By Kaki Bedal
Once bitten twice shy. A perfect English saying about a lesson well learnt which in other words explaining about human nature to avoid making the same mistake twice.
For a lot of Malaysia’s voters, Pakatan Harapan (PH) represents a lesson to be remembered, not just about bad choices but also reflecting how good Barisan Nasional (BN) has proven to be to the country.
After 22 months of endless political infighting and many promises unkept, PH fall from power is not only timely but merited.
Former Prime Minister for 22 years and 22 months in his second spell, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, knew PH had not been able to serve the country well not only because of the Anwar Ibrahim issue but a multitude of other reasons too – the latest being the expose about former Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng inept handling of the economy and historic 101 direct negotiations awarded projects.
Nobody is saying it but the RM6.61 billion valued projects is even more damaging to the mind-set of the public perception as it goes against PH own assurance to stick to open tender and an even more ‘loss’, in such a short time – on a level higher than 1MDB.
The other more if not equally damaging reasons are definitely the badly managed palm oil issue and Felda settlers welfare, the Tabung Haji assets sell-off and continued insults against the Malay Muslim majority.
Though partly his fault due to political vendetta against Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Mahathir by resigning from office was in itself an admission and acknowledgement of the failures of PH under his leadership to take the country forward as the Malaysia Baharu era failed to take off if at all.
The failure of PH explains the rise of Barisan Nasional (BN) once again, this time with the additional banner of Muafakat Nasional (MN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Now that the people and voters can compare between PH and BN, it’s clearly in their interest to support BN in a bloc of MN/PN.
If one would like to ask about which part can best summed up a BN administered government previously and now under PN, it is the ‘listening to the rakyat’ part, an obvious big deficiency during PH time.
The current Prime Minister himself has an Umno/BN background and through the years of BN leadership, knows and understand that ‘listening’ part, that one has to cater to the people’s needs or suggestions when facing an issue.
Throughout BN years of administration, internal or political infighting never stopped BN to listen to the people on their needs and at the same time developing the country.
Let’s just say the country as a house as an analogy.
The house is well built by BN though little things here and there need fixing.
Unfortunately, PH even failed to hammer the right screws. When a fire started, PH failed to use water but choose petrol instead. So the fire became bigger.
Slim by-election result is the latest confirmation that the rakyat don’t want to be bitten once again, a seventh consecutive time BN won.
The Sabah state election is next and perhaps the 15th General Election too after that.
I wager the electorate won’t like to be under the thumb of Darth Vader like figure again and will put their faith on a Luke Skywalker type leader, an understanding, friendly and open to suggestions kind of personality.
In just a few short months, under BN/MN/PN, all the allegations about the country going bancrupt were shown to be a lie, Malaysia is among the most successful in combating Covid-19 and stability has return stronger.
BN therefore will continue to rise. Simply because it respects the wishes of the rakyat and looks to address the needs of the country at the same time.
- The writer is an experienced analyst and media practitioner of nearly 30 years in the industry