Guan Eng is pretending he was not aware of the PAS-Pribumi talks on Thursday and only found out about it after reading the newspapers. Actually, Guan Eng is just main wayang. He not only knew beforehand but was actually behind it. Guan Eng realises that PAN and Pribumi cannot bring in the Malay votes so they need PAS back in Pakatan. And Pribumi was supposed to entice PAS to rejoin the opposition coalition so that the Malay votes can be secured.
PAKATAN’S GAME OF THRONES
Yesterday, Malaysia Today published an article titled ‘Guan Eng gila talak’ . We also reported that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said, “We have given our views as a member of Pakatan Harapan (regarding Thursday’s PAS-Pribumi meeting). We were not told about it before, but only read about the talks in newspapers.”
Actually, Guan Eng is just main wayang or playing drama, his game of deception and disinformation. According to information from ‘insiders’, plus according to the Boffin Boys in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s office, Guan Eng was not only fully-aware beforehand about the meeting but he was actually the one who had planned the meeting. Guan Eng is just pretending he was not aware about the meeting and that he only found out about it from the newspapers.
In politics and in the art of negotiations this is called ‘fall-back position’. You never send your number one to such sensitive meetings or meetings that are rife with uncertainties. You send your number two so that you have a fall-back. Then, when the meeting is not going well, you can give the excuse that you do not have the power or authority to decide and you need to go back to the ‘boss’ to get his approval. So you leave the meeting without any resolution or commitment. If the number one himself attends the meeting then you have no fall-back. What excuse are you going to give when you yourself are in the meeting?
For such an important meeting Hadi should have been the one to attend
PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang knew that Pribumi had no power-authority to decide anything. That power-authority lies with DAP. If anything is going to happen it can only happen if DAP says it can happen. And the fact that Guan Eng pretended that DAP was not aware of the meeting and only found out from the newspapers showed that they are just playing wayang with PAS.
So, Hadi was not in the meeting, and neither was the head of the Dewan Ulama, Dr Mahfodz Mohamed. Instead, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Mustafa Ali a.k.a. Cikgu Pa, Takiyuddin Hassan, and Ustaz Idris Ahmad attended. So that means the four will still have to ‘go back to the boss’, the Dewan Ulama being the most crucial, before anything is going to happen.
This was also what was reported yesterday:
“He (Mukhriz) explained to me about what happened, but when I saw him, he seemed a bit confused about PAS’ stand on things,” Lim told reporters during a visit to Kuantan Road here today. Lim said Mukhriz’s confusion is understandable, as it was likely caused by disagreement between PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
“When I read the BN newspapers today, I understand the situation better. It appears the president and his deputy have clashed on the their thoughts on the matter. But I am sure he (Mukhriz) will continue with his discussions,” Lim said.
Why Mukhriz? Where was Muhyiddin?
This is utter bullshit. Guan Eng is admitting that the PAS-Pribumi meeting failed but he put the blame for the failure on the disagreement between the number one and number two in PAS. That is not true. What Guan Eng did not reveal is that the meeting failed because PAS stipulated that for any agreement or collaboration between PAS and Pribumi to happen, the first thing that Pribumi must do is they must publicly announce that the party does not oppose the Sharia Amendment Bill a.k.a. RUU355.
DAP, of course, will never accept this. And that is why Guan Eng announced that DAP was not aware of the meeting and that the meeting failed because of the differences of opinion between the number one and number two in PAS. Guan Eng cannot tell us that DAP knew beforehand about the meeting and was, in fact, behind the meeting, and that the meeting failed because PAS wanted Pribumi to not oppose RUU355 and DAP cannot agree to that.
Such an admission would be evidence that DAP calls the shots and that Pakatan Harapan is a DAP-led coalition and that nothing happens in Pakatan Harapan without DAP’s approval. Hence the only credible excuse would be that DAP was not aware of the meeting and it failed because of internal problems within PAS.
The whole reason DAP closed down Pakatan Rakyat in 2015 was because of RUU355, although the other reason was because PAS supported Azmin Ali and not Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the Selangor Menteri Besar. At that time DAP was more worried about their Chinese voters, which is DAP’s number one priority, so they had to get rid of PAS by closing down Pakatan Rakyat.
DAP knows that Mahathir cannot deliver the Malay votes after all because he sold out the Malays
DAP thought that once PAN a.k.a. Amanah is formed, and once Mahathir forms his new party (which they had been talking about since mid-2015), PAS would no longer be relevant. PAN could take away at least 200,000 of the one million PAS members while Pribumi can take not less than one million Umno members. With 1.2 million ex-PAS and ex-Umno Malays in the new Pakatan Harapan, the next general election will be more or less secured. Rafizi Ramli, in fact, predicted that if this were to happen the opposition will be able to win at least 125-130 parliament seats against only 92-97 for Barisan Nasional.
But that did not happen. PAN got only 20,000 members while Pribumi is struggling at only 10,000. Last night they boasted that Pribumi attracted 2,000 people at a FELDA ceramah, meaning to say that they have fantastic support. They also attracted 50,000 people in Sanggang and Indera Kayangan but they still lost those two by-elections. So don’t let crowds mislead you like in the two recent Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections.
DAP knows that unless they can get PAS back into the opposition coalition the next general election is going to be a tough one. In the 1995, 1999 and 2004 general elections, DAP won only 9, 10 and 12 parliament seats respectively. It was 28 parliament seats in 2008 and 38 in 2013 because of Pakatan Rakyat. So, without Pakatan Rakyat, or rather without PAS as part of Pakatan Harapan, and if DAP has to depend only on Chinese votes, then the opposition is going to win less than 70 parliament seats with 152 seats going to Barisan Nasional.
And that would mean Barisan Nasional is not only going to win the next general election but is going to win with a two-thirds majority as well. And to make sure that even if Barisan Nasional does still win the next general election it will not be with a two-thirds majority, PAS must be brought back as a member of Pakatan Harapan.
First move, stop PAS and Umno from talking, then, second move, bring PAS back into Pakatan
This was what Thursday’s meeting between PAS and Pribumi, which DAP masterminded, was all about. DAP is worried that PAS and Umno are cozying up and are cooperating on certain non-political NGO work, yesterday’s project being one of many examples
So the first thing DAP needs to do is to break that relationship between PAS and Umno before it develops into something more serious. Currently, PAS and Umno are merely ‘dating’ and have not ‘gone steady yet’. They are not even sleeping together let alone talking about marriage. But before the PAS-Umno relationship progresses any further, DAP has got to break them up.
The next step would be: DAP has to entice PAS into rejoining the opposition coalition. As Rafizi said, if Pakatan Harapan wants to win at least 125-130 parliament seats (against only 92-97 for Barisan Nasional) then it has to be with the help of the Malay votes. And Guan Eng knows PAN and Pribumi cannot deliver those Malay votes so, for this to happen, it has to be with PAS back in the opposition coalition.
DAP is hunting with the hounds and running with the hares. Guan Eng thought he can play this deception and disinformation game and get away with it. They support Mahathir’s son for Prime Minister if Mahathir supports Lim Kit Siang for Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister: a win-win situation for both. But this is now no longer a secret and something the Malays can never accept. And without the Malay votes DAP cannot carry Pakatan Harapan with just 65-70 seats in parliament.
Guan Eng also knows that PAN will never be able to talk to PAS. PAS and PAN hate each other the way DAP hates Hudud. Not even PKR can talk to PAS unless Anwar Ibrahim is prepared to issue a statement from prison saying that PKR does not oppose RUU355. The only group that can talk to PAS would be Pribumi, or so Guan Eng thought.
However, Pribumi has to pretend that they support RUU355 and has to tell PAS, just like what PAN did, that they secretly support RUU355 but cannot openly say that or else they would be jeopardising the Chinese votes, which are very crucial to DAP and Pakatan Harapan. If they openly endorse RUU355, DAP would get very upset and may even refuse to have anything to do with Pribumi.
Dr Mahfodz Mohamed, head of the Dewan Ulama PAS, has written off DAP for good: talak tiga
But PAS is no longer accepting this ‘we secretly support RUU355 but cannot openly admit it’ song and dance routine. Fahmi Fadzil, PKR’s Communications Chief, said that in 2015. Anwar Ibrahim also said the same thing. And Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali joined the choir. PAN also says the same thing. And now Pribumi is humming the same tune and dancing to the same song (they secretly support RUU355 but cannot openly say that or else they would be jeopardising the Chinese votes).
That is no longer good enough for PAS. If Pribumi wants PAS to work with Pakatan Harapan then they must first openly declare that they are not opposed to RUU355. Furthermore, it has to be a PAS-PKR-Pribumi alliance without DAP and PAN. Pribumi cannot agree to that, of course, which was why the talks collapsed on Thursday (and not due to the reason that Guan Eng gave).
DAP and Guan Eng realise that PAS is very crucial to the future of Pakatan Harapan. And if PAS does not join Pakatan Harapan, and instead cozy up to Umno, then Barisan Nasional may actually win the next general election with a two-thirds majority in parliament. Even Rafizi has openly admitted that.
In their strategy to ensure they do not jeopardise the Chinese votes and still garner 90% of the Chinese votes in the next general election, DAP slipped up on one very important issue, which is you are robbing Peter to pay Paul. By focusing on the Chinese votes, DAP forsake the Malay votes. But then DAP thought this is no major problem because they can easily get back the lost PAS votes through PAN and gain even more Malay votes once Mahathir forms his new party and takes away maybe one million or so Umno supporters.
Muhyiddin’s many scandals are also bringing down Pribumi
But the 200,000 PAS members-supporters joining PAN and the one million Umno members-supporters joining Pribumi did not materialise. In fact, with PAS and Umno now able to talk to one another (even if not yet sleeping together or never will) that means PAN and Pribumi are dead ducks. And that also means they must break the PAS-Umno relationship and get PAS to join the opposition coalition again, for the fourth time in history (since 1990, 1999 and 2008).
Yes, this will be the fourth marriage to the same partner every nine years for PAS (1990, 1999, 2008 and now 2017). But there is such a thing called talak tiga. And to marry a fourth time after talak tiga you need a Cina buta. Malays understand what this means and if you are not Malay then too bad for you, your loss. So, Pribumi was supposed to be that Cina buta. If PAS can first ‘marry’ Pribumi then the next step would be it can ‘remarry’ Pakatan Harapan. That was Guan Eng’s Cina buta strategy to overcome the talak tigadilemma.
When Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was kicked out of Umno in 1988, half of Umno (in fact, half the Cabinet as well) followed him. But then Tengku Razaleigh formed his new party three days before Umno re-registered their party, Umno Baru. Hence the reason for the exodus. When Anwar Ibrahim was kicked out of Umno ten years later in 1998 the same thing happened. Anwar formed his new party and the membership touched 200,000.
Mukhriz’s removal forced Mahathir’s hand and it was downhill all the way thereafter
Guan Eng thought that the same thing would happen in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s case last year. But Najib was too smart for Mahathir. Najib knew if he kicked Mahathir out like they did with Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar, and if Mahathir forms a new party like Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar did, there might be another exodus. So Najib did not kick Mahathir out. He kept quiet and tolerated Mahathir’s nonsense for more than a year. Instead, in July 2015, Najib beheaded Mahathir’s Trojan horses who were plotting his ouster and, in February 2016, got rid of Mukhriz knowing that this will spur Mahathir to resign.
Najib knew he has strong grassroots support and was even once the Umno Youth Leader (which Mahathir was not). So, if he pancung Mukhriz and Mahathir resigns, like what Najib knew would happen, that would not have any adverse affect on Umno. Mahathir would be going alone with no exodus behind him. And this was what DAP did not take into consideration.
And that is precisely what Mahathir did, he resigned. However, instead of forming his new party straight away, like what Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar did in 1988 and 1999 respectively, Mahathir played footsie with DAP. And that killed it for Mahathir. After making it known that he was going to serve DAP’s agenda, he formed his new party. But by then the Malays did not want to have anything to do with Pribumi other than his dedak-eaters, as Mahathir is fond of saying.
Hell, even Ibrahim Ali is distancing himself from Pribumi in spite of Mahathir being behind the formation of Perkasa. In spite of all the nasty things many say about Ibrahim Ali, even he is smart enough to know that Mahathir was committing political suicide by becoming DAP’s tool, like what Zaid Ibrahim did and is now political history.
And these are things that Guan Eng and his Chinese DAP do not understand. Malay values are very different from Chinese values. And that is why Guan Eng and DAP made mistakes and now need to do a U-turn and get Pribumi to try to bring PAS back into Pakatan Harapan. But then PAS knows they do not need DAP while DAP needs PAS. So PAS simply said, “Announce openly that you do not oppose RUU355 then we can talk again. If not the talks end here with a ‘no deal’.”
Even Mahathir loyalist and diehard, Ibrahim Ali, cannot accept Mahathir’s betrayal of selling out to DAP
Raja Petra Kamarudin