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Malaysia – caught in an ‘either… or’ dilemma for want of optimism

The nation's past policy follies - fuelled by racial and religious issues - have impeded its progress

Dark clouds ahead for the nation - ANIL NETTO/ALIRAN

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As we take stock of the political frictions, fissures and instability since 2018, people in Malaysia cannot help but hope for a dose of optimism to rejuvenate this politically beleaguered nation.

What Malaysia desperately needs today is optimism. Without it, challenging global uncertainties will weaken the nation’s competitive future and resilience.

Unlike other progressive nations that have leapt forward, Malaysia’s past policy follies – fuelled by racial and religious issues – have impeded its progress.

Any attempt to undo the mistakes will unleash a torrent of pessimism among certain politicians and some quarters. Yet, sticking to the racially and religiously skewed rhetoric will continue to rob us of crucial optimism.

This is the ‘either… or’ dilemma that Malaysia’s “unity government” faces.

Many wonder if the PM and his “Malaysia Madani” (Civil Malaysia) unity partnership will be able to gain that much-needed optimism.

Or, if the unity government falls, will his successor and a new government be able to free us from this dilemma, which has entrapped the nation?

Despite the Council of Rulers’ endorsement of Anwar Ibrahim as PM, optimism – especially within the opposition bloc – is in short supply. Even when foreign leaders and dignitaries have heralded Anwar as PM, the same spirit of optimism among the people is barely visible.

And so the nation totters on the edge, moving from day to day with little hope for the people on the horizon.

Yet, many in Malaysia desperately want things to change for the better.

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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Stephen Tan Ban Cheng
Stephen Tan Ban Cheng
6 Sep 2023 10.05pm

How true, how very true. Are we Malaysians stuck in No Man’s Land like a cursed
blight? What brought this about? Can we get out of this bind?

I pray for my country. I cry for my country.

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