pic by BERNAMA
A WEEK into the New Year, optimism that things could only get better than the previous year seems misplaced.
And that is not confined to the domestic front.
Who would imagine, Americans and the rest of the world, free or otherwise, would witness the storming of Capitol Hill. Some of those interviewed participating in the riot declared it was a revolution.
Probably they thought they were rekindling the storming of the Bastille.
But outside their cocoon, many are of the opinion that they were merely perpetuating Trump’s misplaced sense if not delusions of entitlement to the presidency. But there are always people who fall for such matter, and it is not confined to Americans.
On the domestic front, Perikatan Nasional (PN) seems to unravel as much as their raison d’etre.
Those who were naïve enough to believe that the coalition was cobbled together for the sake of the Malays and Islam should by now realise it is far from the truth, and in fact, it is a wonder why it took them that long to come to realisation.
Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan may have unwittingly affirmed this when he told the press that one of his party’s main contention with PN was the latter’s decision to continue court cases against Umno and its leaders.
Ahmad, who are among the six party leaders waiting or undergoing trials for various alleged offences ranging from corruption to money laundering, had given credence to PN detractors’ assertion that Umno’s pursuit in forming the backdoor government 10 months ago was a means to avoid prosecution over the alleged crimes.
And Ahmad, the newly minted Barisan Nasional secretary general, also affirmed that the present disaffection that Umno leaders felt with the PN government came about when cases against them were not withdrawn.
Compounding the matter are revelations from Ahmad’s predecessor, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who, after being ungraciously removed from the BN post, decided to go public on Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to topple the PN government.
Going for the jugular, Annuar trained his guns on the party president and revealed that Ahmad Zahid was also attempting and discussing the formation of a new political alignment involving DAP.
While there would be those who disputed Annuar’s disclosure, the crux of the matter is that from what can be surmised from his and that of Ahmad’s, the formation of PN has nothing to do with the pursuit of Islam and Malay interests, but rather an expediency to overcome impending prosecutions.
Lest the nation forgets, while defending the faith and the race was the clarion call, the enemy was Anwar and DAP.
Now that these “defenders” of the race and the faith had publicly shared what the main cause for their pursuit of the backdoor government and that their bogeymen are potential future allies, the political landscape is only made murkier still.
It doesn’t make it any better for those on the other side of the divide if what Annuar had divulged is true. While it would make the Malay community be less easily taken up by the race and faith sloganeering, the fact that Anwar is implicated in working with Umno kleptocrats is anything but comforting.
While the disclosure is not something that had not been on the political grapevines, but a leader from the other side confirming it takes the issue up a few notches.
It has also been circulating that those supporting PH or rather Anwar’s purported move to collaborate with the Umno kleptocrats should take this in their stride as the ultimate objective is to regain Putrajaya.
Also bandied about was that once Anwar secured Putrajaya, more MPs would cross over to his side and that should give him a comfortable majority and by then, the support of the kleptocrats would be negligible.
It sounds like an idea that can be sold, especially for those desperately wanting to return to the seat of power at whatever cost.
Yet, it doesn’t make them any better than PN and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who, when wanting to form the backdoor government, was also warned of working with the kleptocrats who would use their numbers to dictate to him and his government. Muhyiddin too had convinced his supporters or probably more himself that he would be able to deal with the kleptocrats and today, what he had been warned of happening has become a reality.
While Muhyiddin may finally realise, or better still admit, that he had truly been riding the tiger, those from PH would have to swallow their own vomit if they pursue the collaboration with the kleptocrats, regardless whether temporary or otherwise.
For the rest of the Malay community, it is probably the opportune time to realise that those with only faith and race to vend, and nothing else, are merely peddling a commodity.
Yes, very much like the snake oil salesmen.
Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.