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After defections, opposition parties must get their act together

They must stop their infighting and feuds if they want to be seen as a viable alternative to Umno-BN.


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by Jem

It was disheartening to see three state assembly members from the DAP and one from Warisan leaving their parties in Sabah over the last couple of months. 

What does it say about the choices that the people of Sabah made? Were they wrong in their assessment of these parties or were they duped by all the pre-election promises made by these defectors?

The four state assembly members resigned from their parties ostensibly because they were unhappy with the leadership of their parties or they wanted to start another party.

Do we need another party in Sabah? The parties that are there do not seem to be doing much. Sabah remains one of the poorest states in the country. So what personal agendas are attached to these resignations?

What these assembly members fail to understand is that everybody has to work together within their parties to achieve their parties’ objectives. They do not seem to realise the people see through what they are doing.

Why did they join their parties in the first place? Didn’t they and the parties have the same ideals: to help the people, to serve the people, to make life better for everyone, including the next generation? 

So, what went wrong? Did the ideals of the party and its party leaders just did not gel? Did the party principles no longer hold true?

All the rancour and back-biting does not help anybody. Jumping from one lily pad to another just confirms to everyone that this is what Sabah politicians are famous for.

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Politicians must remember it is the people who put them where they are. Whether they came by that position by fair means or foul, it is still the people who voted for them and the people who can take them down.

These defectors need to look at themselves too – where they failed, why they failed, and this definitely includes their party leaders.

Running away to start another party or going to another party is not the answer either. At some point, you might face the same problems in their new party as well.

It comes back to the same question: why did they join their parties in the first place? Was it truly to help the people and the country? Or did they become so blasé with the way politics is being played that ethics and working for the people were no longer relevant?

What else could it have been? Fame? Money? Prestige? Power? Probably all four and more besides. Maybe, these are the reasons some jump ship and then give a more ‘altruistic’ excuse to the public for their failure to reach the standards required of them.

Meanwhile, a law to curb party defections is set to be tabled in Parliament in March. If – and this is a big if – it is enacted, hopefully, we will see the end of such party defections.

Then again, will the prime minister and his team have the courage to table this in Parliament? That’s the million-dollar question, especially if the general election is held this year.  

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We have a prime minster who lacks motivation and leadership, helming an inept government. This was blatantly obvious during the recent major floods, and the blame game is still going on.

The blunders, incompetence and bungling are symptoms of an inadequate and ineffectual government – and 2022 is just one month old!

What has been happening does not bode well for the rest of the year. Johor is gearing up for its state election. Some say it might be in March. It will be the forerunner of the general election.

Political pundits seem to think that Umno-Barisan Nasional is well placed to win Johor and probably the general election.

What of the opposition parties – do they stand a chance? They seem in disarray, and this will only play into the hands of Umno-BN.

The opposition parties must stop their infighting and feuds if they want to be seen as a viable alternative to Umno-BN. Some cohesion needs to be found for the parties to be believable again. If they are unable to get their act together, they might as well sit back and watch the next act!

Jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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