign. Mahathir himself personally announced the appointment of Mohd Shukri Abdull to head the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission; Dzulkifli Ahmad the old MACC chief commissioner’s contract was only supposed to end in July 2021 though.
Befitting the gomen baru of Malaysia Baru, there is a new Chief Justice, new Attorney General, new Treasury Secretary-General, etc.
The Harapan government is afraid of its own shadow or rather of being sabotaged by purportedly senior pro-BN civil servants remaining in the service.
Furthermore above 30 percent of 18,000 government officers who were hired on a contract basis have had their employment terminated. That means these roughly 5,500 workers are losing or have lost their jobs due to the Harapan bosses cleaning house.
The number of Malaysians directly impacted by the federal government changeover is nothing to the number of disgruntled Malaysians once the renewed Sales & Service tax takes effect. Abolishment of GST was sold to voters as the solution relieving their living cost burden. But who is willing to bet that prices won’t go up again after the SST is implemented?
Will Harapan be able to generate economic growth that will provide jobs for the youth? Will they safeguard the well-being of the working class and rural population? There’s potentially a wide swathe of dissatisfied Malaysians getting more and more upset at “the government” (which is Harapan presently).
Remember, DAP and its rakan-rakan sewaktu dengannya have finetuned the art of hating on the government during its long stretch in the political wilderness.
BELOW: Kit Siang speaking in the mirror about DAP’s scorched earth strategy
Harapan’s four components (PKR, DAP, Pribumi, PAN) together command only 45 percent of the popular vote in GE14, failing short of an absolute majority. This is a recipe for social instability.
The situation for Harapan in the Borneo states is even more shaky. Sabah politics has always been volatile, and Harapan cannot depend reliably on Warisan. Meanwhile, Sarawakians are unhappy at their continued marginalization and under-representation in the 100-day old Harapan government.
Umno together with PAS obtained around three-quarters or 75 percent of Malay support in the last election. Harapan is woefully lacking Malay support. No government can hope to be stable without a solid support of the country’s majority race. Particularly when that government is propelled into power through the politics of hate.
The hate is reaching a crescendo with the burning of their hated Najib at the stake. The haters need keep in mind, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”