Can the people emerge from Malaysia’s political melancholy?

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Sketch by Wong Soak Koon

Will be able to purge the nation of the culture of patronage, rent-seeking and self-interest while championing the nation’s needs? JD Lovrenciear writes.

Half a year has been wasted in failing to inspire and fire up the Malaysian soul.

With no sign of political direction, the country languishes in the political melancholy that was mainly forced upon the nation by none other than the politicians.

Pakatan Harapan was doomed to fail even as voters marshalled their hope for change in 2018. And it did fail eventually.

Twenty-two months of a journey to a ‘new’ Malaysia was lost in a quagmire of political suspicion, distrust and wrangling for power and control.

The advent of a backdoor coup by Perikatan Nasional is already giving political ammunition to two political blocs that many people – the ethnic Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians – fought hard to vanquish, namely Umno and Pas.

Even as the people demand the return of the electoral mandate that was sealed through a democratic general election, there are instead threats of a snap general election now.

Cutting deep into Malaysia’s political melancholy is the emerging truth that Pakatan Harapan is turning into ‘Pakatan tidak harapan’ (no-hope alliance).

With our political landscape in disarray, punctured with accounts of corruption and deceit and a dearth of political ethics, we are spiralling into long drawn-out failure.

Should the sons and daughters of this land sit back and be run over as pawns in this political melancholy, which is destroying our nation while other nations are rallying their people to face the challenges of the ‘new normal’ with resolute political will?

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Perhaps we need to pray for a leader who can rise from the political ambers and save the people and the country.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is losing his magnetic appeal and his ability to lead a party, let alone a coalition. Anwar Ibrahim is teetering with the ground under him fast eroding while the chants of “reformasi” ring more hollow.

The promising younger leaders have almost disappeared in the wilderness.

No small wonder that a political coup was so easily and successfully set in motion by conspiring wannabees.

Perhaps hopelessly the nation is driven to cling on to prayer – to pray that the united will of all ethnic groups who believe in people power, not political power, will heal this wounded nation and drive it to rise from the overwhelming political melancholy.

But the key question is, will be able to purge the nation of the culture of patronage, rent-seeking and self-interest while championing the nation’s needs?

Or is the political melancholy here to stay for a long, long time?

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Teo Chuen Tick
8 Jul 2020 6.51am

JD, I believe it is not so light a disease as political melancholy but a recurrence of umnoputranism – and all the evils associated with that era! It has grown even more insidious this time with religious extremism thrown in.

Sigh, we get a govt. we deserved but this backdoor govt. is forced down our throat by that evil old man. May he rot in hell for all eternity for his evil deeds!