Najib Abdul Razak has all but declared GE14 at the 71st UMNO Assembly.
And with Pakatan Harapan (PH) now having chosen their Prime Minister (should they win) this is now serious business.
The Malays’ dignity will be trampled on, Islam is at risk and the monarchy too if UMNO loses. Sounds familiar? Mahathir said the very same thing (in different words) when he led UMNO. You can’t say that Najib is not a good student.
So what is the difference between having UMNO or PPBM leading the country?
PH had the opportunity to offer a real alternative but chose to tread the familiar paths of racial politics. Their thinking seems to be: Our Malay champion is better than your Malay champion therefore vote us.
From comments by readers we discern that even Malays are fed up of politicians playing the race and religion card. They have had it for decades and it has not much raised the standard of the Malays economically or educationally, due to the fact that their leaders have cheated them.
If the so called “affirmative action” had been properly implemented surely in 60 years the lot of the Malay masses would have been better – even to the level of the Malays in Singapore.
Instead the wealth gap between the rich and powerful Malays and the masses has widened. Meanwhile the other races have suffered. The excuse for racial policies was to raise the standard of the Malays to the level of the others. But this has not happened because Malay leaders have cheated their own people. The sacrifice of the non-Malays to bumiputraism has been in vain and if we vote another racist prime minister, there will be no end to racial policies that discriminate against them.
A sliver of hope
However there is a glimmer of hope in that PKR has not finally agreed to Mahathir as PM; in other words the ink has not dried yet. In this respect it is disappointing that DAP which has fought for non-racial policies has so readily accepted Mahathir – a racist. But there is still a chance that the disaster of Mahathir for PM can be averted.
Political analysts without exception have opined that it would be better to make Mahathir “Adviser” instead of PM. There is much sense in that. For one thing PH will not have the baggage of Mahathir’s 22 years in office. Now for every finger Mahathir points at Najib, the latter can point three back. It becomes a case of who can throw more mud. Malaysians deserve a more intelligent election based on issues and policies and not mud slinging.
Mahathir will make a good “Adviser” because of his experience. Since he is not directly in power I am sure he will think of all the ways to check and balance the PM’s (and cabinet’s) power. He should be good at that as he knows all the many ways to cheat and steal and abuse power.
Be bold, be brave…but will they be prepared?
The best chance of PH winning government is to put a ‘Clean Skin’ as their nominee for PM. And while assuring the Malay masses that they will not be forgotten, also to make sure the other races are not discriminated against.
PH must be brave and put out a programme that is fresh and bold and visionary.
Malaysians of all races are fed up with the race politics that has divided us and with a system that encourages corruption.
GE14 has begun whether the date has been announced or not. To date PH has not come out with its manifesto – it’s time it did because it will take time to explain to the people. You can bet that the time between the declaration of GE14 and voting will be very short so there is no time to really sell the PH programme.
But first let’s put an end to the foolishness of having a soiled candidate as PM.
Even those who hate Najib/UMNO find it hard to stomach Mahathir.
Malaysians are hoping for a new dawn, not the same tired old politics of race and religion. Of playing on the fears of the Malays, which UMNO plays (and which Mahathir also plays). If PH can offer that it will win GE14.
Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)