Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Is it a thriller or a soap opera?

Brave New World (The Star)
15 February 2017


SOMETIMES it is good to step back and look at things dispassionately.
Let’s take the resignation of the four key DAP members in Malacca. As usual, when such things happen, accusations fly back and forth.
Terms like traitor are bandied around and it’s all very hot. But this is Malaysia and things like this just get forgotten by the general public after a while. A short while actually.
This being the case, I doubt that these resignations will have any serious consequences. In the next election, I seriously don’t think that the foursome will have any luck if they stand as independents.
Sure, it makes the party look bad and the Barisan Nasional will be jumping over each other to score political points, but so what?
Politically speaking, the country is as divided as it can be. I think people’s minds are pretty much made up as to which side of the fence they are sitting. If anything, there might be a sense of being fed up with it all and there may be a sense of disillusionment amongst some quarters.
I can’t say for certain, of course, as there has been no report of such a survey conducted, but my sense is that the optimism of the last two general elections is depleted.
Anyway, in the bigger picture, some infighting in DAP amounts to a hill of beans.
So, as a dispassionate observer, what do I think will be interesting?
For me, it is the “will they or won’t they” question hanging over PAS and Umno. As it stands, these two remind me of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in the early days of that excruciating TV show, Moonlighting. I leave it to you to imagine which party is Willis and which is Shepherd.
People were fascinated to see if these two characters would finally get it on. I have the same feeling watching PAS and Umno in their elaborate courtship dance. They are now both defenders of Islam, it would seem, and there’s hand-holding and shared legislative ambitions. The courtship seems obvious; it is just the consummation that is not quite clear yet.
PAS has already said it will not work with DAP and Amanah. This means that unless there is a cataclysmic split in Harapan, there will be two opposition blocks: Harapan and PAS.
This would play straight into the hands of the BN because the only feasible winner in a three-cornered fight will be them. Surely PAS knows this, so what will their game plan be? Go for it alone and risk losing seats? They already said they won’t work with the Opposition. So what does this mean? Will they finally fall into the loving arms of Umno?
Only time will tell, but I wish they would just get on with it. There’s only so much coy flirtation one can take in any soap opera.

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