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Unceasing waves in Malaysian politics

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COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

Unceasing waves in Malaysian politics
At least some of us might have thought that the BN after its defeat in the GE14, it might have been the “last of the Mohicans”.

Maybe we are wrong and uncomfortable to realise that BN might not be the “lost tribe”that we wished for.

The coalition that governed the country from the time of political independence until the fateful year of 2018 was brought crashing down by forces from within and without.

A multiracial coalition in the form of PH rose to the occasion to provide a difficult but a progressive alternative to Malaysia who were sick and tired of racial and religious politics.

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However, the alternative coalition was neither given the time nor the room to establish itself under the infamous scheming former prime minister Mahathir Mohammed.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim merely waited on the sidelines to assume the coveted post. But it never came to him despite the promise.

I wonder whether Mahathir ascension to power was not just to prevent the kleptocracy from assuming power but also to ensure that ambition of Anwar was thwarted and dashed to the ground.

Much water has passed under the bridge from the time of the nefarious Sheraton Move until the present.

The question foremost in the minds of Malaysians is whether the lost tribe headed by Umno would be able to make a comeback in national politics.

Or whether BN will be able to win the next GE15 scheduled soon.

The immediate past is a sad reminder of what might possibly happen. After the rout of BN in the last GE, it has made a steady come back to the realm of national politics.

The coalition’s winnings in a number of by-elections to be followed by victories in the state by-elections in Melaka and Johore have brought it to the fore.

These two victories were a clearly indication that the coalition we thought had been eclipsed by others particularly PH, was a political force to be reckoned with.

Whether it is engaged in the most regressive forms of politics or not, the coalition seems to be unwittingly palatable to some sections of Malaysians.

Maybe PH could not perform under the perilous circumstances of Mahathir’s stewardship, but nonetheless there was a price to be paid for.

Righty or wrongly, people tired of instability might have wanted to a government that is more stable and long lasting. Not necessarily, the choice was for the BN.

BN might have fitted the description of what they might want and whether they were willing to forget the past misdeeds might have to be tested in the GE15.

It is not about BN vying for power to form the next government, it is about people wanting to move forward on the question of what kind of government that BN is going to offer.

There are no indications that the BN coalition has changed for the better. It might even be much more worse with the unresolved baggage of corruption and financial misdeeds. Those involved in the massive corruption are yet to be prosecuted and jailed.

The push for an early GE15 seems to come from those who are fearful of being found guilty for their crimes and jailed. If BN wins the next GE15, it doubtful whether those Umno leaders in the court cluster will be ever prosecuted.

Given this, the call for an early GE15 is based on the need to save their skins rather than having any altruistic reasons for the benefit of the country. In a most unfortunate sense, the BN seems to be deriving its political nourishment from race and religion.

It is this mantra that was tried and perfected over the years in the country to the detriment of ethnic harmony. I don’t think the coalition has fundamentally changed its political direction or its source of political nourishment.

It is the same old BN coalition repeating the same wrongs under the guidance of Umno, the prime architect of the present malaise in the country. There are no indications that BN is a changed coalition under the diabolical leadership of Umno.

If BN wins the next GE15, it might be continuation of the past racial and religious politics in the worst forms. A convenient and tested platform to extract economic and financial surplus under the guise of protecting race and religion.

It is not that PH has given up, however, it might have an uphill task to undo the BN on the popular terrain of race and religion.

But one thing is sure, PH must be given the credit of undoing the BN in the last GE14, something that was thought unthinkable or unimaginable.

This is sure indicator that will be powerfully etched in the minds of right thinking Malaysians that BN is not invincible.

Under the right and propitious circumstances there is an opportunity for the emergence progressive politics in the country.
Anyway, periodic general elections are battles that might be won and lost.
What is more important is to keep alive the battle to ultimately win the war against racism and religious obscurantism to uphold the never ending quest for democracy, justice and human dignity.