‘Harapan did not lose Kimanis because BN won. BN won because Harapan lost.’

Kimanis defeat: Dr M says policies take time, can’t expect overnight results

Hmmmmmmmm: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I think Malaysians in general are very reasonable people. We have a high tolerance for leaders who make mistakes and it usually takes a lot to rile us.

Something must be very wrong for us to ask any leader to step down.

There is a very big difference between implementing policies which take a long time to bear fruits and not implementing policies at all. How long does it take to ratify Icerd (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) and the Rome Statute (of the International Criminal Court)?

A long time, because the will to do right is just not there. It all boils down to your will. Malaysians can see through your will based on your words and actions.

If you are not careful, you could very well end up as the most hated PM in Malaysia. That would take some beating with Bossku in the ring. So there. I have done your post-mortem on the Kimanis defeat for you.

Vijay47: Plucking your head slightly out of the sand may be a small start, Mahathir, but using KitSiangesque phrases like “Kimanis voters have not yet embraced the Pakatan Harapan administration” gets you nowhere.

You should have been honest enough to admit: “The people are extremely disappointed with Harapan’s performance, there has been too large a gulf between promise and implementation.”

We cannot deny that time may be a factor in fulfilling elections pledges, yes, we cannot expect policy changes to industry, agriculture, education, or finance to manifest themselves overnight but this is not true across the board.

Removing at least some of the universally condemned laws, like detention without trial, without bail, could have been achieved in the 18 months you have been the government.

However, there was no political will to effect this, you discovered to your gleeful pleasure that such obnoxious laws could be as beneficial to you as they were to Umno previously. So why re-invent the wheel when a better mousetrap was not necessary?

Looking back at the new government’s achievements since it came to power, we are shocked – like former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak perpetually is – that there is not much difference between Harapan and Umno.

To quote a few examples – the misuse of government machinery for party purposes, police neutrality and efficiency, granting contracts to favoured sons, the giving of bribes and similar incentives during by-elections under the guise of “They ask, we must give”, which only reaffirms our conviction that the quality of Harapan leaders at almost all levels is shamefully rotten.

While they may have not been too evident in Kimanis, the race and religion antics of former education minister Maszlee Malik and corps did not really endear the government to almost half the population though the minister was not alone in such efforts.

Controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik is too insignificant a detail for us to bother with but what is worrisome, and even frightening, is the prevailing “Malay thing” attitude that seems to have nestled deep within Harapan to a degree far worse than during Umno rule.

Tanjung Piai was not a one-off, this dissatisfaction will come calling again at the next urban election – even the people’s one-time darling Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will not find it a walk in the Esplanade Park.

The sequence of early wins and present loses paints a telling story – at the start, the rakyat were trusting and tolerant but soon enough they saw the government’s true colours and the pendulum has begun swinging the other way.

The call is yours, Mahathir, the ball is in your court, the honeymoon is long over. The tide in the affairs of man is here, take it at the flood and lead us all to fortune.

Otherwise, you will have all the time in the world to write your next book, ‘Elections – How to Win and Lose Them in One Fell Swoop’.

Quigonbond: Mahathir, there’s really no need to further examine things. You’ll find that the voters have rejected you to continue ad infinitum as PM. There is no love lost for BN, it’s to send you another message after the Tanjung Piai by-election fell on deaf ears, as if that was not deafening enough.

It’s no longer good enough to say ‘if they want me to go, I will go’ or nonsense like ‘others may not want Anwar Ibrahim but I will keep my promise’, or let your minions (including Azmin Ali) speak in support of your continuation.

Nothing short of a clear transition deadline will satisfy the voting public now. Do you really want Harapan to fall? You think Umno will forgive you?

There is no turning back. You need to embrace the good that came out of GE14, which is the yearning of enough Malaysian voters to want to break away from race and religion and to see change so that we become a more equitable, accountable, transparent and open society.

Give Harapan’s reform agenda a chance by getting out of the way of progress. Leave on a high note where Malaysians are forever grateful to you for realising a two-party system.

Kural: It is worrying to hear a leader of some 40 years behind him say that it takes time to see results of policy changes while much of the discontent seems to border on the inability of the present government to effect changes or introduce measures to such effect to some of the pressing sociocultural issues.

To ask for time could be assumed by the public as lack of resoluteness to introduce the promises as pledged prior to the elections. Surely there are some constructive measures, especially given the plight of present governance, that can be established with some urgency.

For example, this could include proscribing certain manner of racially and religiously discriminatory practices contrary to the national constitution. This could also include certain rationalisation of the much and long talked about inadequacies in the civil service.

Hang Babeuf: Harapan did not lose Kimanis because BN won. BN won because Harapan lost. Not only lost the election. But long before that lost direction, lost credibility, lost its “hope” and the ability to offer hope.

When one ponders this and asks why it happened, the brief answer presents itself.

It was Mahathir’s doing, his own handiwork. It was the consequence of his capture of Harapan for his Bersatu party as a vehicle for his own very non-Harapan political vision, aspirations and agenda.

It has been the consequence and direct result of Mahathir’s seizure, capture and purloining of Harapan’s popular mandate for his own personal purposes and political cause.

Its democratic mandate seized and stolen, Harapan cannot face the people with sufficient credibility and conviction to win their support. It can no longer win elections.

Your doing, Tun.