Imagine if former US president George W. Bush – the man who invaded Iraq, caused untold suffering, and who destabilised the Middle East – decided to come back from retirement.
Imagine if he says he wants to “save Iraq”, undo Obama’s mess, and bring peace to the region. And he shows the whole world his wonderful plan. Would anyone believe him? Would Iraqis?
This is how I feel about Pakatan’s manifesto, which is an under- appreciated masterpiece in the not-so-subtle art of “tak tau malu”. Trust me, reading it is an epically surreal experience without the need for illegal drugs. Every few sentences, it makes you go “What the (expletive)”.
Take one of Pakatan’s central pledges: The posts of prime minister, menteri besar and chief minister will be limited to two terms only. Oh, really now? I guess that doesn’t apply to their PM candidate, who was PM for 22 years. According to my admittedly amateurish calculations, that’s more than four terms.
Worse, Pakatan later clarified that the term limits wouldn’t apply (retroactively) to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng or Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali. Lim is now gunning for his third term in office.
Look, if you’re going to come up with a stupid rule (and I’m against term limits), at least make sure you’re following the rule yourself lah. Why make your hypocrisy so blatant that it’s insulting?
The manifesto also describes in detail the many injuries Umno-BN inflicted on the rakyat. “Zalim” this, “kezaliman” that. But who was really responsible for all the “kezaliman” and wrongs they mentioned? Here are a couple of useful examples:
They slammed the Astro and Bernas monopolies. But who was the PM when those monopolies were set up?
They slammed the lopsided highway toll agreements. But who was the PM when those toll agreements were signed?
They slammed rampant cronyism. But who was the PM that they previously blamed the most for cronyism? Go watch video clips of their 2008 and 2013 ceramahs.
What’s hilarious is, half-way through Pakatan’s manifesto, you realise this purportedly anti-Najib, anti-BN document is actually a long tirade against the Mahathir era. If Pakatan wants to convince me that Mahathir is unfit to be PM again, “tak payah” lah. I’m already there – I agree 100%!
Some may argue that Mahathir’s public acceptance of Pakatan’s proposals show that he has finally turned a new leaf. Please lah. Just last year, he said he didn’t regret sacking Anwar Ibrahim in 1998. Then this week, he said he shouldn’t have acted against Anwar. Are you kidding me?
I’m genuinely curious: Who believes anything Mahathir says at this point? Who believes he will stick to his word and won’t U-turn again? And are they the same people who fall for Nigerian e-mail scams?
Others will say Mahathir is the best person to right his own wrongs. Fine. Then George W Bush should be the UN’s peace envoy to the Middle East. Kim Jong-Un should head a UN committee on nuclear disarmament. And Tiger Woods should be a marriage counsellor.
Hey, don’t blame me. I’m just going by the absurd logic of Pakatan’s manifesto. It reminds us of Mahathir’s “kezaliman”, cronyism and mismanagement, and then offers him as the solution. Huh?
So, I strongly encourage BN to distribute copies of Pakatan’s manifesto at ceramahs. It makes for fantastic campaign material! It may be called “Buku Harapan”, but it’s actually “Beribu Dalil Kenapa Mahathir Tidak Boleh Jadi PM (Sekali Lagi)”. –www.freemalaysiatoday.com
-Sebastian Loh is an FMT reader.–