The bankruptcy of ideas displayed by this pact cannot steer the country to progress, ethnic harmony and genuine social reform, says Mustafa K Anuar.
We’ve heard it before, but that is not stopping the Umno-Pas alliance from crying about “enemies of Islam” sneakily planning to undermine the unity of the ummah or Muslim community.
This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, as both former-foes-turned-bedfellows are bent on unseating the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in order to supposedly save the Muslim-Malay community.
The PH government has been accused by the two parties of being anti-Islam and anti-Malay owing to the Chinese-based DAP now walking in the corridors of power. In fact, this Malay-Muslim combo has made the objective of overthrowing the current administration its “jihad”.
Used in this manner, “jihad” becomes emotive, out to gain traction among sections of the Malay community who might feel disturbed with the new government. This clarion call for a political jihad is predictable at this juncture, as it is aimed at the impending Rantau by-election in a conscious attempt to woo the Malay electorate.
The manufacture of a siege mentality and a bogeyman for the Malay community is politically expedient for an alliance whose raison d’être is promoting and profiting from ethnic supremacy. In other words, it’s the usual unclean game in their playbook.
It appears that it doesn’t matter to these two parties if their manoeuvres polarise this multi-ethnic and multi-religious country in the long run as long as they can achieve their ends.
Such racist narratives make enemies out of Malaysians (ie the non-Malays) who have contributed to the economic, social and intellectual development of this country as well as their tax money. It is also a vile attempt at nurturing distrust among people.
Incidentally, the notion of “ummah” as embraced by the two parties is questionable, as it reveals the racist thrust of their political ideology. An enlightened “ummah” transcends ethnic, ancestral and political borders.
Needless to say, such bankruptcy of ideas as displayed by the Malay-based pact cannot steer the country to progress, ethnic harmony and genuine social reform that concerned Malaysians have been thirsting for.
We have already seen, at least in the last decade or so, how a government led by a dominant ethnic-based party that claims to promote and protect Malay interests ended up neglecting marginalised and poor Malay-Muslims.
At the same time, certain quarters in the same constituency managed to enrich themselves, big time.
This is also to say that the betrayal of Malay-Muslims can be committed by the very leaders who have been portraying themselves till Kingdom come as the community’s protectors. Just think of Felda, Tabung Haji and of course, 1MDB.
It is thus vital for PH leaders to take up the challenge and show Malaysians, especially the Malay-Muslims, what it takes to push this multi-ethnic country forward economically and politically.
What it takes is principled, transparent, accountable and courageous leadership that does not tolerate corruption and abuse of power. The kind of leadership is one that works towards the betterment of the citizenry, irrespective of ethnicity, faith and political affiliation so that the noble values of justice, fairness, compassion, love, freedom and peace prevail.
The current administration needs to mount a campaign to raise awareness among the people of the importance of values in good governance – and not the narrow-mindedness that overwhelms certain spent politicians and political parties.
The country can no longer afford to be dragged away from socio-economic progress and political enlightenment by the baggage of the ugly past.