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Devious politicians are sidetracking the reform agenda

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The divisive schemes and shenanigans of certain politicians can not only destabilise the country but also delay crucial long-awaited social reforms, writes Mustafa K Anuar.

It appears that certain politicians have been making themselves busy of late for reasons other than taking good care of the general welfare of Malaysians and the progress of the nation.

Word has it that a group of politicians from both sides of the political divide have been working towards establishing a “unity government” or “backdoor government”, comprising political parties that are essentially Malay-Muslim based from Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its opposing counterparts.

This appears part of a conscious scheme to maintain so-called Malay supremacy or dominance in our multi-ethnic and multicultural society.

This move, if true, is obviously divisive in nature and detrimental to national harmony especially at a time when ethnic relations seem to be at their lowest ebb. It has compounded the toxicity of race and religion in national politics and somewhat diverted the politicians from their vital job of instituting meaningful reforms and deepening democracy.

That’s not all. Malaysians have to put up with “friendly fire” among the PH component parties, especially over the succession plan for the prime minister’s post.

The noxious narrative of race and religion by politicians has reached such a dizzying level that it makes it hard for many to stomach. It prompted Aliran member Wong Soak Koon to translate from Malay to English a moving poem, “My friend”, by the late national literary laureate Usman Awang which he dedicated to his close friend Dr MK Rajakumar.

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The politicians’ mobilisation of their collective energy for divisive, exclusive and distracting objectives is a betrayal of Malaysians, especially those who voted in the last general election for wide-ranging changes.

Equally worrying, taxpayers’ money allocated to public institutions might have been spent for the wrong reasons. The participation of four public universities in the recent Malay Dignity Congress has raised doubts.

Our votes are not meant to be traded only to satisfy the devious schemes of self-preserving politicians that aren’t in harmony with the national agenda.

There is so much to be done, such as reforming democratic institutions, fixing the economy, stemming the high cost of living, mending frayed ethnic and religious relations, improving public healthcare and repealing draconian laws.

The use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) by the PH government, particularly in the recent case of alleged Malaysian supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has irked many Malaysians especially civil society groups. They say Sosma is undemocratic and unjust, and it was heavily condemned by the PH before the last general election. But the law is now expected to be only amended, not repealed.

Like other concerned Malaysians, Aliran is disturbed by the reported shenanigans of certain politicians who can not only destabilise the country but also delay the crucial social reforms that Malaysians have been waiting for since the last general election. Their hidden schemes must be condemned unconditionally.

Mustafa K Anuar
Co-editor, Aliran newsletter
5 November 2019

Mustafa K Anuar

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