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Politicking makes a mockery of people’s struggles

The Selangor State Assembly

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The frustration expressed recently by the Selangor ruler reflects the sentiments of ordinary Malaysians who are tired of politicians’ incessant politicking.

Worn out by the excessive politicking, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah instructed state assembly members in Selangor to instead focus on serving the people, which should have been the standard operating procedure.

He rightly urged the people’s representatives to think of the future of Selangor, the country and future generations.

The recent state elections saw a bruising fight among Malay-majority parties, particularly with Perikatan Nasional harbouring the desire to wrest Selangor from the grip of Pakatan Harapan.

Sultan Sharafuddin is concerned over problems faced by Selangor people, especially issues of development and infrastructure. The ruler also said there must be a comprehensive plan to solve flash floods.

The sultan rightly said it is of questionable significance the fact that Selangor is a wealthy state and is able to record the highest gross domestic product (GDP) in the country if the state government could not even manage the people’s basic needs.

Indeed, a state government worth its salt is entrusted to help improve the living standards of the people and address the sustenance of the physical environment.

It would be most unfortunate if, despite the royal decree, there is still disruptive talk of pulling down a sitting government in midstream.

From a religious perspective, particularly that of Islam, it is incumbent upon elected politicians to address the welfare of the people, especially where there are pockets of abject poverty in society.

Poverty eradication should be prioritised so that the human dignity of the dispossessed is reinstated and the gap between the rich and the poor is substantially narrowed.

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Additionally, the government is obliged to provide basic necessities such as clean piped water, a good sanitation system, electricity supply and a well-run public transport system. It is not enough to just thump your chest with a loud religious shout.

As Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor rightly asserted, the government of Muslim leaders is also expected to fight against corruption and other vices as these factors can weaken society.

Ruling politicians who fail to address these basic and important issues must be held to account.

Such a failure can be deemed a dereliction of duty, especially for an administration that professes to govern in the name of Islam.

It is within this wider context that Wan Salim waded into the controversy over the alleged remark made by Kelantan Menteri Besar Mohd Nassuruddin Daud that going against Pas is akin to going against the Islamic struggle.

The Penang mufti assured Muslims that it is not sinful nor blasphemous for them to not support Islamic parties because such parties are “created by humans and are therefore not sacred nor sacral in nature”.

We should be mindful that humans, especially politicians, are fallible and also can be up to no good. They must be checked.

To reiterate, politicians who are elected by the people must serve the latter, irrespective of colour and creed.

No amount of politicking can redeem the lack of good governance. – The Malaysian Insight

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
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  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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Dr Mustafa K Anuar, a longtime executive committee member and former honorary secretary of Aliran, is, co-editor of our newsletter. He obtained his PhD from City, University of London and is particularly interested in press freedom and freedom of expression issues. These days, he is a a senior journalist with an online media portal
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