The World Anthem




by e.s. shankar

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wiser, so I am changing myself. Rumi 1207-1273.

It’s an expression from Aesop’s fables. Indeed, who will bell the cat? This is a question that’s on the mind of millions of Malaysians today. Who will dare tell Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Anwar Ibrahim (AI) and Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Lim Kit Siang (LKS) and Lim Guan Eng (LGE) that their time is up? That it is time for them to hand over the reins of the leadership of their parties and that of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, to others?

We are not asking them to leave their parties but to make way for younger, new leaders at the very top of PKR, DAP and PH. We still need them to win their state and parliamentary seats and guide the youth to defeat UMNO/PN. Their immense experience and political savvy is still necessary to mentor a new prime minister and their team. It’s not that we wish to throw them under the bus just like that or that we are not grateful to them.

Without Anwar’s ‘Reformasi’ protest initiative which began in 1998, no one else would have stood up to challenge Mahathir’s venomous and deadly 22-year quasi-dictatorship and give the Rakyat back their self-respect. No one else could have forged an alliance between PKR and DAP that saw them snatch Selangor and Penang from the evil clutches of UMNO/BN in 2008. They set the stage for the eventual victory of PH in the 2018 general elections. The beast was finally slain!

Who was it who fearlessly challenged in 1987 the untrustworthy, sneaky and Ketuanist Mahathir all the way to the Federal Court over the then RM800 million North-South Toll Highway Project awarded without open tender to suspected UMNO cronies/nominees? Who was then punished vengefully by Mahathir with 2 years in jail without trial at Kamunting Prison, under the Internal Security Act? Who courageously stood up in Parliament in 1994 and questioned Mahathir about a RM6 Billion hole in Bank Negara’s balance sheet and it turned out that Mahathir had covered-up nearly RM30 billion of forex losses? None other than Lim Kit Siang, that’s who! Mahathir had set the country firmly on the road to government approved endemic and systemic corruption which became the culture within the ruling party.

Who was jailed for 12 months in 1998 under the Sedition Act and the Printing Press & Publications Act for exposing statutory rape charges levelled against a chief minister, a matter of huge public interest? Lim Guan Eng.

I have been a supporter of Anwar, Kit Siang, PKR and DAP for as long as I can remember. I owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. They gave me back my self-esteem. That does not mean that I am blinded by loyalty. Far, from it. I have openly criticized them whenever they strayed off the principled path.

I defended Anwar with my blog posts where I accused Mahathir and Najib of concocting conspiracies, persecution and vendettas against him:

Anwar Ibrahim..why they were conspiracies both times:

When charged, Anwar gave the High Court the perfect alibi. The construction of the Bangsar condo in which the accuser Azizan Abu Bakar had alleged that sexual trysts took place, was not completed and certified fit for occupation until two years later! Attorney General Mohtar then confiscated all of Anwar's diaries. When he found a gap there, he "persuaded" Azizan to "remember" a new date for the charge. Instead of throwing the case out, Judge Augustine Paul incredibly allowed AG Mohtar to amend the charges to 'some day 1993'. That case should not have proceeded beyond that stage as it was clear that witnesses were clearly lying through their eyeteeth and being manipulated by conspirators.

How could it not be viewed as conspiracies when the accusers met the prime ministers, in Mahathir’s case before official investigations began some 5 years after the alleged crime, and in Najib’s case, well before the alleged crime was committed? By then, Mahathir had the Chief Justice sacked and reduced the legal system to shambles, poisoned by corruption. How could Anwar remotely have had a fair trial? So, he spent nearly 20 years of his life in court and about 10 years in jail, disgracefully robbed of his freedom by his political enemies in a country that had sunk to rock bottom in human rights and justice.

So, who shall replace AI, LKS and LGE at the top and form a stunning winning team? Everyone will have their own dream team. Here’s mine for what it’s worth, a nice blend of experience, age and youth:

1. Shafie Apdal (SA, 65)) of Warisan, Sabah as Pakatan Harapan Chief and PM candidate.

2. Nurul Izzah (41) as PKR head and DPM candidate with Rafizi (44) as her deputy.

3. Yeo Bee Yin (38) as DAP head with Anthony Loke (44) as her deputy.

4. The Sarawak Chief Minister as an additional and equal Deputy Prime Minister.

PH lost the government in February 2020 due to the treachery of Mahathir. AI and LGE have reached an impasse with Sarawak and Sabah at the Federal level. There appear to be old wounds which cannot be stitched or healed. They failed to get the 18 seats from Sarawak or 17 from Sabah and lost the golden opportunity to form the new government last week. SA has requested that if AI failed, he be given the chance to get Sarawak and Sabah on PH’s side as one East Malaysian to another and lead PH as the prime ministerial candidate. He has my vote. I cannot recall the last Malay politician who said, as SA did:

We want to develop the nation, not one race or one religion. We must build all the races so that this country can move forward. We must ensure that the Budget will be used for nation-building. Not for building a race. Not for building a religion. This is the way forward for the country.

As for Nurul Izzah, she may or may not realize it, but she has that X-factor, CHARISMA. I reckon that eventually when she makes a bid for the PM post, she will take the country by storm, like a latter-day Eva Peron, Indira Gandhi or Corazon Aquino. All Malaysians will unite behind her like the manic football fans do behind Manchester United, worldwide. She has the potential to become a truly great PM.

I am going for the ladies to take control and lead, as all the men have proven to be lacking in personality, disappointing in performance, indecisive, even wimpish and making all the wrong decisions, stupidly. We need a sea change from the testosterone charged atmosphere of male domination in Malaysian politics. It is the men who have presided over a country that some have accused of being a basket case and a failed state now.

What we need are women like Nurul and Bee Yin to take us down a new, progressive path and a fantastic future. Bee Yin won our hearts and minds during her short stint between 2018-2020 as Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change. Again, that charisma factor is there. Like Nurul, she cuts across race, religion, creed and color.

As for Rafizi, he’s made some poor decisions and taken some bad turns, led down the wrong path by the manipulation of PKR leaders. But, who hasn’t, when younger? That’s the way we learn, from mistakes, stumbling and falling. It took Abraham Lincoln 28 years of failures and setbacks to become the President, among the top 3 greatest in the US. Rafizi has more important qualities. He’s got brains, financial qualifications, numbers savvy, to go with brawns, as he fearlessly exposed the fraud at 1MDB , the RM250 million Cow Condogate fiasco and misgovernance at Tabung Haji. He’s both Finance Minister and DPM material, and one day PM.

Also, no one, including yours truly, is an angel. No one. As the saying goes, ‘let they who have not sinned, be the first to cast the stone’! What I can say about my choices are that they all pass the test of honesty and integrity. That is a heck of a lot more than I can say about the leadership of UMNO/BN and PN.

It is also time for prominent NGO leaders, particularly women, those who led Bersih and others to take the baton and make the charge for liberty, equality and fraternity. They will set the tone for a new breed of honest politician. They may not feel that they have the inclination for politics, but, every seat they win at the general election will be a nail in the coffin for the crooks, thieves, abductors and murderers. Some sacrifices are called for, i.e. national service.

So, dear Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, the nation is poised on a knife’s edge. We cannot let the backdoor men rule us for another two years. No way. That is the path to hell. If the situation were the reverse, Ismail Sabri and UMNO will not hesitate to ruthlessly sink you before you could say ‘Jack Rabbit’! They already did that in February 2020 with the Sheraton Hotel Move and last week with the ‘Klepto/Court Cluster deal. These are the same breed of UMNO politicians who put you in jail and are still hatching conspiracies against you. NO CSA, no co-operation, no nothing! How long can anyone be  suckers?

No way will PH be stronger than UMNO/PN two years from now. We need you to press that button and initiate new directions. We need you to take control TODAY. We need you to make that call today. We cannot be playing that same old broken record over and over again. We need you to let Shafie Apdal deliver. And if not Shafie Apdal for PM, then you nevertheless have to come to an agreement with him because PKR and DAP cannot unlock Sabah and Sarawak on their own. You need to offer Sabah and Sarawak carrots - autonomy within a Federal system, better share of oil profits and financial aid.

If not Shafie, Nurul, Bee Yin, Anthony Loke and Rafizi, who? If not here, where? If not today, when?


Bathanga said...

I agree with the commentator, sad as it may be, LGE, LKS and DSAI days are number. Yesterday they sat at the same table with the Kepala Ikan Busuk to agree to some form of what they pereceive as a working relationship. A very wise Man once said, "Do not give to the dogs what is meant for man's consumption only". Those who are widely read will know the person I am speaking of. As to the election of our future hope and dreams, I believe the selection was made after much thought weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. I too am no angel, during my college days I was such a rotter, I remember my dad writing to me across three oceans, "Please do not get married and settle down". I was that rotten, but time passes and I have since changed, I am still rotten as testified by the Adam's apple in my throat, but I can now see the right from the wrong. I can only pray that God in His Divine Mercy will help right-minded Malaysians to make the right decision to excise a really rotten political tumour that has overstayed its welcome.

sparkles said...

Mr haven't given us that much of a consoling prediction, when I read you speaking about youth, I tghought you had other names up your sleeve🤔🤔 as candidates for future premiership, you specifically mentioned youth. The ones you root for have also been part of perdonality politics such a game in Malaysian politics. Wd need a morally mknded leadership, you did not even tske the trouble to mention Hanmah Yeoh who contributed to Selangor politics in a very able msnner. Shd is unafraid and can hold her own, besides being a professed God minded person.That means right thinking. And you gave no thimbs up for Siti Kasim, our well known champion of human rights. She commands respective and is fiery, fearless. Thse are the ones who will be champions of Malaysia's lost good name, to bring it to the fore again in international politics. Tq.

E.S.Shankar said...

@Bathanga, thank you for your comments. We are on the same page. I have nothing against politicians who makes mistakes when young, only those who don't learn from them and repeat them. And of course, the culture of corruption that is systematic and endemic.

Yes, we all pray that our country will get out of the rut it's in.

E.S.Shankar said...

@Sparkles, thank you for writing. There are many I had in mind, but I could not choose all of them. I had to be decisive and not dither and sound iffy. Yes, Hannah and Siti are all people of integrity we look up to. I hope they will all soon feature prominently in the government after GE15. We will not get all the youth and new faces in govt in one go. There are also many outstanding people who will stand as Independents at GE15. But we need a good blend of experience, youth, capabilities and personalities to take the reins of leadership. Honesty, integrity and incorruptability are the important qualities we should be looking out for.

So, I made the selection as best as I could determine.


Eaglebaby05 said...

We respect this author. But why not also include Mahathir plus all all the senior leaders in Umno ? Come on la -- be inclusive in writing these typee of articles -- the idea here is not to bell the cat but to trap the cat so that the rats will have s free run ! Why only bell opposition leaders ?

Rupert16 said...

Can’t agree more. These “old” leaders carry with them too many baggage and should be told to step down, or be statesmen-like and step down voluntarily, and let younger ones lead their parties if the country is going to find the next wind to move forward.

Perak206 said...

He might have subconsciously ruled out Mahathir by promoting Shafie as PM, considering that Shafie has often followed Mahathir's ideas including that of a body like the post-1969 Mageran to fight the pandemic.

Whether Shafie is good or not perhaps is a question of whether we want more of Mahathirism, albeit in a much moderate/diluted dose.

Newday said...

Because they are the Opposition, not in power. It is the Opposition that needs urgently to sort this out, otherwise they will be forever Opposition.

AlphaBeta said...

Yes, I agree with you. All the old leaders should give way to the young. They can stay in the background and play mentor. The leaders themselves should not think they are indispensible. Nobody is. Do not overstay your welcome.

GrenViper4010 said...

Great idea! a package it certainly is new and worth trying. They would certainly get my vote. They would cut across race and generation, and thus force BN/PN to change as well.

A rebirth of Malaysian politics...or just wishful, ignorant thinking?

Max Fury said...

I agree with all the other candidates but not Shafie. He hasnt demonstrated that he can lead a nation. He couldn’t win his Sabah state what more win a federal election. I would prefer a younger PM like Jacinda Arden. It’s time for a young and dynamic PM to lead Malaysia.

Muruga Code Black said...

The others will voters have confidence in them being young and inexperienced at the top.
Shankar will voters vote for any of your candidates above as PM , DPM in GE15.
You have forgotten that by greed the younger ten pkrv MP's left for ministerial posts.
Not forgetting that Mahathir betrayed the mandate with his gang.
GPS is a partner with umno in enriching themselves with timber companies, plantations etc billionaires like UMNO.
Shafie couldn't even hold on to the CM post when he already a CM . LKS , AI DIDN'T hold any government post to lose it so your points seems not favourable to PH and it will be the demise of it based on your writings.
They couldn't even stand the pressure and quit unlike the hardened stalwarts you want to remove.

Anonymous_221043 said...

You have articulated the vision for the future generations of Malaysians, intelligently and inspiringly. Thank You. May your vision come true.

I am 78 years old. My generation, during their working life, suffered at the hands of the corrupted, manipulating politicians (of all races). Many of my generation migrated, to protect their self respect, not happily though. A change for Malaysia is long overdue. May the almighty God in His infinite mercy help us, the silently suffering rakyat of all races.

Omar Iz said...

I, too, dream of a day when a leader in his or her 30s or 40s become our nation's Prime Minister. However, if such a person were there, she should rise to the occasion. She should come forward with fresh ideas and administrative capabilities and win us over. That theoretical person, alas, hasn't done so yet. Among all the persons suggested above, only Rafizi stands out. He is certainly a person of great calibre. But, he left politics following his loss. He has to come back and get back into the game.

Tun Abdul Razak became a PM when he was 48. I am sure we want another who is just as young, if not younger. But the person cannot expect power and position to be handed over in a silver platter.

Arankanathan said...

A very stupid mornic article by the author.

Anwar Ibrahim delivered Pakatan Harapan victory : Betrayed by Mahathir- who did not hand over when he promised to.

Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang : Delivered victory for DAP - largest number of seats- betrayed by Mahathir

Pakatan Harapan was doing well and was unable to complete their 5 years - until betrayed by Mahathir.

So Miss ES Shankar - on what evidence have you relied on that Anwar, Kit Sing or Guan Eng time is up?

Arankanathan said...

Anwar Ibrahim has never delivered victory for PH. In fact, it is the reverse that PH gave victory to DSAI from prison.

Analyser said...

The Harapan win was decided by voters. Not by those “leaders” you mentioned who were as dull as they had been for the past twenty years

90% of Harapan’s win was from anti BNism, 10% from the manifesto

New Day said...

Anwar did not deliver victory. He didn’t even factor in this. Voters fed up to the back teeth with UMNO and their corrupted ways delivered victory.

Iammi said...

In general, I agree with you but if Shafie Apdal is the person to lead, then I'd rather have these oldies on top a bit longer. Like replacing an old car with an old bike.

Knucklehead said...

I have to agree with the writer. Bring in the new blood, the younger blood, let them lead and stay around to guide them.

I want to see the day, Anwar hand over reigns to his 2nd in line - I think it will make PKR and Harapan much stronger, especially with the support of younger voters from Undi18 coming soon.

Same for Kit Siang, Guan Eng and Mat Sabu, time to step aside. I look forward to PM material with the likes of Canada and New Zealand and please, not another oldie like Joe Biden!

Time to move ahead Pakatan Harapan. Our harapan is in your team.

GreenBison9801 said...

Rafizi...just good for FM post, but the way his interest now is to promote INVOKE using his popularity in politics.
Anthony Loke is good .
Nurul I feel too emotional
Shafie, YES for PM post

Demi Rakyat said...

Shafie, 65. Abang Johari, 72.

Halo! Guan Eng is only 60 years old.

And Bee Yin to head DAP?? You do like her alot don't you?

GreenBison9801 said...

He likes Rafizi too, I don't see much of him. Only great he did was 1MDB

Apollos said...

Shafie? He lacks the charisma. He failed even in his own backyard and lost the CM post. How popular can he be?

OCD said...

And Muhyuddin and Sabri have “charisma”?? Pleaseeeeeeee!!!

Analyser said...

Whatever makes you think there is any potential in any person directly or indirectly involved in politics today

People join parties because they find the state/philosophy of that party attractive. In Malaysia, more often than not the attraction is a personality a race or a religion.

There is no questioning the fact that all the existing parties are both dysfunctional and do not remotely represent what a party should be in a democratic society

They are all feudal in outlook. Repressive in nature and not remotely democratic

So how do you expect anyone with that sort of background to lead the way out of the gloom that exists at the moment

Can you name anyone of those potential leaders who has shown any vision, any idealism, any zeal for change

Has anyone proposed the complete overturning of the political system that exists today?

You hear nothing of that because everyone in politics today wants to find a niche in the existing system where they can nestle down …and never rock the boat

What Malaysia needs is a change in mindset

Perak206 said...

by becoming more philosophical as you have been advocating?

BrownGoat5773 said...

The issue here is that DSAI , LKS,LGE hv been vilified by the mouthpieces of UMNO and been made into figures of fear n loathing to the rural Malays.

We need new blood to lead.

Nurul, Rafizi, Yeo Bee Lian, Hannah Yeoh, Ong Kian Meng,
Shafie Apdal n leaders of Sarawak shud lead as their tolerance to race n religion will heal us

Simon PJ said...

ES Shankar, you looks clever but not wiser. What happened to leaders from other parties?
e.g. Hadi, Tuan, Najib, Zahid, IS, Hishamuddin, Tengku Razaligh, Nazri and all those same age with LGE. Don't be a hypocrite. Be inclusive in your writing.

Maya said...

Politics Malaysian style. Helm the posts till ........???. Why??? Simply because they enjoy it or they have nothing else to look forward to in life.

J.D. Lovrenciaer said...

Excellent thoughts. A brave new world needs leaders who will think outside of the box. However let us not be fixated on men verses women. It is the best time to charge with change. Enough of expired leaders and their 6 decades old mantra.

Lost Hope said...

Well said except that LKS has already taken a back seat for some time now and LGE still has a lot to offer to the country. LGE only setback is his blind support to DSAI. Agreed that Nurul is a potential PM/DPM candidate but sad to say that even DSAI will not allow it even if it is his own daughter as he will never give up his claim to the throne.

Shafie is a very appealing candidate as he is a muslim from Sabah and this will appeal to East Malaysians as well to the Malay muslim electorate in Peninsula Malaysia.

But die hard PKR and DSAI supporters will always give negative excuses and reject Shafie as he is a direct threat to DSAI although many younger PH MPs are starting to open up to recognize and appreciate Shafie Apdal now.

Bahau said...

Hello, you are neither clever or wise!

Kepala Tak Centre said...

Why Tun M is not in the list?
7 hours ago

Wah!! Tun M has done enough damage already (more especially during his second stint; and now he is well passed his “use by date”. But thanks to him Najib is a convicted criminal, so thank you for that Tun, but now its well passed time for you to step back and enjoy your well earned retirement.

LimeGoat2442 said...

Age is just a number but one needs to be circumspect in choosing the right person for the right job. Succession planning has never been easy. There is dynamics, chemistry, etc to be considered….and in politics it has to be multiplied throughout the stakeholders to the grassroots.

Swapping one person for another and assuming ceteris paribus is a flawed assumption. Yes, things could be better if the baseline is very low. So timing and the political context are more important factors to consider, not just the age of the incumbents themselves.

OCT said...

This should be the same for other parties especially UMNO. All parties don't have good backup plan. One party still has an old 90+ person leading the party. He still thinks he is relevant and indispensable. Politicians have to be savvy, knowledgeable, caring and forget about race and religion when implementing policies. Just look at other countries how race and religion have created havoc and instability in their countries. The country becomes collateral damage. If only our politicians don't use race & religion to secure their votes but use competency, honesty and integrity, Malaysia will become a wonderful and peaceful country to live in.

PinkDove8918 said...

I only agree Nurul, Yeo and Loke, the rest mentioned by this writer can also take back seat

PinkHarimau0699 said...

This shankar and all this arm chair analysts are worth a dime for a dozen.Malaysian Politics is not a straight clear cut line,the powers behind the scenes has more clout than you can fanthom.Nurul and Rafizi are cry babies who sulk when things dont their way.The disparity between the rich and poor in Sabah and Sarawak makes us wonder if they are suitable leaders there to lead Malaysia.The present leaders in Pakatan Harapan are the best hope for 15 th GE.Any changes should be considered onlyv after that.

GreenLeopard4021 said...

Exactly, everyone seems to be crooning for Nurul and Rafizi but when the going got tough where were they hiding ? Sulking away in a corner . Great potential leaders would have emerged to make their presence felt .

Rzee said...

Why must change when the trio are working hard for Malaysia and doing all the right things ? Many of the young ones had no energy to carry on and have left to take breaks, do their business, rest etc etc . This trio are tireless and while in power did a good job which was criticised without basis on race and religion issues , Malay supremacy, No DAP and No Anwar. Was that fair ? Do the trio have to leave because of this sick prejudices or stay and fight? They stayed and fought and are fighting.

sphzxcv said...

All Anwar could do was to forever claim he has the numbers. But the time for him to show the numbers 2 weeks ago he was all quiet. What a disappointment. I have lost faith in him.

RedDeer6638 said...

Yes, the trio must, no should move aside for the younger generation. However, Shafie Apdal & Abang Openg certainly are as old as them and had their share of political limelight.They too should move aside and let the younger ones take the rein. Cheers

weijian said...

For the record, Anthony Loke is the next in line to take over the reins at DAP.

With Azmin and his gang purged, it is only a matter of time for Reformasi Princess and her friend to make a comeback. As a matter of fact, Nurul "left" because it wasnt acceptable that both her parents are in politics. She will be back when one or both of them retires.

Uragt said...

Might be easier to wish Umno would change its corrupt & wasteful ways, with court cluster purged or to jail. Afterall they represent the majority of malays. And all the young azmins of Umno could step up as replacement, maybe they won't be as treacherous. the opposition can then be as is, probably don't even need one.

Beman said...

Isn't this comment about asking the older politicians making way for the younger ones? What is Abang Johari Openg, 72, from the party of the gray hair one, doing in your dream team? I am not a fan of Lim Guan Eng who is around 60. But if you are asking him to go, to be fair, you have to ask Shafie Apdal, 65, to go as well.

BlueShark1548 said...

LGE is facing criminal charges. So he should opt out of GE 15 until he clears his name. Opposition should set an example. We do not want a repeat of previous political practices where once power is in the hands of a party charges are withdrawn against their members.
As for east Malaysians, exceptions could be made to accommodate their leaders as they bring an entirely new experience to our political landscape .

Karma said...

Brilliant piece, Shankar. Just that a note for you. Lim Kit Siang is not calling any shots here. He refused cabinet position and asked to be given to the young ones. As to Lim Guan Eng, he is going to pass the leadership to someone in the next party Election. As for Anwar, he is still the symbol of hope for those who want a multi-racial government. If he was willing to let go of this and ride on race and religion to phase out others, he would have been PM long time ago without the need to rely on Tun Mahathir.

The core reason for Sheraton Move is that those who jumped or betrayed PH voters are more concerned about their future in PH, which they thought could not sustain if it continued as a multi-racial party. They thought Malay voters will ditch them in GE15. So they formed a super-Malay party.

Hope the mature voters will prove them wrong in GE15.

GreenLeopard4021 said...

For all his warts and pimples , Anwar is the only Malay leader willing to work hand in hand with leaders of other races in achieving his dream of a better multiracial government . Give him another chance as other younger Malay leaders are not ready to shoulder the heavy task yet . Yes , if not for his commitment he would have dumped PH and got on the gravy train with the other Muafakat Melayu gang .

IndigoJaguar7545 said...

I took you seriously until you mentioned Shafie Apdal.

As Sabahans, we're telling you: ENOUGH. He is as dead tired and far worse than Anwar. Give it up.

Shafie cannot even win in his OWN state. 😂

Multi Racial said...

ust in 2018, Malaysians were welcoming a very old man to be our PM. Now suddenly 60 or 70 is too old. Let's not get too emotional about this. Our measurement should always be integrity, capability, honesty and most of all have passion to unite and develop the country. Age does not matter to me. I still believe Anwar, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng have plenty to contribute and I welcome them to stay as long as they are capable of contributing. No doubt they all should train capable leaders to eventually take over. In this area, I believe DAP is doing a good job as they have capable leaders like Anthony Loke, Gobind, Theresa Kok, Tony Pua, Ong Kian Peng, Hannah Yeoh, Teoh Bee Yin, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, Zairil Khil Zohari and many more. PKR need to buck up although they did groom capable leaders like Nurul, Rafizi, Saifuddin Nasution and Nik Nazmi. I am sure there are many capable leaders in PKR, but they need to surface and make themselves visible. Don't forget we have Amanah leaders many of them are credible and capable. I like the moderation but I hope they eventually will move into multi racial and always against mixing religion and politics.

Let's continue to support Harapan. No doubt they do made some mistakes but they do more good than bad.

BlueShark1548 said...

Senior leaders like Tun,Ku Li,Najib,Anwar ,Zahid and LKS should give way to younger leaders. Time for new thinking untainted from their experiences of politics of the 60s and 70s, most of which are race and religion based!

GPS by failing to support Shafie as PM missed the opportunity to shift power to east Malaysia and to share with West Malaysians their politics which are free of race and religion! It would have provided the nation a stable government! Both Sabah and Sarawak would have benefited greatly by GPS being the kingmaker and Shafie being the PM.GPS could impose a condition that LGE be excluded from cabinet which under the circumstances LGE might be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of the nation and rakyat.

TRT said...

Agreed Shanker but the young leaders could only lead their party and mind you Harapan will collapse if Anwar is not heading it. He was instrumental for the existance of HARAPAN.

FairMalaysian said...

"Shafie Apdal, 65, as Harapan chief and PM candidate. Nurul Izzah Anwar, 41, as PKR head and DPM candidate with Rafizi Ramli, 44, as her party deputy. Yeo Bee Yin, 38, as DAP head with Anthony Loke, 44, as her deputy. Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, 72, as an additional and equal DPM."

What a shallow understanding of politics. This is not to say that these are incapable people. You have not even explained in what way these people can do to win the Malay votes. What makes you think that these politicians can achieve that Mahathir and Mat Sabu cannot. The problem is not with the NM votes. The problem lies with attracting the unsupportive Malay votes. You need to read more of political lessons.

Newday said...

Ed - big thumbs up for being clear in talking about Opposition sacred cows like this. The trio mentioned potentially have big mentoring roles to play in getting the next generation up to speed. But, that is it. Their time in front is coming to a close which they more than likely already know. Two years until next GE (in theory), time to change for the future is now.

OrangePanther1466 said...

Hello Shankar, you must be high on some kind of weed or opioid. However, I must say, your choice of PM candidate is spot on.

However, Nurul to take over from her father?? Nurul experience is largely on getting her father out of prison. She has not held political office of significance. Her solution to a difficult situation is to quit. No easy passage for her just because family ties.

Now, as for Mdm Yeo, I would be a very proud father if she is my daughter. However, DAP politics today is rough, a product of 50 years in the opposition. But the party has capable people like Gobind Singh Deo, the cousins, and Ngeh and Nga, Anthony Loke, Hannah Yeoh, Liew Chin Tong, Nie Chong and a host others.

LGE has to make way anyway as he has reach term limit.

Rafizi is no doubt a smart cookie and has a bright future. But Rafizi needs to gain experience in political leadership positions first.

As for Tun Mahathir role in the Sheraton 1.0, a brilliant-cut to overhaul the politics in the country to be more sustainable for the future. Unfortunately, 99% of people do not appreciate it. But today, every party and every race is important, relevant and have a shot at the governing coalition.

It's no longer just UMNO-BN by default and every one else are the opposition to be

Quigonbond said...

Sounds like a naive Pejuang/Warisan sympathiser. Proof is in the votes. Do Millions of Malaysians want these guys to go? That's a wild assertion. Same with his selection of who should lead, which holds little water. Shafie from a mosquito party seriously? Btw, LKS has already stepped aside. He is clearly demonstrating the ability to influence (at least within Harapan) without being in any position of authority.

Anon1984 said...

The leaders of the opposition in Malaysia took on a daunting challenge to confront one of the most entrenched political mafias in global politics. They have painstakingly constructed a powerful movement that is slowly but surely dislodging this cancer bit by bit, not without personal cost to themselves as all know. Rome was not built in a day and it is no mean feat to upturn the establishment, however this writer is dismissive and impatient of the now older men who have sacrificed their life's work (and liberty) to this task and he is fed up with them for not having succeeded sooner with some click of their fingers against all the instruments available to undermine them. He is looking for some shiny new product to flick the switch. In fact, perseverance and persistence are what pay and experience counts, so the opposition should stick to its guns for now and to its tried and tested leaders who have not wavered from their determination to reform Malaysia.

Uncle Yap said...

Guan Eng is 61 and you are advocating two East Malaysian politicians aged 65 and 72 as "new blood" ?

IndigoToucan1627 said...

Yes it seems strange! Presumably he is advocating Shafie replacing Anwar as PM aspirant so if we compare the two then Shafie is younger. There seems to be a dearth of top Malay politicians who can think broadly enough to embrace all Malaysians. All of them seem to want to play the race card to gain general acceptance from the Malays.

BlueShark1548 said...

Have you forgotten that LGE is facing criminal charges? DAP should set an example, do not submit names of candidates for election if person is facing criminal charges because it is awkward to withdraw charges after the party wins Putrajaya like what had happened previously! LGE should skip GE 15 until he clears his name.

Donplaypuks® said...

I said experience and age must blend with youth. Guan Eng has been there since before 2008 and can't lead PH

mosquitobrain said...

I have recalled many occasions since the infamous Sheraton Move, where Pakatan Harapan (PH) where DSAI, as the Opposition head (like a headless chicken), has the golden opportunities to return to power but fumbled at the last minute. And the sad part is, he is so arrogant, never learn from failure after failure!

The PH presidential council collectively has to bear the responsibility. DSAI, Mat Sabu and Lim GE (and senior Lim) should take a break from active politics and let younger politicians from their respective parties to lead PH.

And it has to be done fast before their supporters gave up hope. (There are already signals showing supporters are not happy with the present PH leaders).

Sincerely hope these leaders will not continue to cling on onto 'syiok sendiri' syndrome, false hope and dream of thinking to regain power. Do not wait and become a liability to their respective parties and PH as a whole.

BlueShark1548 said...

Remember the 2 options which Khaled and Loke gave to Anwar which he took time to reject? 1st option-he to be PM if he could get GPS to join.He failed to get GPS.2nd option was that Shafie becomes PM if he could get the majority to form government but Anwar refused! So Anwar's position was he must be PM irrespective of whether he could get majority or not. Others must get the majority for him?

Hope now he would set aside his obsession to be PM and work with Sabri to carry out the reforms promised by Moo which was discussed with Ong and Tony.

GG Sentosa said...

In 2018,we allowed Tun Mahathir to lead us,where were you that time?We still felt that Tun M was needed because of his expertise in running the country.We still need leaders like Dato Seri Anwar and Sdr Lim Kit Siang to help lead and bring about the change.Younger leaders need to be partners and wait for their turn to bring about the change.Thats the reason we have many KATAKS.

2 cents said...

I'm not too sure how much this fellow knows about the parties and individuals that he claimed to be supporting. LKS is no longer leading his party for the longest time though he is still active in politics and are well respected within the party as an elder. Did you see him getting any ministerial position in the 22 months when his party was jointly in power with the other PH parties? Besides, it's a known fact that LGE is stepping down as the party leader due to a 3-term-limit; he would have stepped down by now if the party election was held according to schedule in June and not postponed because of "the fullest" MCO back then.

Lepak said...

This letter perfectly sums up the frustration many feel at not being able to effect the political change they want. But it seems more driven by emotion than reality. This is not the first time we've heard this mantra about bringing in younger, fresher faces, as though that by itself will magically transform things. On the surface, what could be wrong with "handing things over to the next generation"? But there are some broad assumptions here that will not withstand the harsh reality of complex socio-political situations. First, the people this writer thinks need to go. Not even Nurul, Rafizi or Bee Yin can magically charm hard-bitten political operatives to suddenly give them a Parliamentary majority. Why is it Anwar's fault that politicians made their cold calculations, and more of them decided to throw in their lot with the new PN and UMNO-led governments? Anwar and company delivered a legitimate majority by winning the most seats in GE14. How is it their fault that Mahathir and the PKR's "traitor cluster" stabbed them in the back? Why should these stalwarts be thrown out when the voters who put them in have not had a chance to have their say again? You need not just a fresh face and the charm of youth to make a mark. You need political guts, something that Nurul and Rafizi did not show when push came to shove. Instead of staying and fighting, they bolted for the exit. Or take another young politician. Syed Saddiq is now making all the right noises when no longer in government. Yet, this same youth had no qualms about hosting an intimate dinner for a foreigner on the run from criminal charges who is intent on deepening the divisions here. Heck, there's a whole posse of young people running around on the governing side who don't seem to be too different from their elders. The opposition leaders the writer wants thrown out have made their mistakes, but by and large, they've the ones who stuck to principles. Competing against an establishment that is now firmly embedded after 65 years of running things is never easy. Idealism is great in a vacuum. It seldom

Manoharan Malayalam said...

Beautiful article from ES SHANKER.This is long overdue.These leaders must take responsibility for the failures after failures and blunders after blunders.Many leaders in UK have stepped down after an initial downfall.PH current leaders should have taken responsibility for the initial downfall after “The Sheraton Move” for letting the PH government SLIP through that easily to their own crusaders.They should have resigned gracefully then.Long overdue.

The Observant said...

I think the author doesn’t have a grasp of the real situation. Very misleading to say the least. He actually hd me when he proposed everyone to compromise with SA who to me is only full of himself, has a lousy track record and is in no position to call any shots. Rubbish

Benz8830 said...

I shared the same thoughts thats its time for the leaders in Harapan to pass the baton.
Give a chance to new leaders to shine

We are seeing the same faces for 15+ years

Kuniyo said...

Anwar worshippers like to condemn Dr M as 22 years dictator. But Anwar is 23 years opposition leader since his last job in gomen in 1998.

Malaysia already has 6 Prime Ministers that same period and opposition leaders are the same people that same period. People like Anwar are blocking the rise of young competent leaders who can offer new narrative and practical solution to present day problems. We are in 2020s,not 1990s.

Anwar already have enough chances and opportunities in the last 23 years.

But his worshippers would rather a 23 years loser than someone who are potential winners.

That’s why PH may lose everything it had if it lead by Anwar next GE.

YellowJaguar9219 said...

I disagree with the author of this piece.Just because they are "old" doesn't mean they are of no use anymore.What about the decades of experience,not forgetting the suffering,they have? You can't simply step aside & hand over to the younger leadership,no matter how brilliant they are and which I don't dispute myself,being an ardent believer in Rafizi,Nurul et al.The better option would be for the senior leaders to form the government and THEN groom the next echelon of leaders to gradually take over a stable government,thus minimising any potential mistakes they will no doubt make

Donplaypuks® said...


Read the article properly. I did say clearly they should remain in their parties and mentor the new faces

Yellow Jaguar9129 said...

Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in his 90s remember

Donplaypuks® said...

Yellow Jaguar9219

Look at the history of the world. How many 90-yo become leaders of their countries? Less than 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1%...The rare exceptions cannot make the rule!

All Things Considered said...

Too many inaccuracies in your piece ES Shankar. Your assertion about Shafie Apdal and Abang Johari are too pretentious. What exactly did they achieved to be crowned as PM and DPM now. They did not go through even 30% of what Anwar, LGE and LKS went though in their political life. Likewise, I do not agree Nurul and Rafizi should be given that much prominence at this point because they as leaders disappeared from the scene when it mattered. True leaders don't abandon their team in times of difficulties. They must stay and fight and not disappear into thin air. Yeo Bee Yin is just too young and immature to assume any senior leadership position now. Apparently she was too bossy when she was the Minister, not matured enough. Nurul, Rafizi, Bee Yin and the like need time to be groomed. We are not talking about running a company but a nation. Yeah about women taking up leadership positions, I do not subscribe to this as some men love to pontificate probably to appease their own women folks. Please remember, many women have failed miserably too as bosses and leaders. You cannot just based it on just a few successful women leaders. We should not promote leaders based on gender and what not but based on individual qualities, irrespective whether they are men or women. Stop being a populist.

Anribend said...

I am sorry that this piece despite its superficial attractiveness, is another one that says old leaders must give way to young leaders in the PH parties. In other words, only young leaders can perform, not old leaders like Anwar, Kit Siang, Guan Eng and many others. They must be replaced by Nurul in PKR, Loke and Yeo in the DAP. With one stroke of the pen, dismisses the contributions of Anwar, Kit Siang and Guan Eng. You don’t have to like them, but acknowledge their struggles and sufferings, without them there is no PH. This impulsive writing of the author tells much about him and why he wants to sensationalise matters. By reading the article I am more and more convinced that we need leaders the three mentioned. Nurul might be a dilettante. Rafizi has retreated. Calling Loke and Yeo as future leaders is the biggest joke. Loke might be party loyalist, but a person who has no ideas. Yeo is married into a rich family, she could take a stand against the Lynas facility, despite the election promise. Both of them sat down at Mahathir’s feet for 22 months. Maybe the author should take lesson in Msian politics before he can inaccurately ramble about political transition.

Gua Engku Lim said...

Wow your dreamed line up is my dream too, except for the PM post. I would prefer KJ as the PM.

Hearty Malaysian said...

Well said ES Shankar. Anwar can’t assume the nation owes him the PM job because he went to prison for years, for he is not the Nelson Mandela equivalent . His obsessive dream of becoming the PM at all costs has caused his own miseries , break his own followers’ loyalty and hence sparking the Sheraton move by Azmin Ali and his other plotters . It is not I approve the backstabbing moves of PKR the traitors but more for Anwar to stop blocking viable Pakatan Harapan younger generations to take over sooner than later. Anwar and LGE can stay on as mentors just like LKS does instead . Pakatan can’t afford another failure due to Anwar’s obsession to become PM as the voters are already too tired of his antics .

LuvMysia said...

Fully agree with what Shankar shared. It is time for the opposition old guard to pave the way for new and capable leaders of a true Keluarga Malaysia. They have to step aside as they stand as the last bastion against the formation of this dream team. It does not require anyone with an IQ greater than 70 to see that this Kerajaan Gagal 2.0 is bound to fulfil what it is destined to do as their name implies and will not be around for long. For that moment and for the sake of Malaysia's survival we must have this dream team ready.

constitutional supremacy said...

Some things suggested are not realistic.

One may be bright and young but art of goverance is another.

For eg suggestion for Nurul to be Deputy first and then PM..Governing a country needs a political acumen,astuteness and shrewedness.The person must be also able to overcome back stabbing etc.Nurul is hardworking and can be a good minister but to be PM one must also have the aptitude.

Must also remember that the malay politics
cannot accept yet a woman to lead.The head of famy must be a man etc.

Similarly Yeo Bee Yan also is hard working and capable but not yet able or cut out to lead DAP.

Shafie Apdal is an astute politician and able to manoure through difficult situations.He can be PM if circumstances permit.

AB Sulaiman said...

I write this note after listening to the new Cabinet line-up. True enough, ES Sankar's article should be extended to cover not only the trio he mentioned, but well nigh to most names mentioned in this line up. The bell sould be hung to the neck of many of them. In their place should be names having great understanding of the 'Ketuanan virus', as coined by ALL MALAYSIANS MATTER.

Affinity for one's race and religion is fairly common everywhere. Individuals and communities have tendency to favour their own kinds. But in this country it is institutionalised. Our leaders use them in virtually all public policy formulations and appplication, thus legitimising racism and bigotry.

Race and religion in other words, have been intertwined with government. It's a fairly unique situation. You can hardly see this mix in any other country.

Unspin said...

All three heads of Pakatan's presidential council should join LKS by taking a step back to play mentor/adviser role to the younger leaders. Anwar, LGE and Mat Sabu cast a large shadow over the younger leaders making it difficult for them to get noticed and shine. Moreover, the negative perception of the three existing leaders are difficult to shake off: Anwar - impatient, desperate; LGE - arrogant, stubborn; Sabu - easy-going-guy, comedian.

Apa ini said...

I agree. It's time to take a back seat and help the younger leaders to step up and benefit from your experience and advice. Don't burden them with your 'baggage'. Let UMNO stick with their ageing leadership and incompetent ones at that.

Anonymous 7788 said...

Agree the old guards should start handing over the batons. But a big NO to Maharacist’s poodle as the PM.

I’d rather support UMNO than any poodles of Maharacist the father of racism.

Exile said...

Taken at face value the post is representative of ageism, which can be defined as stereotypical assumptions that prejudice or discriminate against people on the basis of their chronological age. It can be on the basis of a perception of them as being 'old' or 'elderly'; ‘middle aged’ or ‘crisis prone’; or ‘young’ or ‘youthful’.

The phrase “ to bell a Cat" is attributed to one of Aesop's fables though the provenance is disputed. Nevertheless, in the folktale the Mice held a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy the Cat.

After a general discussion, a young Mouse rose to present a proposal. “You will all agree,” he said, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the Cat's neck. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.” This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?” The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said: “It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”

Donplaypuks® said...


It's of course silly to assume that the lesson to be learnt from 'Belling the cat' is that the whole universe should refrain from so-called "impossible remedies". What could one expect from mice, that they would roar and behave like lions? But political parties are not all full of mice, they are made up an association of men and women of varying degrees of courage. Otw, Mandela, Gandhi, Washinton etc and all those who fought off colonialism would never have challenged the status quo.

Ghost Rider said...

World history has taught us to never to TRUST too much one who can abandon the struggle totally and then return when the time is right. For in the face of future adversities they will abandon yet again. They can disappear totally from the political arena and you hear not even a fart from them. I agree, they have charisma but Rambo or Mercenary style characters doesn't cut it. They are nothing compare to Anwar, LKS and LGE in terms of perseverance and tenacity. The magic word here is NEVER GIVE UP. They might want to come back later on, but right now, they are in the category of those who have given up on the Rakyat.

Preux Chevalier said...

Gobind needs to be in there somewhere for DAP.
Also absent in list above is Mat Sabu's replacement in Amanah.
Syed Saddiq should continue to also play an important role.