@RajaPetra : WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT PAKATAN HARAPAN?
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Hello RPK, I have a lingering doubt. Since the 1MDB saga becomes a hot topic, almost its scripts are in sharp contrast of your usual writing style? Why is it so? (Daniel Lim)
That was the question Daniel Lim posted in my article Arul should just tell his critics to fook off. I am not too sure what ‘lingering doubt’ Daniel is talking about but I assume he meant doubts about me. And what exactly does he doubt about me he did not say but I can sort of guess he meant doubts about which side of the fence I am on.
He also said ‘its scripts’, which I do not know what that means, is in ‘sharp contrast’ to my ‘usual writing’. Again, what Daniel means by my ‘usual writing’ is not clear because there is nothing usual about what and how I write and if it were then I would be extremely disappointed because I try very hard not to be usual and to be as unusual as I can.
I mean I try very hard to be the Salvador Dali of Malaysian Bloggers although I do not claim to be at par with that eccentric-cum-genius (take your pick as to how you would like to describe him) because Salvador Dali is way above my league. Suffice to say that by mentioning Salvador Dali what I mean is that I like to shock and stun my readers as much as possible.
Anyway, Daniel, if you still need to ask such questions then I would be wasting my time in attempting to reply to you. I mean after more than 20 years since 1995 and more than 2,000 articles (or could even be more) if I still need to explain myself then another 2,000 articles over the next 20 years is not going to do the trick.
In short, if you do not understand me by now then you will never understand me in 100 years. So why waste my time trying to throw pearls to swine, not that I am calling you a swine or that my articles are pearls of wisdom (it is just a metaphor if you understand what metaphors are)?
As you may be aware by now, I write about politics and, of course, in Malaysia, politics goes hand-in-hand with social, racial and religious issues. You cannot separate one from the other as they come in a package so when you touch on one you invariably need to touch on all.
While you may think I am always changing my position in truth it is the position that keeps changing so even if you just stand still you will never be on what many call the right side of history. And herein lies the problem. What exactly is the right side of history because history is constantly evolving and what is right one day may be wrong the next?
For example, during World War 2, it was right to join or support the MPAJA that was fighting against the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Even the British supported them and supplied them with arms and ammunition. However, when the Japanese surrendered, the position suddenly changed so do you still maintain your same position or do you change positions?
After the Japanese surrendered and over two weeks before the British came back to take control of Malaya the MPAJA went on a killing spree and murdered many whom they considered collaborators. Of course, some took advantage of the chaos by murdering their enemies whom they called collaborators but in truth were not.
Then some of those in the MPAJA who were actually members of the CPM formed a terrorist army and continued to fight the British, resulting in many deaths involving innocent civilians. So, yes, you might have been with the MPAJA when the Japanese occupied Malaya but that does not mean you cannot change your position when the MPAJA became the CPM and instead of killing Japanese soldiers they started killing innocent non-combatant government servants, policemen and civilians.
The position changed so you, too, change your position. And I have changed my position many times over the last 40 years since the 1970s when I have first became a political activist.
When the Shah of Iran was ousted and the Islamic Republic of Iran was created I was a supporter of the Iranian Revolution and, as I have written many times before, I even joined the Iranians in Mekah to demonstrate against Saudi Arabia. But then, over time, as what happens in most revolutions (the French and Bolshevik Revolutions as just two such examples), the revolution turned on its own people and became more brutal than even during the time of the Shah.
So, yes, again I changed my position and was no longer a fanatical supporter of the Iranian Revolution because I saw that the Islamic Republic of Iran was worse than during the time of the Shah. It was not that the Shah was good (I admit he was bad) but that the Islamic Republic was worse.
And that is the problem with revolutions, as 2,000 years of history has proven. So I would caution all those who aspire to see a revolution in Malaysia as a means to change the government because you might be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, unless you feel that death by burning is far better than death by frying. Either way, however, you die, so it all boils down to what type of death you prefer.
I never supported DAP back in the 1970s when I first became politically conscious. I did not support Umno either. I supported PAS although I never signed up as a member. In fact, more than half the PAS supporters are not card-carrying members anyway since many were working for the government (so obviously they want to remain ‘closet’ members).
In fact, in the mid-1970s I was a member of the Malay Chamber of Commerce (and became a committee member in the 1980s) and was very active in ‘fighting’ for the lot of the Malay businessmen and entrepreneurs.
You may remember the recession of the 1980s when many Malaysians of all ethnicities went under and the government had to cancel many projects. About 52 Chinese cooperatives were on the verge of bankruptcy and MCA told the Prime Minister that unless the government bails them out then the Chinese were going to abandon Barisan Nasional and vote DAP.
So can you see how Chinese also change positions when it suits them?
To make sure that the Chinese continued to support the government Tun Dr Mahathir instructed the banks to set aside RM2 billion to bail out the Chinese cooperatives. That was 30 years ago. Today that RM2 billion is worth almost RM6 billion.
Why should the government only bail out the Chinese and not the Malays? In fact, BBMB was suing many Malay businessmen and were getting them declared bankrupt. We even called BBMB ‘Bank Buat Melayu Bankrup’. We then went to meet the Prime Minister and told him that if the government does not bail out the Malays like they bailed out the Chinese then the Malays might abandon Umno and support PAS and Semangat 46.
So Dr Mahathir told Bank Negara to set aside RM500 million to help the Malays as well. Yes, RM2 billion for the Chinese and only RM500 million for the Malays. But then those Malays who do not support Umno but support PAS or Semangat 46 were to be excluded from the scheme.
This got us very angry. When it comes to the Chinese they do not ask whether you support DAP, MCA or Gerakan. When it comes to the Malays they will first check whether you support Umno, PAS or Semangat 46. Why are the Malays facing discrimination while the Chinese are not?
Anyway, I was forced to work with Umno and as a committee member I was involved in interviewing and vetting those who applied for financial aid. And I made sure that many PAS and Semangat 46 applicants got approval for aid. I even approved RM1 million for one Semangat 46 applicant.
By the way, in case you want to know, it was Anwar Ibrahim who instructed Bank Negara to make sure that no opposition member or supporter obtained approval and in one meeting I slammed the table and shouted at the Chairman that if you don’t care about the political leanings of those Chinese you give financial aid to why do they do this for the Malays?
The majority of the committee members were Umno people so in the next election they made sure I was ousted and that ended my involvement with the Malay Chamber of Commerce — but not until we managed to dish out RM560 million to those Malays who needed financial help, many of them opposition supporters.
So sometimes we need to work with the enemy for the greater good of the cause. It just depends on what that cause is. And causes change from time to time. The Americans worked with the Taliban to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. They worked with Saddam Hussein to fight against the anti-American Islamic Republic of Iran. And the list goes on and on. That is how causes and alignments are chosen and defined.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, in 1998 Anwar was ousted and jailed and the following year Barisan Alternatif was formed so, of course, we supported DAP. Soon after that DAP left Barisan Alternatif so there was no longer any reason to support DAP.
Then in 2008 they formed Pakatan Rakyat with DAP once again as our partners. Now DAP and PKR have stabbed PAS in the back and have formed Pakatan Harapan with PAS excluded. So why should I want to support DAP, PKR or Pakatan Harapan? And what is wrong if I oppose the opposition that is trying to kill off PAS?
Now they want to oust Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. That is what DAP, PKR and Pakatan Harapan want. So why should I also want what DAP, PKR and Pakatan Harapan want? I want the opposite of what they want. If they want to go left then I go right. And I must go all out to frustrate their plans and make sure they do not achieve their desires.
This is called payback. You work with your enemies to fight another enemy. And to me DAP, PKR and Pakatan Harapan are worse enemies than Umno. So I support and work with Umno just so that DAP, PKR and Pakatan Harapan fail. That is what politics is all about. And if you do not understand this then stay out of politics because politics is not for the weak heart and the feeble minds.