The government and the happiness factor

Anwar’s government is not only facing a large degree of unhappiness from the population, it is also facing the predicament of trust deficit.

Merdeka is celebrated in the country with joy - a short-lived moment of happiness? - Photo Unsplash

In my years as a journalist I have learned one very important element in society that is inevitable: the unhappiness of the population against the politicians.

And this sentiment is only dispelled whenever the politicians are defeated or if they fulfil the desires of the people.

For the largest part of the sixty years that Umno was in power before its defeat in 2018, the people were mostly very happy with the government. It took a coalition of parties, a grouping of various political opponents into one group to dislodge Umno.

it was not a landslide defeat for the Umno and Najib Razak. It was a narrow defeat that left a sour taste for PH in 2020.

We won’t dabble too much in history hence what has the current government done to make the people happy? Half of the population is unhappy and there are fears that a larger portion will show their resentment towards the Anwar Ibrahim regime in future elections.

Anwar’s government is not only facing a large degree of unhappiness from the population, it is also facing the predicament of trust deficit.

Crafted tools by the opposition

Both elements are part of the tools crafted by an opposition that has so far outsmarted the PH-BN regime. They have instilled unhappiness in the segment of the population that is more prone to insecurity and awaken fears in their hearts. What are the fears? What is the insecurity? That Malays and Muslims are losing out to non-Malays and that Pakatan Harapan is here to strip them if their ‘rights’.

Rather than assuring Malays they wouldn't lose anything, Perikatan Nasional leaders used these fears to let the Malays believe they might lose political power under PH.

This is the case for the Civil Servants, the biggest employment body in the country. The slow pace of salary increase in the civil service abd the threats brandished of an imminent reduction in the civil workforce are now seen as real threats against the Malays.

Whether it is true or not that Malays are losing power and are becoming less economically visble with PH, we are back to the issues of happiness.
Anwar’s biggest challenge now is to make more than half of the people in this country happy. And it will come at a huge cost.

The PN and their closest supporters are extremely unhappy it will be a Herculean task for Anwar to make them happy. He has better things to do than getting them on board.

The reason is simple. While the DAP are singing songs of unity and nationalism, the PN and the PAS are harping at Anwar with some wishing his demise in plane crashes or in an explosion at the official residence of the Prime Minister.

That tells you a whole lot on the psychological disposition within the PN. Their only happiness will come when Anwar is no more PM.

The happiness level

Now that we have covered the unhappiness, what about the happiness level towards the Anwar regime?

The hardcore supporters are terribly shaken by the deep impact of the recently concluded state elections. Not they they expected a massive win by the government but they did not expect the penetration of the PN in Selangor and Penang.

They are unhappy with some of their comrades or with party leaders. But they are not venting their frustrations publicly. Nevertheless, Anwar has a massive advantage. At least 50 per cent of the population is happy with the PH in power.

They are not the ones who expect handouts all year round nor those who wants to sit back and see their bank accounts replenished by a government agency etc.

They are part of the hard working people who believe in a united country, where everything is logical and stability is primordial.

Keep us 50% happy

Anwar have to work harder to keep the 50 per cent happy. Besides that, he had to throw in some elements of happiness towards the other 50%. Minus the hardcore unhappy parties, there are some segments of the opposing population that Anwar can easily attract.

I am not here to give advice. I am here to tell the story the way many won’t see it. Make me happy and I will always support you.  That’s the adage among humans. Make them happy and they will find solace in supporting PH. And Anwar do not have all the time to achieve that. He is on borrowed time. What will he do to bring some happiness into the lives of the other 50 percent who are damn unhappy with him and his government.

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