... and he may drag PAS and DAP (especially PAS) down with him too!
People in marketing and advertising like to use these two terms; ‘tactical’ or 'schematic' when indicating a short term position, strategy, plans, shortfall etc or if it is a long term concern they use ‘thematic’.
A tactical campaign is usually aimed at bringing in sales in the shorter term while a thematic campaign is aimed at a long term brand/business building effort. When a tactical promotion fails, the impact is a short term lost in sales. When you fail at your thematic endeavour, you close shop.
So, in my earlier post,(http://letusaddvalue.blogspot.com/2009/02/both-bn-and-pr-is-unethical-in-this.html) I suggested that Anwar made his first major tactical blunder since March 8th when he accepted Frogger, Nasarudin. So they lost Perak, a short term loss as they may just win it back in the next election.
In this article I will illustrate Anwar’s first major thematic blunder since March 8th and this may spell the beginning of the end for him and Pakatan. I have suggested right after the general elections that PR will not last for a year (read here http://letusaddvalue.blogspot.com/2008/12/will-anwar-make-stand-on-hudud.html and http://letusaddvalue.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html ).
I may have miss calculated by a few months but this Perak episode may attest that the demise of Pakatan Rakyat as a team will be sooner rather than later.
First we must understand the socio-political culture of the Malays – The Protector and The Protected. An outsider may be amused and baffled by the continuous and repeated usage of words like ‘ketaatsetiaan’ (loyalty) and ‘derhaka’ (traitor) in Malay socio-political and socio-cultural setting.
To understand why such words hold so much weight in Malay politics, one must remember that the Malays evolved from a feudal system. It was a little more than just 50 years ago before parliamentary politics was introduced to the Malay psyche. In a feudalistic society, loyalty to the ruler is ‘numero uno’.
In return to the loyalty given, the ruler extends his protection over the ruled (hereafter the Malay people) hence, the Protector and the Protected. In Malay socio-politics, the role of the Protector and Protected is carved deeply into the hearts of the Malays through a social contract between Sang Nila Utama (representing the Rulers) and Demang Lebar Daun (representing the Malay people) in the Malay annals, Sejarah Melayu. (Read Sejarah Melayu, chapter 2 pg 19 – WG.Shellbears).
The social contract laid terms and conditions on how the Ruler and the Malay people should fulfil their duties to each other.In summary they are:-
a) The Malay people should never be disloyal to the Ruler (no matter what). Failing which it would be punishable by death.
b) However, if a Ruler does wrong, the Malay people can only choose not to listen or to disobey him. He is only punishable by God.
c) The Ruler should never put the Malay people ‘to shame’ (janganlah di fadhihatkan, dinista dengan kata-kata yang jahat)
d) Only if the Ruler slanders (memalukan) the Malay people, the covenant could be broken.
e) In return to the loyalty, the Ruler will protect the Malay people (hendaklah ia diperbaiki oleh anak cucu Tuanku). (Read Dr Chandra’s The Protector for a more detailed analysis)
It could be argued that since 1946, UMNO has assumed the role of the Protector. This will make sense if one were to remember that prior to 1946, the Malay people’s allegiance were only to their stately kings. There was no federation or central leadership like the one we are familiar of today.
By fighting against the Malayan Union in 1946, UMNO raised itself and implanted into the minds of the Malays that they are the rightful heirs to the Malay Rulers. Now, UMNO is the Protector.
However, this does not mean that other organizations such as Parti Negara or Pas do not represent the Malays but, UMNO is the party that had managed to capture the psyche of Malays and was better at marketing the idea.
There are many examples where UMNO “acted” as the Protector in the course of Malay history. The fight against Malayan Union was the first. The UMNO-MCA crisis in 1956 over the electoral seat allocation was another. After the May 13, 1969 riot, the UMNO initiated PAS-UMNO cooperation to unite the Malays, etc.
PRU 12 – UMNO lost the Protector Image? PKR gain grounds as an alternative Protector?
In my opinion, one of the main reasons why a large section of the Malays voted against UMNO during the last election is that many amongst the Malays felt that UMNO has failed to protect the Malays.
It was Anwar’s genius and oratorical capabilities that managed to convince a large section of the Malay people that UMNO failed in their duty.Anwar has managed to show that the NEP instead of protecting the Malays was an instrument to help a small group of people who are close to UMNO leadership to get rich.
Whether you agree with him or not, perceptions are what they are and it delivered the votes!
He has also managed to sell the idea that Ketuanan Rakyat is a better deal than Ketuanan Melayu, etc. Anwar in other words has managed to cut out a large chunk of The UMNO-Protector equity and place it in PKR’s pocket and at the same time cast doubts on UMNO and making the organization looks uncertain.
Anwar’s ability to make the masses especially the Malays to pay attention to the practice of corruption has made the term UMNO synonymous with the word corruption.
Insulting the Sultan of Perak and his family – UMNO will become the Protector again?
Insulting the Sultan of Perak and his family or just by allowing their followers to hurl insults and showing the ‘finger’, and pelting stones to his majesty’s car, PKR and PAS both a predominantly Malay party (no matter how they may later try to dilute the severity of the injury done by using nice words like “ Patik Meyembah Memohon Derhaka” and throwing the blame back on UMNO, pull out from taking the Sultan to court etc) will pay the price for their act of ‘DERHAKA’ .
Anwar here will be seen as the 'Bapak Segala Penderhaka' and as the introducer of rude politics towards the Raja-raja Melayu.
Yes, “PANTANG MELAYU DERHAKA PADA RAJA” still holds currency in Malay society. In the society while “PANTANG MELAYU DERHAKA PADA RAJA” may have other meanings and reasons during pre-merdeka days, today it is connected deeply to the continuity of the Malay race especially when the Malays see that they have willingly ‘shared’ their land with the non-Malays, and cease to have their own “Tanah Melayu’ but now one among others in a modern state called Malaysia.
For a majority of the Malays, take away the ‘Raja Perlembagaan’ and the Malays as a race will cease to exist. So, showing disrespect to the Sultan equals a step towards killing the Malay race.
Each day Nizar claims that he is still the MB, he adds more ‘DERHAKA’ to both PAS and PKR Malays (and UMNO members who voted against their own party!). The more he talks the more damage is done. Remember that the Sultan did not break the covenant as stated in the beginning of the article.
In culture, civil law takes second place. (That is why Tun Dr Mahathir suggested it is unethical to take the sultan to court, though it is legally ok)
I would not be surprised that if this continues at PKR will lose at least 50% of their Malay MPs and ADUNs. And if the Tok Guru and Hadi do not disassociate themselves from the Perak fiasco, they will drag PAS along too, another 50% MPs and ADUNs going independent?
UMNO will not sit pretty either. They will use this episode to reclaim the Protector title. And thanks to Anwar’s thematic blunder, the rest as they say will be history.