By Paul Bellow
The two most dangerous politicians in Malaysia are a couple of veterans who have been goading the ethnic Malays to sally forth aggressively to ‘reclaim’ political power.
Hadi Awang and Dr Mahathir Mohamad have hit the campaign trail to sell their toxic brew of unbelievable tales that are mostly cooked up in their overheated minds.
They have both conveniently glossed over the fact that Malaysia professes parliamentary democracy under which all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity or creed, are free to exercise their suffrage.
Throughout the decades, the Malays have ruled the country uninterrupted. They shared political power with other minority groups to reflect the diverse ethnic composition of the country.
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The millions of people of other ethnicities and faiths are here to stay in the country they called their only home. They cannot be treated as eternal outsiders.
Now come Hadi and Mahathir, who through their rhetoric are upsetting this stable arrangement with their racially slanted diatribe against those who also toiled hard to build this country.
The pair have morphed into ugly political agitators whose calls for “Malay unity” carry dark undertones of the visceral resentment they now feel towards “the other”.
Worryingly, their repeated calls to defend “Tanah Melayu” (the land of the Malays) could fire up the Malays into believing they have been deprived of political power and even their share of the economic pie.
The two political veterans are sowing the seeds of resentment among the Malays. Repeatedly, the pair have been intoning untruths in their narratives. If they keep this up, their words might set and harden and become gospel truth.
It is not far-fetched to imagine their intended audience buying into such talk and eventually rising in fury to unleash their pent-up rage on their unwelcome “guests”.
There is a strong streak of belligerency in the remarks that Hadi and Mahathir have spewed out. The unspoken underlying message is that if the political situation does not change in favour of the Malays, the consequences could be dire.
Even if the political equation changes and the noxious political ideology of ‘Mahathirism’ and ‘Hadism’ triumph, the ethnic minorities could be in for a hard time. They may be treated less kindly and their way of life – their cultural and religious practices – may even be restricted in the public space.
The Hadi-Mahathir rhetoric is now in full blast now as state elections for six states draw nearer. Their rallying cry is mixed with dire warnings of what could happen if the people choose the wrong side.
Hadi seems to think God is allied to his side, implying that those who are against Pas are against God. Putting the fear of God into the ballot box smacks of desperation.
Voters are guided by their own conscience – their inner voice – when they make their choice. They have listened to all the candidates and can separate the wheat from the chaff. They especially know who the wolf in sheep’s clothing is.
If you believe in God, then surely you would know you cannot make fiery political speeches in the afterlife to justify your misdeeds during your earthly life.
God is no respecter of persons or ranks or age. Leaders will have to stand before the celestial throne of judgement and listen to the punishments meted out to them for all their grave political sins in this world.
Paul Bellow is the pseudonym of a reader of Aliran