The Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue is grateful that the voice of moderation has prevailed as a unity government has been seen as a viable option as the nation manoeuvres through uncharted terrain after the general election.
Such development of a moderate centre is a great milestone in the history of Malaysia since the divisive political forces have transcended [their differences] to work for the common good.
It seems that the ideological chasm revolving around race and religion has been neutralised by the astute wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agung.
This makes Malaysia a unique nation that is able to resolve issues after a bruising election, which is rare if one looks at other countries with similar years of independence.
Keeping this in mind, it is vital for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to learn from the evolution and strength of right-wing movements around the world, who basically prey on disgruntled voters who are unhappy about their political and socioeconomic context by imagining an enemy.
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This is further aggravated by the neo-liberal economic system that has created a wide gulf between the rich and the poor, manifested through unemployment, the high cost of living, and the feeling of being constantly marginalised by elite decision-makers who favour big corporations at the expense of the local economy.
This has created an identity-security vacuum that is ultimately filled with ethno-religious politics.
The rise of right-wing populist political parties such as the BJP in India and other right-wing forces in Western nations that emerge from insecurity should be a lesson that there is a need to scan and reassess the global and national political socioeconomic system that is unjust towards the vast majority of human beings.
Malaysia, being a small nation with a diverse multi-ethnic population, cannot afford such divisive right-wing politics since it could lead the nation to extreme poverty and a lack of progress, which could endanger the harmony that the nation has experienced since independence.
It is vital for political parties like Umno to reform themselves from corrupt elements and for parties like the DAP to be culturally sensitive in its politics, while PKR should be a party that is able to bring diverse ideologies into the framework of the common good.
Therefore, let’s learn the root cause of the emergence of right-wing politics and come up with solutions related to employment, healthcare, education, the cost of living and an equitable distribution of wealth, which would neutralise right-wing ethno-religious politics in the country. – Malaysiakini