The statements from both sides of the political divide as elite politicians jostle for power have done little to improve their image. JD Lovrenciear writes.
Prime Minister Muhiyuddin Yassin is spot on when he said he would “return the mandate to the people and let them choose the government they want”.
After all, there is no democracy at work if a government is not elected by the people.
Unfortunately, as the PM himself knows too well, the very government he now heads is not a government that the people chose. Perikatan Nasional was never mandated by the people.
Hence, when the PM now states the right thing – that the people have the mandate to choose their government – he has literally deemed his position to be undemocratic and untenable in the longer term.
It is unfortunate he did not have this foresight and wisdom back in February 2020, when he joined a group to oust a mandated government and seize power.
What a price we Malaysians are paying with this power grab – a price that is proving to be too costly during this coronavirus pandemic.
It is no fault of the people. Politicians, including Muhyiddin himself, have to take responsibility for the mess we are in today.
Hopefully, the PM’s awareness of the need for a working, functioning democracy will become a reality ultimately when he calls for a general election before long.
Meanwhile, have some of the current opposition MP also betrayed the people?
It appears many of them have not represented the voices of their constituencies. In the first sitting of Budget 2021, we now know only 13 MPs opposed the Budget.
Another MP confessed he regretted not standing up for his voters when the going got tough. A couple of leaders from another two parties said they were ‘blur’ and so went along to let the Budget pass at its first sitting.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim now finds himself in a sticky situation as he now struggles to assure the people there is still hope, as there are two more rounds to go.
The point is, while the establishment has gone to great lengths to convey the message that the PN government’s proposed Budget must be passed for the benefit of all, it looks as if the opposition leaders and MPs have failed to respond to the outpouring of reservations and concerns over the Budget.
Now, the media are filled with an array of explanations, excuses, apologies and tears of “we were not informed”.
At least, one man and his team of 12 MPs took a stand and stood their ground. Would they now be branded as anti-government or anti-whatever? Or would the 13 MPs, together with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, come under attack for not heeding a minister’s warning that civil servants may not be paid their wages?
So what is all this drama inside and outside of Parliament all about? Have the opposition leaders and MPs failed their people again?
Or have these MPs remained true to their cause and represented the people’s desires and remained true to their cause – and therefore they should not be judged so early?
We wait and see.