Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
(Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is a former press secretary to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the writer of the book, “The Unmaking of Malaysia”. )
Read here in Dato Din Merican's Blog :http://tinyurl.com/krvrtco
We are in troubling times.
After the 12th general election (GE12) in 2008, Malaysians felt that at long last, the country managed to create a new alternative to the corrupt UMNO Baru-BN coalition.
That euphoria, however, has proven to be short-lived. And now we are back to square one.
PAKATAN RAKYAT IS A LETDOWN
The formation of the three political parties–DAP-PKR-PAS- with very different and conflicting goals into a grouping that contested GE12 received tremendous support from the people.
Things looked very bright for the future well-being of the country. At long last, they felt that the corrupt and the racists would be ousted.
It shook the very core of the UMNO Baru-BN coalition. The UMNO Baru-BN government tried to counter its fear of being pushed out of office by persecuting and prosecuting opposition leaders through the use of the Sedition Act and politically motivated charges .
Now, UMNO Baru-BN has been taken by surprise at what happened in Selangor.
The much touted and admired Pakatan Rakyat is moving towards self- immolation.
The culprit in this suicidal drama was PKR, a most indisciplined party led by Anwar.
To all intents and purposes Pakatan is dead.
PAS SHOULD BE LEFT OUT IN FUTURE COOPERATION
A new beginning has to be initiated and what had happened should be used as guideline for any future cooperation.
PAS is most suspect in any alternative. It has many conflicting factions, and each is trying to exert its influence in any agenda that party undertakes.
PAS, therefore, should be LEFT OUT until a dominant and more grounded group from among them comes into power.
RELIGION IN POLITICS should be avoided as this can bring about disunity and misunderstanding in any attempt to achieve national progress.
Religion and the state CANNOT go hand in hand especially in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi- cultural country like Malaysia.
There is now a need for the coming together of all progressive forces in Malaysia to combat the current corrupt coalition of the self-centred and power crazy individuals.
DAP - THE PIVOT FOR PROGRESSIVE FORCES
The pivot for the creation of this will have to be the DAP.
It is the only stable and most experienced political party in the country.
It managed to weather all challenges and threats posed by the UMNO Baru-BN government.
It is corrupt free and has the ability to administer the Penang state government with efficiency and has created a progressive atmosphere.
UMNO-BN SHOULD BE VOTED OUT OF POWER
The next general election will be very important for the future of the country.
If UMNO Baru-BN is not voted out of power, Malaysia’s future is anything but bleak.
UMNO Baru has been playing racist and religious politics to rally Malay Muslims and maintain power. This has resulted in the formation of groups like PERKASA and ISMA.
The tacit support of UMNO Baru for these two disruptive groups will only encourage more of such elements to surface and create racial and religious chaos.
The result will be the further loss of intellectual capital. Already, the country has lost a good number of talented people and the brain drain will continue to the detriment of the country.
Talent will leave when it is denied equal opportunity.
The New Economic Policy has outlived its usefulness and yet is being retained in one form or another.
This policy, which was supposed to help the Malays to advance economically, had in fact caused them to lag behind. They have become overly dependent on government handouts. UMNO Baru politics had caused the Malays to be mentally disadvantaged.
This is a worrisome situation. Extremists Groups like PERKASA and ISMA are out to exploit the situation. Their very presence and their nefarious activities if left unchecked can wreck this country.
The political change must take place to avoid this catastrophe.
Pakatan as it is presently constituted cannot be relied on to bring about this change. Concerned citizens in the country will have to assert themselves and rally support for those moderate and liberal forces which seek a better future for the coming generations.
They need to support movements like Negara Ku and other civil society organisations.
The year 2018 is not very far away and positive steps must be taken now.
The vanguard for this very crucial mass movement will have to be the DAP.
PSM (Party Sosialist Malaysia) would probably be able to join in but the latter will have to shed its ideologue image.
- Ahmad Mustapha Hassan