Warisan: Are you pro-Opposition or pro-Umno?

By P Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan wonders what Warisan is plotting in Penang.

Warisan’s announcement that it will be contesting all seats in Penang surprised many and shocked the others. What is their intention, the confused asked. The bewildered wanted to know, “Why Penang?”

Their consternation is understandable! Isn’t Warisan an Opposition party? Why then target an Opposition-controlled state government?

Isn’t it strange that Warisan should make Penang the frontline state for their assault on Peninsular Malaysia? This is strange because Warisan is an Opposition party and Penang is an Oppositiongoverned state.

It sounds like the siren songs of the past portending perdition for the vulnerable, especially in the light of the many twists and turns of Malaysian politics after the watershed results of the 14th General Election in 2018.

Why go for the Opposition-controlled state instead of going after Barisan/Umno-controlled states? Their natural adversaries are outside Penang.

The common enemy should be Umno/Barisan Nasional. The aim should be to replace Umno/BN – not dislodge another Opposition-controlled state.

As a new-comer, Warisan isn’t expected to make waves in the peninsula. At best, its role will be seen as a spoiler. Warisan will further split the Opposition vote. And who will theoretically gain by this? Of course, it will be Umno/BN!

Is this what Warisan hopes to achieve by contesting every seat in Penang? Warisan may harbour hopes of creating an upset and taking over Penang. There is nothing wrong in that! It has every right to contest in any state but it must weigh its option very carefully. It must give some consideration for the consequence for its foray into Penang.

By splitting the Opposition vote, it may create an opportunity for the Penang state government to be toppled. It will be a tragedy! If that happens, Warisan will be cursed and it will be the end of its foray into Peninsular Malaysia. The PBS, also from Sabah, tried once before but suffered a humiliating defeat that dashed its wildambition of spreading its wings nation-wide.

We would not want Warisan to suffer the same fate. That would be a pity. It stands for certain ideals and values that are attractive and have been complimented. Doesn’t the Penang state government subscribe to the very ideals and values championed by Warisan? That being the case, why take on the Penang state government?

Once, it was rumoured that Mahathir had his hand in wanting Warisan to take on Opposition-controlled states. Is Mahathir’s plan falling into place? Warisan should not be seen as a party at the beck and call of Mahathir. It should stand on its own. It has a future if it can be independent and work with Harapan and Muda. Any other option will turn away Malaysians from Warisan and this will prove to be disastrous for Warisan.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

30 January 2022

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.
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