Reality sets in…

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Photograph: Sumisha Naidu/CNA

As events unfold, many of us rooting for change from the sidelines have begun to see that this change will be a slow, painful process, fraught with uncertainty, observes Teo Chuen Tick.

There has been no shortage of drama since Pakatan Harapan won the general election.

But as events unfold, many of us rooting for change from the sidelines have begun to see that this change will be a slow, painful process, fraught with uncertainty. The Malaysia which we hope will be more free, fair, just, democratic and civil is still uncertain.

Obviously, a lot of horse-trading is going on in the formation of the cabinet. Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s so-called inner circle of three key cabinet posts is caught up in much controversy.

Perhaps, there is some truth that there may be legal hurdles in the swearing in of Lim Guan Eng (though no legal expert has weighed in so far). But the reservations seem more deep-rooted than that. PKR will do well to remember the platform upon which the change brought about by the general election was obtained.

Once in power, Bersatu and, to a lesser extent, PKR may be inclined towards sweeping up all the ‘frogs’ from Umno who will jump from the sinking ship. If so, this is a betrayal of the spirit of change that the Rakyat embraced in the run up to general election.

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Bersatu may be motivated by a desire to add to its tally of MPs and state assembly members – and perhaps be in a stronger bargaining position for state and federal posts.

Many of us had hoped the general election win would usher in the dawn of a new era in which the ethnic card would recede to the background and individuals of integrity and tested ability are called to serve our nation. Well, the jury is still out on this.

On the plus side, there has been some movement to honour some of the campaign promises. The head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is gone. The attorney general has been put on immediate leave. Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor have been barred from leaving the country. Zunar’s travel ban has been lifted. I myself am signing off this piece with my real name instead of using a pseudonym. Anwar Ibrahim has been given a full pardon and is now free.

Hopefully, with Anwar now able to participate fully in our country’s political process – though he says he needs some space – we’ll see a more united front as we face the challenges ahead.

Opportunity seldom knocks twice: we must not go back to the Umnoputras’ ways. A new path must be charted.

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