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‘Mother of all elections’ looms over crisis-riddled Malaysia

The next general election will be a more important watershed than the last one

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In this political and socio-economic landscape, heavily punctured with crises, JD Lovrenciear wonders how long Malaysia can take these beatings.

From whichever vantage point you choose to examine the current state of Malaysia, you have every reason to worry and ask patriotically inspired questions.

The 1MDB saga has not eased since 2015.

Muslim and non-Muslim issues arising from pending court cases and battles between Sharia and civil jurisprudence are like still waters running deep in the country.

Further, religious and racial sensitivities have been quietly escalating as politicians see it as their currency for supremacy. Even the recent Chinese New Year ‘dog year’ issue is an indication of the degree of vulnerabilities prevailing in the background.

Inflation is galloping like a wild horse on the run, fodder for increased debate by both sides of the political divide. But just ask wage-earners and they will tell you stories about the stressful realities of juggling finances.

Corruption is now a hide-and-seek game. While the opposition is coming up with exposes which it highlights to the public, government institutions are also investigating an endless stream of allegations implicating opposition leaders.

Legal suits and counter-suits have been filed. Pending appeals are piling up to the point where no one now remembers or can gauge the pressure on the judiciary.

The foreign media are reporting on a volley of questionable financial transactions and stakes arising from Malaysian indulgences in foreign lands. But what is unfathomable is that the government has not yet taken pains to prove that these reports are an attack on the sovereignty of an independent, developing nation.

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Even as a general election looms, the mystery shrouding its actual date has added to the uncertainty, much to the discomfort of local and foreign investors.

The attacks and counter-attacks, traded between and even within political coalitions, are sending a confusing array of messages to citizens.

The quest to put in more oppressive laws is further worrying the people, who were born into a country that was supposed to be independent, free and democratic.

The stories of communist China’s presence on these shores and in the wide open seas surrounding Malaysia have raised many questions – with hardly any convincing answers to allay fears and doubts.

In this political and socio-economic economic landscape, heavily punctured with crises, one must ask, how long can Malaysia take these beatings?

Surely, given the geopolitical and global economic threats that have already affected many other nations across the world, Malaysia cannot pretend that all is cosy and fair in these shores.

Looming over these perilous circumstances is the ‘mother of all battles’: the 60-year-old ruling coalition appears to be under siege going by the numerous foot-loose knee-jerk reactions and retaliations being traded on a daily basis in Malaysia.

How Malaysia will pull through is a concern close to the hearts and minds of true patriots of this land.

JD Lovrenciear is a retired professional who actively follows current affairs.

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