“INSECURITY.” It is a state of lacking in confidence. In some instances, it may prompt some people, panic-stricken, to lash out.
A hypothetical case: Fei Mao wavers in his focus to win the 100m sprint due to the presence of world champion Usain Bolt, grinning right next to him on the track; the former blames his luck and curses the universe.
And of late, it appears that similar sentiment is gripping several Pakatan Harapan leaders following what was perceived as a “campaign” to band Malay politicians together under a single banner, without DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).
Here’s the twist. In that narrative, former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is said to be the man behind the mission, a bizarre outcome that had Hishammuddin scratching his head, so he said.
The controversy was spawned from his social media posting.
Among others, it primarily touched on the importance of unity, an endeavour that he stressed must be spearheaded by political leaders across the divide.
It was penned after a call by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for all Malay parties to unite under common interests at the Malay Dignity Congress in Shah Alam.
Hishammuddin’s intention can be viewed as pertinent to cool heightened racial sensitivities over several issues of late.
However, Hishammuddin’s branded “mission” met with an annoyed response from Pakatan Harapan Secretariat, which issued a statement urging him to stop his “campaign”.
While the Sembrong member of parliament had stressed that it was not his intention to destabilise the ruling government, it appears that he has inadvertently caused a political storm that could potentially boil over.
When several newsmen asked the secretariat’s chief, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, on Hishammuddin’s alleged campaign to drive out DAP and Amanah from a new unified government, the answer could not have been more subtle.
Reporter: “How did you conclude that it (uniting the parties) was Hishammuddin’s idea?”
Saifuddin: “You have to look at the newspaper’s articles and its cover. It is self-explanatory.”
Saifuddin appeared to have laced his definitive answer in reference to the cover of the New Straits Times on Oct 14, featuring pictures of the hoisted flags of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malay-sia, Umno, Pas and PKR next to each other.
In retrospect, the flags are actually a representation of the politicians interviewed for the article, who were asked to comment on Hishammuddin’s thoughts.
Think of it as a group of superheroes on a movie poster — they have to appear in the story, no matter how small it is; being missing from the poster doesn’t mean you are out of the superhero outfit.
We can’t help but wonder if someone is reading too much into NST’s front page and the article.
If we are wrong, then we can only be thankful that there are thinking politicians in our midst.
Nevertheless, the conundrum has yet to abate at this time.
The knee-jerk reaction against the posting and the events that followed have only suggested that insecurity has been building up somewhere in the political stratosphere.
Even if we refrain from reading too much into it, it is inevitable that insecurity could have reared its ugly head and even led to cracks.
The best manifestation of a reactionary response was perhaps issued by the PKR central leadership on Friday night, where the party warned against saboteurs and “elements from the old regime” making moves against it and the ruling coalition.
Political analyst Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi proposed that based on the statement, the controversy had spilt into another political dispute, which is the succession of the country’s premiership.
“I believe the current political scenario is more complex, especially with the impending change of guard, from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Based on the statement, it can result in a less-than-stable political situation.”
So, how insecure are some segments in PH?