Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
There was a time you could say that Pakatan Harapan cheated voters with fake manifesto pledges and hope that your audience would applause. One year and three months later, if you’re still blowing the same trumpet, hoping that your audience will somehow grow, you may as well boil your eggs a little longer, hoping that the two you already have in the pot will turn into four. Let’s face it, everyone who has an ear knows what you have been saying and probably made his (or her) mind up a long time ago. If you keep playing the same tune, he (or she) is going to stop listening to you and will look the other way to see what PH is saying.
That, in essence, is where the Federal Opposition is failing. The fact that some PH politicians were smug about their electoral win and how they fabricated a manifesto book to win the general election does tend to induce some throw-something-at-the-television-rage, I grant you that. But when you find that you’re spending all your time reminding people the same thing over and over again, you know that your time is up. And if it isn’t already up, it will be in due time when PH starts to offer solutions to problems it itself created.
Yes, there is an endgame to all this which the Federal Opposition fails to see. Apart from standing a cat in hells chance of gaining control of government if parliament were to be dissolved tomorrow (follow link below to discover why this is), its leaders are too obsessed with the need to be in power again that they’re spending far too much resources on demonising PH and next to nothing on research to discover how, why and where they failed. And yes, they’ve done nothing to figure out how best to tap into the conscience of the young voter.
I keep saying, the 18 to 40 year old segment will account for almost 50 per cent of the voting population come the 15thgeneral election. This segment is far more ‘westernised’ and liberalised than any of us can imagine and does not resonate well with seemingly discriminative policies. If you’re objective enough to say that the LGBT community needs help and that you’re willing to help them, you score. If your contention is that the community is a nuisance and needs to be crucified, you fail.
You fail not because you’re anti-LGBT but because you’re presenting rage and not solutions. That’s the hidden game – to showcase your anger. By saying nothing, PH ends up triggering debates among members of the younger generation who’re smart enough to ask if it is wrong for the LGBT community to speak up. I actually participated in one such discussion. The group I was with pointed out that there were two distinct issues at play here – one, the right for the LGBT community to voice opinions, and two, the willingness of the Government of Malaysia (GoM) to help the community.
I pointed out that accepting the LGBT way of life was a no-go as Malaysia is Muslim majority. I did, however, say that an individual who identifies himself (or herself) as gay did have the right to speak out like every other citizen. The onus would then be on the GoM to reach out to the individual and educate him (or her) in hopes that he (or she) could be rehabilitated and adjusted back into society. To outright shun a person for being gay without offering help is downright wrong and somewhat criminal.
Ironically, there was a time when that proved to be a worthwhile strategy in that it impressed a sizeable number of people. But the average 18-year-old today is far more knowledgeable than the average 18-year-old was back in my day. The advent of the internet and the smartphone is responsible for this, and there’s absolutely no stopping the youth from discovering things. Gone are the days when the GoM seemed so knowledgeable that anything its ministers said would be taken as gospel by the little Ahmads and Ah Bengs.
LGBT, ICERD, the Statute of Rome – and now, jawi and khat – these are all but PH engineered diversions to showcase just how enraged the opposition can get and how rigid its leaders are. This isn’t make belief or a theory I’m cooking up. This is something that was actually discussed by a number of strategists from PH. You will soon find the GoM presenting solutions to problems it itself created to demonstrate just how ‘compromising’ and ‘caring’ it is. And if you’re thinking, “well, at least the opposition scored big with the older generation on ICERD and the Statute of Rome,” think again.
By the time the 15thgeneral election draws near, PH will list down the number of issues it backed down from and tell you it is a helluva lot more compromising than UMNO or PAS leaders are. You will then find people like Lim Kit Siang agreeing that the LGBT community cannot be accepted in Malaysia and that the GoM is determined to reach out to its members to help rehabilitate them. When that happens, you will know its time to close shop and accept the fact that the opposition will need some 10 to 20 years before it can get its finger back on the pulse of the nation.
I’m just saying…