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Upcoming by-elections: Time’s up for old politics of race and religion

File photograph: Malay Mail Online

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Those who use divisive issues of race and religion have no place in Malaysia baru, writes Tota.

The 2018 general election was a defining and historic moment for Malaysia.

For more than 60 years, the Umno-dominated BN had used divisive policies using race, religion and colour to remain in power. But on 9 May 2018, a largely brainwashed population woke up and booted the BN government out for a more inclusive political culture in which race, religion and colour are not part of the equation.

The Pakatan Harapan government under Dr Mahathir Mohamad has established rule of law as the bedrock of the Constitution and clear guidelines to put the country on the right track going in the right direction. There is a new Malaysian spirit of cooperation and helping one another.

To undo the damage of the defeated BN government will take time. The people are responding positively to the government as seen by the generous contributions made to Tabung Harapan to help wipe out some one trillion ringgit in national debt.

After Umno’s defeat in the Pulau Kandis by-election, two more by-elections are coming up at Seri Setia and Balakong. Keep the general election spirit alive and ensure that the momentum for change continues.

Those who use divisive issues of race and religion have no place in Malaysia baru. National unity and meritocraacy will be impossible to achieve as long as race-based parties are not wiped out in elections. Otherwise, it will always be Ketuanan Melayu, Malay agenda, Chinese agenda and Indian agenda. These are the aspirations of the race-based political parties.

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What is badly needed is a Malaysian agenda based on needs-based policies. If candidates representing race-based parties lose their deposits, it would send a powerful message that Malaysians do not want them any more. That is my hope.

The 13-member Barisan Nasional coalition is now left with only three parties: Umno, the MCA and the MIC. The MCA with one parlilamentary and one state seat and the MIC with two parliamentary seats should just disband and spare us.

I hope Umno supporters realise what their party leaders have done to them: they have camouflaged the Umnoputra agenda as the Malay Agenda, hijacked the NEP to enrich themselves and amassed great wealth.

See how wealthy some Umno ministers, supreme council members, division chiefs and liaison chiefs are. Look at their lifestyles and those of their family members, the palatial houses they live in, the fleet of posh cars they own and the expensive clothes and jewellery their family members wear.

All these have created wide income differentials within the community; so please don’t accept poverty within the community and its plight as ‘takdir’ (fate).

Tota, short for Theatre Of The Absurd, is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to our Thinking Allowed section.

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