The Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress is shocked with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s stand that elections must be won “by hook or by crook”.
And, by extension, doing it by rewarding Bersatu divisional chiefs with government handouts is even more disgusting! To imply that Bersatu, as a component party of the Pakatan Harapan government, would be justified in doing so is something devoid of sense.
The 2018 general election victory was the result of of the people’s collective desire to oppose the culture of patronage, amongst other issues, embedded during the Barisan Nasional’s rein.
We, the citizens of the country, voted for change minus cronyism. It was our hope that this country would embark on a fresh path of transparency and accountability. It was our aspiration that the country would be in the hands of those who subscribe to the ideals of democratic rules and practices. The misplaced affirmation of leaders like Abdul Rashid does disservice to the hopes of the people of this country.
If elections are to be won “by hook or by crook”, is it suggested that it ought to be achieved by, say, rigging elections with dubious electoral rolls – or worse, by buying votes through enriching divisional chiefs? Isn’t such a proposition going against the very grain of concerns raised by the people and the collective leadership of the Pakatan Harapan government?
On all accounts, it would be a disaster if the Pakatan Harapan leadership does not rebut the position taken by Abdul Rashid.
K Veeriah is secretary of the Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.