It has been demonstrated over and over again recently that conviction politics pays. People are fed up of “politics of pragmatism”. Of politicians who do and say (or not as may be the case) what they feel is necessary to get into power.
People want politicians with a heart. They want politicians with the courage of their convictions and who wear it on their sleeves. People demand transparency.
Bernie Sanders nearly pulled it off despite the Democratic Party Establishment working against him. Who would have thought that a self-declared socialist would have appeal in the U. S. of A. – the Mecca of Capitalism. He criticised Israel for its handling of the Palestinian issue, knowing that the Jewish lobby is so powerful. The experts said he was committing political suicide. But here is someone who wore his heart on his sleeve and it nearly paid off.
Macron has no factions behind him in his party. Rather than give in to the party, which backed another candidate, he formed his own. En Marche is two years old, it had no right to win if you listen to the old school political pundits, but it did.
Jeremy Corbyn despite the sabotage of the Blairites and ‘New Labour’ MPs, who were more interested in furthering their personal agendas than reform, surprised all the pundits and pollsters who gave him no chance.
The common denominator in all the above is: CONVICTION POLITICS.
Speaking from the heart
Instead of telling the people what they think the people want to hear, they all spoke from the heart – against the experts’ advice.
What is the lesson here for us in Malaysia?
It is sad to see DAP, Amanah and PKR turn to the Politics of Expedience rather than stick with its Politics of Conviction which has brought them to where they are now.
Today they go to bed with Mahathir because they think he can help them across the finish line. Zaid, an important member of DAP even suggested Mahathir should be prime minister. And has now come up with a cabinet line-up.
If they had got this far without consorting with people of dubious reputation and opposing ideals, why now? Have they lost faith in their own convictions? Have they lost their moral compass – surely it is gross insincerity and dishonesty to consort with someone you have detested and opposed for decades. What has PPBM got in common with the others? What exactly does it stand for? A partnership based just on getting rid of a corrupt leader will not last. It’s like “pakating” with the old devil to exorcise the new. When that is achieved will not the old devil possess you?
The fact that Lim Kit Siang has lauded Mahathir, and no one in the three parties has contradicted Zaid, suggests that they agree with him.
Is this lot the same as the last one?
What does this tell the public? That this lot is the same as the last lot! That they will do anything to get into power. Voters are not fools – at least not all the time – they can smell insincerity. Dishonesty has its own perculiar stench. Such actions have dented the credibility of the three parties in the eyes of many neutrals.
The only plausible reason for consorting with Mahathir is that he can garner the Malay votes. Can he? I submit that there are just as many against him as there are for him.
The Malay masses are fed up; when sixty years of UMNO-BN rule has seen a few Malays become uber rich while the rest risk sliding backwards. Today, FELDA is no longer UMNO’s fixed deposit. Najib is doing a good job in driving the Malays to the Opposition. They don’t need Mahathir. The rakyat is ready for change.
Whatever their party numbers-crunchers tell them and whatever the assorted practitioners of mumbo jumbo may say, voters want to know what you really stand for, not what you think they want you to stand for and change your clothes accordingly. They want honest politics – pardon the oxymoron.
Sanders, Macron, Corbyn . . . need I say more?
DAP, PKR and Amanah must come clean on the Mahathir issue and not treat voters like fools.
“This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man . . .” Polonius (William Shakespeare – Hamlet).
By Yin, Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan.
The views expressed are those of the contributor.