By Phlip Rodrigues
Perikatan Nasional chairman Mahiadin Yassin is playing with fire when he claimed that Christians in Malaysia are in cahoots with Jews to “christianise Malaysia”.
Coming from the mouth of a former prime minister, this highly inflammable statement is unacceptable to all who believe in inter-religious harmony.
Resorting to such gutter-level politics speaks volumes of the low mentality of Mahiaddin, who showed a woeful lack of leadership qualities when he was prime minister.
Unelected to the highest post in the country, his short tenure is best remembered for his haphazard handling of the pandemic.
Worse, his weak political base eventually cost him his job. No one mourned his quick exit. If anything, he failed to become a prime minister of all the people of Malaysia.
And now this colourless and uninspiring politician wants to make a comeback. Instead of celebrating the diversity in Malaysia and preaching the ideals of fraternity, he took a cheap but dangerous route to stamp his return – playing the religion card.
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He probably realises his coalition and his party Bersatu might be wiped out in the general election tomorrow. To stop a possible rout, he went fishing for ethnic Malay votes by raising up the spectre of a Christian plot to destabilise the country.
It is a crying shame that Mahiaddin, a veteran politician, could only come up with such a dirty tactic to shore up his waning political fortune.
It is a crying shame that a former prime minister has thrown caution to the wind by deliberately stirring up a hornet’s nest.
It is a crying shame that a contender for the most important job in the land hits below the belt in a desperate gamble for power.
Both Mahiaddin and Pas president Hadi Awang are cut from the same cloth: they use religion and race to woo voters. They do not care if their rash behaviour could push the country to the brink as long as it serves their perverted political aims.
But voters, when they cast their ballots tomorrow, are unlikely to listen to the siren call of religious bigots.
Christians, though vilified by Mahiaddin and Hadi, can only send an urgent message to the One above: “Abba, Abba (Father, Father) forgive them (Mahiaddin and Hadi) for they know not what they are doing.”
Phlip Rodrigues is a former journalist