“The ongoing political turmoil has stimulated youth involvement in politics more than ever, and this angry segment is not as nostalgic as the older generation and will be less affected should UMNO or PAS disappear tomorrow”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
ده سمڤأي ڤڠهوجوڠ جالن، محي الدين ڤون تاهو
Following the 2018 general election, PAS, UMNO and organisations affiliated with the two led multiple rallies and gatherings to oppose ICERD, the Statute of Rome and the appointment of Tommy Thomas as Attorney-General.
Today, the two are in cahoots with the minister responsible for pushing ahead with ICERD and the Statute of Rome and the people who supported Thomas’ appointment as Attorney-General, both directly and indirectly.
Back when Pakatan Harapan was in power, the push was to establish a Malay-Muslim government on the pretext of uniting the ummah and to ward of alleged threats to Islam and the Malays by the DAP, then accused of promoting communism.
Today, the same UMNO and PAS that made the push are at loggerheads with one another, while the Malay-Muslim community is a whole lot more disconcerted and disoriented, more than ever since the country gained independence in 1957.
It is an open secret that UMNO and PAS were trying to turn Muslims against the DAP by bringing the Muslims together under a Malay-Muslim banner, purportedly to show them what a true Malay-Muslim “Shang Ri La” or “the land of eternal salvation” would look like.
As a matter of fact, Pakatan Harapan was supposed to be ‘the lesson’ to voters on how the Muslims would suffer should the DAP and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or anyone affiliated to the PKR president be allowed to lead government.
But today, it seems that Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional are ‘the real lessons’ on how Muslims would suffer should PAS and PPBM be allowed to lead government post GE15 or should UMNO return to power.
Say what you want, but more and more Malay-Muslims are looking the other way, eager for the emergence of a third bloc irrespective who leads that bloc, so long as it is a stand-alone with no strings attached.
They can see how PAS is prone to shifting alliances whenever it seems expedient or if there is a chance for it to be a part of government and how Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang defended the DAP once upon a time and told voters to support Lim Kit Siang, not UMNO.
When it became obvious to Hadi that the DAP and PKR would never succeed in forming government, he used Langkah Kajang as an excuse to break ties with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and ditched Kit Siang.
It was the same deal during Langkah Sheraton.
When Hadi thought Mahathir was in control of PPBM and would succeed in expanding his majority with the establishment of a new coalition, he was all for the old man and sang praises of him.
However, when it dawned upon him that the Kleptocrats – desperate as they were – had entered a deal with Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, he ditched Mahathir and agreed to go along with the Kleptocrats.
Today, he has ditched the Kleptocrats.
Today, PAS is no longer talking about the need to outlaw the production of alcoholic beverages in Malaysia and is part of a government that increased the frequency of four-digit draws, a move that would have seen PAS activists rolling on the streets had they not been in government.
So what exatly has Perikatan Nasional brought to the table?
A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Investment Trends Monitor revealed that Malaysia lost foreign direct investment at a worse rate than both its neighbours and the rest of the world during the pandemic-hit 2020.
Investors are pumping billions upon billions of dollars in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, giving Malaysia a definite miss due to “shifting political grounds and governance problems.”
So why would anyone be surprised that the country has no money?
Could it be that Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was right on the money when he claimed that billions were being used to lure elected representatives towards Perikatan Nasional?
Could this be the reason the country has no money?
Is this what Perikatan Nasional has brought to the table?
Everyone can see how Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional leaders are scrambling all over the place and over one another for positions of power, while the rakyat is told to sit at home and weather the pandemic out.
The ongoing political turmoil has stimulated youth involvement in politics more than ever, and this angry segment is not as nostalgic as the older generation and will be less affected should UMNO or PAS disappear tomorrow.
They see the bunch of power crazed ministers and deputy ministers – the largest ever in Malaysian history– talking about the need to “flatten the Covid-19 curve” while wheeling and dealing in smoke-filled rooms to destabilise state governments, putting into jeopardy existing preventive measures.
They see the biggest ever cabinet in Malaysian history sucking up millions upon millions in additional ringgits to feed new ministers and deputy ministers while the man on the street loses his job or is forced to close his business.
They see state governments talking about increasing the salaries of assemblymen and Executive Councillors while the largest ever cabinet in Malaysian history imposes impossible conditions for the rakyat to withdraw from EPF.
They see a Prime Minister dishing out position after position to Members of Parliament just to stay in power while the average breadwinner struggles to make ends meet.
On the 26th of January 2021, I wrote:
Power, money, greed, politicking, double standards – remember how the youth told their folks back in the kampungs in 2018 to “take whatever the government gives but vote for Pakatan Harapan?”
Well, imagine a lot more of these people, wiser and more internet savvy than ever, hurt by the pandemic and pissed off with government over its ridiculous power struggles and what have you.
Do you actually believe that the 21 to 40-year-old segment will vote for Barisan Nasional or Perikatan Nasional in droves?
When the 15th general election finally arrives, they will opt for a third force comprising a healthy mix of new and old talent, irrespective if those contesting stand as independents or party members.
As long as The Third Force bloc is not formally associated with Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional or Barisan Nasional, the youth will vote even for a nail on the wall as long as it bears The Third Force tag alongside.
I rest my case.