Will this be our last election? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, March 12, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Let me define terms: hardball is clean, aggressive Machiavellian
politics. It is the discipline of gaining and holding power, useful to
any profession or undertaking, but practised most openly and unashamedly
in the world of public affairs.” - Chris Mathews, American political commentator
COLUMN | Apparently if Prime Minister Najib Razak wins, this would be our last election. Huh? Depending on how Najib wins the upcoming general election, he would realise that –
1. He really does not need the non-Malay vote (if the non-Malay vote
abandons him) and his numerous alliances - or should that be dalliances?
- with the extreme elements of Malay political structures have borne
2. If the non-Malays do not abandon him, then the “social contract”
is still relevant and Umno understands that the non-Malays have grown
tired of rebelling against the Umno hegemon. Either way, with all the gerrymandering, abuse of electoral
institutions and cash politics, what passes for democracy in this
country will continue with the Umno hegemon secure in the knowledge that
they have bested one of its best and brightest – okay, the only best
and brightest (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) – and secure in the knowledge that
their hegemony will never again or at least most probably will never be
threatened by the split in the Malay community with the collusion of
non-Malay voting blocks.
Make no mistake. This election is not about principles or policies
but rather the biggest fight in the Malay community. This election is a
choice between Najib and former prime minister now opposition
PM-designate, Mahathir. If you think that this is about reforming the
country, you are operating under severe delusions. Whether you believe
that the former prime minister is an agent of change depends on how much
you have invested in the opposition.
This does not mean change will not happen under a Pakatan Harapan
regime but just lay off the kool-aid. Things happen when there is regime
change. The important point is not to invest in politicians and holding
politicians accountable for what they claim they want on your behalf.
Do not get too excited about election manifestos. They do not mean a
thing. They do however give potential voters a hint into the mindset of
how politicians want voters to think. It is strange, isn’t it? Election
manifestos are not legally binding when they are supposed to be
(written) promises from politicians to the people who vote for them. I
wonder what would happen if they were? Anyway, it is not important.