Foes within stoking disunity for selfish political ends

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Good people must speak out and do something before the bad ones destroy the country, writes Khoo Kok Heong.

Ben Carson once said: “We’ve been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at the same point, maybe we will wake up and recognise that it was the politicians who created our problems.”

Malaysia is now in such a predicament.

Even after 62 years of independence, Malaysians are still embedded in a web of never-ending ethno-religious problems, mistrust and suspicion.

Why are we still entrapped in such a volatile situation? The answer lies squarely with our politicians. Instead of being true statesmen and women, many politicians are self-serving and have vested interests. They are more interested in winning elections rather than the hearts and minds of the people. Many things they do lack political correctness.

It is time for people to rise and chart the path of nation-building for the benefit of future generations – before it is too late.

After kicking out the previous regime, the people had high hopes. They wanted the Pakatan Harapan government to foster closer integration and unity among the people – and take the nation to greater heights. But this was not to be: the change of government has seen greater disunity among the people.

The euphoria of regime change was not matched by greater unity and integration. Instead, people are more divided: politicians have reneged on their promises, and opposition parties have stirred up ethno-religious sentiments.

We have arrived at a critical time in our history.

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Malaysians thus far have not taken great interest in politics. Most are only interested when a general election draws near.

This attitude towards politics must change, as politics affects everyone. We must see to it that our politicians are capable and are doing good work for the people and country. The useless ones must be voted out. To keep track of them, we have to watch them constantly.

The country has come to a stage where People Power counts. All Malaysians must contribute in a positive and proactive way to make the country united and great again.

We have relied too much on politicians for the last 60 years. See now what is happening to the country: the various ethnic groups are divided, and hate speech has spread on social media every day.

We were not like that before. We must bring down the temperature.

To stop such squabbles and hate speech, politicians must stop playing communal politics or using tools to further such intentions. We want more responsible politicians who take the middle path. It is easier said than done, but they must try.

NGOs have a place in helping to check and balance policies taken by the government. A lot more people should join reputable and responsible NGOs so they can help put the country on the correct path.

Good people must speak out and do something before the bad ones destroy the country. On the whole, Malaysians are peace-loving people. Many believe that our present problems have been created by unscrupulous politicians who want to win the next general election on the back of strong race-based support. What a shame.

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We have been together for a very time – from the days of Parameswara, Admiral Zheng He and the anak peranakan culture. Why must there be problems only now? It must be the work of those with hideous intentions out to break inter-ethnic harmony to serve their own selfish ends.

Malaysians must rise to the occasion to ensure the country remains as peaceful as ever. We must stop people, especially those in the corridors of power, from usurping this country for their self-serving interests.

Khoo Kok Heong is a former teacher based in Penang.

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