Monday, February 9, 2009

Anwar's second major blunder ...

... 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,( 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 and ).

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.


Anonymous said...

With all due respect bro, i think your analysis is derailing from reality.

As i see the situation today, there is an emergence of the appreciation towards Hang Jebat. The Malays today are represented by themselves and no longer need a Raja Berpelembagaan to secure their existence.

The ground reading is that the royalties should listen to the people and not otherwise. The Malays, or at least the younger generation of Malays, which are the majority of voters, are thinking alike like the young Indian and young Chinese. The psyche is, if one is right then he is right, and if he is wrong... we don't care if he is King, we will rebel!. For today rebellion against the wrong doers is a noble course.

Plus with the wider understanding of Islam which promotes equality, and Justice, Malays today owe their loyalty towards Allah S.W.T and thus rebelling against wrong doers is a virtue. Every Moslem has a duty to fight injustice, and today in the Malaysian contexts UMNO = Injustice, corrupt, and almost EVIL. There is a whole list on the derogatory remarks that is associated with em Scumnos. Therefore, it is now a necessity to fight against the wrongdoers.

Another point that has emerged from the Perak crisis, is the overwhelming support for Datuk Seri Ir Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, from not only the Malays, but also the Indians and Chinese. The younger generation regardless of race is way impressed at the way he is handling the crisis in Perak, as a matter of fact his popularity is now catching up with Anwar. As i see it, Nizar is Prime Minister material, the fact that he is from PAS does not bother me a single bit, simple because he is so lovable. Oh and by the way, just a feedback from the ground, everybody hates the new Barisan MB. Before i forget, the younger generation now considers Jebat to be way coooler than Tuah.... Cos Jebat, died for the people, and Tuah... oh well let Tuah be Tuah...

anas zubedy said...

Many are not aware of the link between Raja-raja Melayu and the subjects.

We will see more Malay leaders (and Non- Malays too)disassociating themselves from Anwar, Nizar and Karpal in the near future.

RPK too has asked Anwar to resign. This is BIG, younger people may not understand it yet, but, they will.

cheers and salam

Unknown said...

I agree with diskopi. This is 21st century and we are not in year 1400 anymore. People have more access to knowledge and wouldn't go down easily with any government information machinery. Government must be transparent in how it derives to its decision, and government also include King.

When Anwar was fired in 1997, and he rebelled, people gave him support. Although most don't think he make a good PM. But the point is he was being wronged, and malays don't like that. Malays also have pantang; If the king persecute wrongly, malays call it raja yang zalim. And that actually happened in 1997 .. and the effect as we can see in Election Mar'08.

People have better respect for Nizar too. Honestly, I thought he would just silently resign, give correct political statement, and thank the people/ sultan. But he did not. And this what amazed me. It amazed people too. People open their eyes to this type of charisma; if you think deeply in a case, you go and fight for it, but you must fight in a correct manner, hence the word "patik mohon derhaka ..." that's just superb!

anas zubedy said...

Probably the Sultan did ask Nizar to call for an emergency session and put his MB-ship to vote, which is the most correct thing to do, perhaps he did not want to.

If Nizar really wanted to follow procedure, he would have just called for an emergency sitting and solve the problem, just like Anwar wanted to call for a vote of no-confidence for Pak lah earlier. Perhaps because he refused to, the Sultan had to act.

Note that after March 8th the Sultan made PKR/DAP and PAS sign a contract to ensure that they have the majority as they were not a collision on papaer yet. BN as a party was the majority. He did the right thing and give the MB-ship to Pakatan. Read RPK's

I agree that no one is above the law. I have strong convictions that all of us will not agree with injustice.

The difference here is that in no way I think the Sultan of Perak as a Raja yang zalim. I think he is acting within limitations in the most matured way possible.

But, we can always agree to disagree : )

romerz said...

Dear Anas,

I would be the first to admit that I do not understand the psyche of the Malay mind but I believe it to be no different from minds of the other races when it comes to the bigger picture of Malaysia, especially of the younger generations.

I say this because I believe that education and exposure has a great deal to do with how our young thinks. I do not think they can even connect with how their parents think let alone the idea of a feudalistic sense of protection some 50 years ago.

You of all people should understand that any connection with the 'past' seems so alien to our younger generations and their natural tendency to rebel against anything 'coached' upon them.

I believe our young (of whatever race) are starting to find the self-belief that if other nations can, why can't we? This to me is a good thing even if it means making the older generations like me feeling uncomfortable with their accelerated departure from our history.

In a way, I think my discomfort comes from our memory of how this country was forged but thankfully the young ones do not have such encumbrances. It can only mean for a better Malaysia even though the journey could be tumultuous.

As for Anwar, his blunder is the same blunder that the ruling elite made. That is to underestimate how much young Malaysians are prepared to go in order to achieve greater glories and to bring Malaysia out of the feudalistic mindset and into the modern era.

Anwar's mistake was thinking he had to drag Malaysians forward for a new Malaysia when in actual fact its the other way around.

I would venture to say that if Anwar could leave the old style politics behind, the new generation of voters will carry him forward to a new Malaysia.

In one of your talks, I remember you saying that there are a couple of million young voters coming online by the next GE.

Personally, I'm hopeful that the young will do what my generation did not.

romerz said...

By the way, in relation to what transpired in Perak, this is what I had to say in an a debate with Lim Si Pin (Gerakan youth chief).

Si Pin,

I’m glad you brought up Article 16(7). This article is specific that only members of the EXCO and NOT the MB serves at the pleasure of HRH.

I take this to mean that HRH can fire any EXCO on his own without further reference to any other provisions but it specifically makes an exception with regards the MB.

So if the MB does not serve at the pleasure of HRH then to what higher authority does he serve? This brings us back to the assembly. I believe the constitution intended the assembly to be a check and balance on HRH and vice versa.

As you said nowhere does it state in the constitution that there must be a show of hands or secret ballot for HRH to determine if the MB still commands the confidence of the majority likewise nowhere is it stated that HRH can determine this confidence or the lack of it by interviewing each of the assembly persons.

In the absence of written law or procedure in the constitution then the wisdom is that convention shall apply ie to follow convention of democratic parliamentary procedures practiced by older democracies on which our system is based upon.

As I said earlier, the method in which HRH used to determine confidence is also not provided for in the constitution so in the absence of written law, case precedence should apply and convention be adhered to.

And as Art Harun said, Ningkan’s case is still good law since it has not been overturned by a higher court of law.

Furthermore in my opinion both assemblies are split assemblies. If you accept the argument that HRH is not empowered to determine confidence by ‘unconventional’ methods, then the obvious way to determine confidence is by way of a vote in the assembly as is the convention of the Westminster parliamentary system.

I disagree with you that a vote of no confidence had been established since you argue that HRH’s unconventional way is sufficient whilst I argue that if we are to follow a system then we must follow it in its entirety and not omit parts not palatable to our objectives.

That is why I say again, this matter is by no means sealed in concrete and must be allowed to proceed to court otherwise we are moving into uncharted territory giving our constitutional monarchs more ‘power’ than was intended with our constitutions.

This is the crux of the problem. I ask again, is the constitution the highest authority in Malaysia?

anas zubedy said...

Read my latest post for my comments, tq brothers for your comments!

PahNur said...

The best thing about human brain evolution is that it leads to progression of quality of life. That plus the deep deciphering of the gist/root of all religion, is that all man are born equal. Looking back, the role of the Sultans have changed themselves. Now we have the army/government "protecting" (the inverted comas are for the latter) our country.

Those days the Sultan may end up fighting in wars to protect his country and subjects. Can you imagine, I dunno, say Nazrin protecting our country against enemies in war? Nope, don't think so. Most of the Sultans have mansions overseas to run to in case some shit happens in our country.

What happens when the ruler fails to rule? What happens when tax payers are unhappy? Are we going to be happy when Sultan kills civilians (covenant is automatically broken then), and we have Adam running rampage in amok for vengeance. Things change. They always do like everything else in the universe. Indeed, what happens when the oppressed are unhappy? One word, or maybe two...French Revolution.....

PahNur said...

I have two words for Anwar, "up his..."