The World Anthem




By E.S. Shankar

Who built the Taj Mahal? Was it Shah Jahan, his chief architect, design and building engineers, craftsmen and artisans, the human resource slave driver, the slaves or the person who laid the last brick? Sure, it required everyone’s combined expertise, commitment and effort. But, any great project must start from a person with the vision, the means and the drive to see it to completion. It took Shah Jahan 11 years (1632-1643) to see his project through. He left us with an architectural marvel for all time. So, the credit must always go to him. So, too Pharaoh for the Great Pyramid (Egypt) and Nebuchadnezzar for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq).

Here is a oft-quoted cliched saying:

It takes 20 years of hard work to achieve instant success.

The roots of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 2018 General Eelection victory go back to 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim, then Deputy Prime Minister, was sacked by Prime Minister Mahathir, following the Asian Currency Crisis. Anwar retaliated with the Reformasi movement. For the first time since Independence (1957), Malaysians understood that life without UMNO/BN, was possible. WE, THE PEOPLE woke up to the realization that we could chart our own destinies as a nation without being deliberately divided by race, religion, colour and creed. UMNO/BN’s main aim has always been to keep large sections of the population uneducated and ignorant, so as to capture their votes come every election time with 2 bags of rice, 2 sarongs and RM200 each.

Nelson Mandela went to prison for 34 years (1964-1988) before he wrested Independence from the white murderous apartheid regime in South Africa. It took him another 5 years to negotiate general elections (1994) and become President. Do you think the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria etc., happened overnight?

So, who won us GE 14? Mahathir, Anwar or Kit Siang?

This is an absolute fact. No one else but Anwar could have united PKR with DAP and PAS to stand under one banner as Pakatan at GE 2008 and 2013. With each GE we were getting closer to victory. In 2008 Penang and Selangor fell to Pakatan. PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was booted out by UMNO for losing its 2/3 majority in Parliament. Mahathir was instrumental in engineering Bawadi’s downfall and installing Najib as the successor PM. Najib stole the 2013 elections with RM2.6 billion he misappropriated from 1MDB/SRC, despite which he lost the popular vote 48:52.

It was on the cards that PH would emerge victors at GE14.

It’s therefore downright stupid of Daim to claim that Anwar failed for twenty years, when in actual fact, he was laying the road to victory brick by brick. Did Mahathir or Daim lift a finger to help Pakatan in 2008 and 2013? Not one! In fact, they were singing the same old tune – DAP anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Monarchy, Kit Siang Singapore Stooge, Communist in sheep’s clothing etc. Anwar? Not fit to be PM, two Federal Court judges had written opinions that he had engaged in homosexual acts etc. (What right did these scurrilous judges have to express their personal opinions in their written judgements?).

Mahathir’s supporters are in a state of denial. Most urbanites in the West Coast states, especially the Chinese and Indians, were already going to vote PH, come what may. PAS and UMNO were going to be wiped out in Selangor. Penang for DAP was a foregone conclusion. Amanah and Warisan were already in the bag without Mahathir.

I will not belittle Mahathir’s contribution to PH’s victory. With Anwar in prison, Mahathir's contribution, as the face and leader of PH, was pivotal. It swung fence-sitters and more urban AND rural Malay votes towards PH. He provided that much needed firm, charismatic, no nonsense or  backing-off crucial leadership to counter an arrogant and over-confident Najib and UMNO.

But to me, the true hero of GE 14 is DAP’s Lim Kit Siang. He got Mahathir reconciled with DAP, PKR, Amanah and Warisan. When the going got tough and push came to shove, he compromised further. He agreed to Mahathir being interim PM, Wan Azizah Deputy PM and Anwar, PM in waiting. He bent backwards and dropped the DAP logo for the PKR one when sabotaged further by the Election Commission. Who would have faulted him if he had demanded at least the Deputy Prime Minister’s post? But he did not. He made two sacrifices, refusing even a Ministerial post and allowing young blood to develop, all in the national interest. What more could we ask for a definition of a true patriot?

Documents such as a Party Manifesto are not legally enforceable any more than MOUs or 'till death do us part' marriage vows. Nevertheless, we take them seriously when we decide who to form alliances with, contract business or cast our votes for. They are documents of truth in the sense that they are black and white records of what political parties promise us and are particularly relevant where we have a coalition government and later wish to hold them accountable for their performance.

The PH government comprises parties that have fundamentally different philosophies. Mahathir's Pribumi is a Malay/Bumi race-based party, PKR (Malay dominant) and DAP (Chinese dominant) and multi-racial, Amanah Islamic and Warisan Sabah-centric. So, without them having a common platform, who would have voted for PH?

This is where the Manifesto comes in. Many of us voted PH not merely because Mahathir led them, but because we believed more in DAP and PKR. The Manifesto then becomes a very important, powerful document. It is not cast in stone; no Manifesto is forever as no master plan ever is.

But, if Mahathir or anyone wishes to depart from the Manifesto for whatever reasons, then they must consult the other PH leaders and give a damn good reason for it to their supporters. Have we not been protesting against arbitrary fatwas and fiats?

And if they don't? Well, we are entitled to voice our concerns publicly, peaceably assemble to register our dissent, exert whatever pressure we can legally and throw them out at the next GE.

Is that not what we have been fighting for since 1998? The very fact that Mahathir has had to back-track and adhere to 3 Manifesto promises - abolish GST, Repeal Anti Fake News Act and No Two Posts for PM - shows us clearly that he himself realizes the importance of the Manifesto.

Seriously, are all these promoters of petitions saying that in a nation of 31 million people, we cannot even short-list 5 qualified Malaysians for the Education Minister’s post? That Mahathir, who is THE person responsible for the shambles our education is in, now has a magic wand with which we will leap to world class achievements alongside Finland, USA, Canada, Singapore etc.


So, it’s my opinion that Mahathir could not have achieved a PH victory relying merely on his charisma and leadership. The results tell us the truth. PKR won 48 seats and DAP 42. Warisan 8, Amanah 11. PPBM? 12! With some 75% of the seats going to PKR and DAP, the voters have clearly told us who should lead for the long-term.

Of course, Mahathir deserves to be accepted and treated as a national treasure and hero. He has changed and wants to make amends for his serious lapses of judgement and errors of the past, and opportunity that few get. He is a giant and deserves the chance to leave behind a lasting (good) legacy. But, the sooner he hands over the reins to Anwar, the better. We do not need to wait the full two years. If the coalition accepts it, Anwar should be PM in about 18 months. Like retired US Presidents, Mahathir should then get on the national lecture circuit.


How long was Nelson Mandela President of South Africa? 5 years (1994-199)! World class leaders always know when their work is finished, when to pass the baton and leave centre-stage!

One of the main lessons we must all learn from this historic GE is to NEVER, NEVER, EVER put any PM or politician on a pedestal. Beyond a certain point, hero-worshipping will become a millstone around our necks. This cult of personality is already upon us with the minority PPBM supporters demanding that PH ditch its Manifesto, restore  Mahathir as Education Minister and have elections for the PM position after he leaves. This is a dangerous development.

Long nights ago, a tryst was made with destiny. PH leaders had agreed on a transition formula, pledged and communicated it to us. There was no attempt to mislead or con anyone. PH supporters voted them in, based on that promise.That pledge must be redeemed in whole, not in part. They will renege on it at their own peril.

In a sense, Mahathir only laid the last brick.


Unknown said...

you denial idiot...

bersih 4.0 failed

pkr failed as anwar is still believed to be a sodomite

as PAS chose to exit, without the rural MALAY votes harapan is doomed

with anwar's ABSENCE (in jail) Tun Dr M is the face of harapan

so punk, it is the Dr M factor that won ge14

Anonymous said...

Donplaypuks® said...

Jati Diri

You are entitled to your opinion. But M and PPBM are a small minority in PH. So, they don't have control and cannot do whatever they like. That is the reality. So, punk, you can't see the woods for the trees!

tikorama said...

We (rural malays) vote PH because of Dr. Mahathir..we dont care if it is PKR or DAP or Amanah or bersatu

We gave our votes not our hearts.

What is given can be taken back and will give to other party in the next GE.

Pls remember that

Unknown said...

Yes, Tun Mahadir only laid the bricks but don't ever belittle him.
Without him, there would not be any broicks to be laid on.

Chin Tu Lan said...

Excellent analysis. Without Mahathir, PH would not have won. Simply because PKR is too busy fighting among themselves and Anwar is not around to hold the parties together. Only Mahathir had enough leadership ability, and for that, we must accept his Malay supremacist party as well. Although, I think the Malay tsunami is big enough that had PKR contested in the areas that Pribumi did, they would have won anyway. Certainly Mahathir's ego would not have allowed him to join Anwar's party, although in the end he was forced to swallow his pride and contest under Anwar's black eye flag. Hahaha! God sure has a sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

I dont vote PH because of Anwar or DAP or Amanah.I vote PH because of Najib n I trust Tun M to deliver against Najib.Period.If given choice between Anwar n new UMNO, I may vote UMNO back.

Anonymous said...

PH won because many Malays voted for it including umno members. Main reason TDM factor and the rakyat. Remember PPBM was not a registered party due to ROS bullying. If Bungaraya was approved, we may witness a different GE14 results! Anwar and PKR are just not believable enough for the Malays and Anwar is nothing to most Malays but a hypocrite tainted with so many scandals. So what crap are you talking about? I won't be surprised in next GE15 that PPBM, DAP and Amanah will form their own alliance and what a strong alliance that will be!

Donplaypuks® said...

What crap are you talking about? Those Malays who did not like Anwar/PKR voted PPBM which only won 12 seats, compared to PKR 48 and DAP 42 seats. No way will DAP ever again participate in a coalition which includes RU355 PAS or Ketuanist/racist UMNO. . Sabah will never again go with racist UMNO. So, where will UMNO with 54 seats get 112? Dream on, especially as UMNO will soon be declared illegal and deregistered?

Anonymous said...

Mr Donplay, most of the malays did vote PH because of Mahathir. Not because Mahathir from PPBM but because they trust Mahathir to make the change. Dont get too high on the winnings, it is only a 5 year contract.

Donplaypuks® said...

That's not true. Those Malays who were loyal to Mahathir would have voted for PPBM. But PPBM only won 12 seats vs 90 for PKR/DAP. PKR eon 68% of the seats they contested vs 23% PPBM. SO, the new Malay support went to PKR because of Anwar! Live with that

Anonymous said...

With most previous PR votes from PAS not with PH .. where the additional votes came from ? Do the math .

Donplaypuks® said...

Anon 6.39

Many voted PAS at GE 2013 because there was no PKR candidate. The votes were anti-UMNO. At GE 14, PAS was wiped out in Selangor particularly because this time PKR stood in Opposition to PAS!

Anonymous said...

We will come back to this topic in 5 years time.. In the meantime everybody does their part in dumping BN.

Anonymous said...

Hope next GE the malays will still vote PH like this time. Otherwise PH will be out of federal government

CJ Chan said...

Based on statistics, Bersatu won less seats. One has to bear in mind that they took the fight into UMNO stronghold seats. Doubtful if PKR or Amanah would have done better. To undermine TDM's important contribution based on Bersatu's results is folly. Due to TDM strong leadership and character, he was able to harness the fractious opposition into one strong entity. Without him, the PH would fall short of the goal. Yes, people were angry and there were issues that they were rightfully upset with but without TDM, PH lacks the cutting edge. Its like a blunt spear. It may hurt but would not do much damage. But, in the hand of an expert kungfu master, (a wisen hand like TDM), the blunt spear becomes a deadly weapon. Like him or not, TDM was the catalyst that helps PH achieve its goal of throwing out BN. There is no one else in PH, besides Anwar who was in jail, who could have command such influence and leadership. So, please give credit where it is due. Kudos to all the PH leaders who have made sacrifices and keeping the faith in the good fight. It is a combined effort but please do not undermine TDM's influence that tips the scale. All these young Turks, qualified as they may be, lack maturity and experience in governance. Wake up! This is a complete ballgame now. You are not in the opposition where you can bicker, complain and point out the faults of others. Now you are in the spotlight to deliver where your mouth is. You will be judge by what you do with the mandate you have been given

Kk Cheong said...

Chinese want change since 2008. Mahathir give Malay the reason to change in 2018. The rest is history.