Pas president Hadi Awang’s warning to the Malaysian electorate not to be fooled by Pakatan Harapan in the next general election strikes one as insensitive.
This is because the caution came amid Malaysians grappling with surging Covid infections while many are struggling to make ends meet. Seeking solutions to the monumental problems faced by ordinary people should have been the Marang MP’s priority.
That said, Hadi need not worry about voters being easily misled by politicians as the pandemic has taught the public about politicians who cannot be depended on and who do not have the intellectual capacity and moral fibre to work professionally and diligently for the benefit of the people.
We should be mindful that this is also the electorate who bore witness to a hushed meeting among certain politicians at a famous hotel that brought about the collapse of the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan government more than a year ago.
The voters have not forgotten that certain politicians who made promises of significant reform and societal changes jumped ship only to abruptly form a new government with the opposition. The rakyat (people) did not vote for such a political change when they went to the ballot box in the last general election.
Indeed, as the prime minister’s special envoy to West Asia rightly reminded the voters, the past should be a good teacher to many Malaysians, including the younger generation, as it would help them to separate the wheat from the chaff.
While herd immunity is highly valued in the fight against the Covid pandemic, discriminating Malaysians certainly are averse to the emergence of herd mentality among people who are easily manipulated or lied to.
Discerning Malaysians do not like to be duped by politicians who don’t subscribe to the rule of law, which should be applied equally, irrespective of social status.
They are mindful of certain politicians who famously flouted the movement control order meant to curb the raging pandemic, raising an outcry of double standards. For example, certain politicians did not comply with quarantine requirements for people who had just returned from overseas, which could pose a health threat to people who were in contact with them. These politicians were eventually let off lightly.
Malaysians also do not like to be lulled into believing that some politicians put the rakyat’s interests before theirs. For instance, using a big chunk of public funds to buy luxury cars for state leaders when basic public facilities in the state have been neglected for years was not only irresponsible of the leaders but also constituted a betrayal of the people’s trust.
This is apart from politicians, irrespective of their political affiliations, who indulge themselves in corruption of various proportions that adversely affect the socioeconomic development of the ordinary people. Money for development has been diverted from public funds to personal pockets.
The electorate of this diverse society do not take kindly to politicians whose mindset is not inclusive as this causes certain groups of people, such as ethnic and religious minorities, to be neglected or, worse, discriminated against. This is, of course, unjust.
Bigoted politicians drive a wedge between ethnic and religious groups – which hinders national harmony and social progress. This diverse society of ours is a coveted accomplishment that should be celebrated.
Perhaps the electorate should also be wary of politicians using a religious platform to further their personal ambitions. – The Malaysian Insight