The joke is on Haris Ibrahim
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall accept Mahathir and Muhyiddin to lead the Dapsters
Last night at an opposition function in Padang Rengas, Muhyiddin Yassin proposed, “Maybe we can name the new coalition between Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu as Barisan Rakyat – Barisan Rakyat to fight against Barisan Nasional”.
Pakatan Harapan is presently DAP, PKR and PAN.
But once the new Hope coalition formally teams up with Mahathir’s party, then the rebooted opposition will become Barisan Rakyat and led by the Malay First Muhyiddin (at least in name, seeing as how DAP prefers to be the power behind the throne).
For GE14, it will be Barisan Rakyat fronted by Muhyiddin, controlled by Mahahtir vs the ruling party BN.
BELOW: Barisan Rakyat poster designed by a Haris-Bangsa Malaysia supporter and featured prominently in Haris’ blog throughout the past years
Genesis of the name ‘Barisan Rakyat’
Haris Ibrahim had released the opposition manifesto called the ‘People’s Declaration’ in February 2008, i.e. a couple of weeks before the 12th general election.
GE12 cost the BN its 2/3 majority as well as sweeping the opposition into power in five states on top of gobbling 3/4 of the Federal Terrirory parliament seats.
The People’s Declaration – Haris being its chief architect – was the social contract herding the Anak Bangsa Malaysia flock towards the opposition pasture.
In early 2008, the Barisan Rakyat civil society umbrella loosely covered DAP, PKR and PAS before the triumvirate later opted for the ‘Pakatan’ moniker.
Four days after the historic election, Haris said on 12 March 2008, “I believe every single Barisan Rakyat MP and Adun that we have elected has our interests at heart” irrespective of the YB’s race or religion.
Back in March 2008, Muhyiddin was the Umno vice president and enemy of Barisan Rakyat. Back in 2008, DAP-PKR-PAS were the three strange amigos.
Presently it is the life-long Umno man (only recently quit Umno) who is touted as Barisan Rakyat’s PM-puppet-in-waiting.
DAP and PAS are bitter enemies while PKR and PAS are increasingly estranged.
What has Haris been fighting for, really?
The perjuangan of Haris Ibrahim – as the human rights activist himself understood it – is to save Malaysia from Umno and the BN. Haris initiated the Anything But Umno ABU movement.
The national leader Haris holds most responsible for Malaysia’s downward slide in human rights is Dr Mahathir. Haris also holds Dr M to be the country’s Father of Racism. Like the Dapsters, Haris is one of the most vocal anti-racist ideologues.
Yet today the Harapan Baru opposition has accepted Dr M as their necessary saviour to lead the ‘Save Malaysia’ movement. The supreme irony of it all, eh?
Karmic evolution of Bersih from 1 to 5
Haris was among the founding leaders of Bersih in 2007. He was similarly a member of the Bersih 2.0 steering committee.
Don’t forget that Tun Mahathir is the person most despised by Haris. Muhyiddin the Malay First has also been consistently mocked by the colour-blind, beyond-creed Haris.
So imagine Haris’ chagrin when Bersih 5 was hijacked by Tun & Muhyiddin. Mind you, Haris is someone who did not even want to be in the same room the year that Tun was invited to speak at the BUM bloggers’ event.
Haris must be wondering how Ubah proponents such as Bersih chairman Maria Chin and chairman emeritus Ambiga Sreenevasan are willing to support Tun’s Save Malaysia declaration as well as be pictured in the photocall alongside him.
Bersih Ori bearing Haris’ imprint was created to fight Umno. Fast forward to the later iterations: Tun M stole the thunder during Bersih 4 and was the Bersih 5 mascot. This development is nothing short of poetic justice for the travesty that the Bersih protest series has evolved into.
BELOW: (Haris = Bersih 1 & 2) … Mahathir = Bersih 4 & 5
Haris’ pet hate is now the Messiah of Hope
Among the consequences of Haris’ missionary zeal to remove Umno is his eight months jail sentence for sedition.
In September 2013, Haris was also denied a visa to visit Australia because Canberra considered him a “high risk” individual.
Today Haris is no longer a practising lawyer — his name is not listed anymore in the Malaysian Bar.
It seems like only yesterday when Haris was among the movers and shakers instrumental in helping Barisan Rakyat 2008 coalesce. DAP had even offered him a DUN seat to contest GE12 on the party ticket.
Currently DAP is thick as thieves with Mahathir and Muhyiddin who cannot be separated from their Umno past and how they had shaped the Malay party into what it is. And now we get this latest item of news saying that Malay First Muhyiddin wants the opposition coalition to be called Barisan Rakyat.
Can ABU the ex-Umno chiefs leading Barisan Rakyat, ah?
DAP’s highly flexible Yang Berhormats, for whom Haris had campaigned during the elections, have all but forgotten his contributions and the several times he was carted off to the lockup for police questioning over his ABU and other activities.
They see him as a discordant voice in the new scheme of things. Yet in the run-up to GE13, Haris managed to raise over a million ringgit in public donations to operate his ABU squads.
Haris, as a leading light of the 2008 Barisan Rakyat, is someone who hates Dr Mahathir to the bone. That’s so ironic since we’re currently faced with the prospect of Tun M – the ex-Umno president of 22 years – leading something called Barisan Rakyat redux to topple Barisan Nasional.
How bizarre when the arch enemy becomes the Harapan messiah. Things do indeed come a full circle.
BELOW: Umno DNA … Haris Ibrahim’s Barisan Rakyat going to be led by former Umno bosses