Malaysians have succeeded in their goal in removing Barisan Nasional (BN) government from power on May 9 General Election (GE), but one could not say the battle has been won yet.
Surprisingly after one year in power the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition which people voted for has failed to bring even 50% changes or reformation as promised in its election manifesto. Instead the toppled coalition (BN) is returning to power despite having no clear policy and their party leaders are being accused in mega scandals related to corruption.
Having won three by-elections this year could be a sign that BN especially UMNO is returning to power.
The latest survey and findings show that more than 60% Malaysians are not satisfied with this new government.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir admitting that PH government needs more time to fulfill the people’s aspiration could be just another obvious indication that it has not fulfilled its mission in the first year in power.
In fact, the join force or collaboration between UMNO and Pas who are very experienced in political games has caused not only a threat to the PH but indirectly hinders its plan or attempt to do any reformation.
A classic example was when PH wanted to ratify the Rome Statute, or declare “equality” among all races in Malaysia, UMNO and Pas have criticized and even rallied against this move and as a result PH had to retreat.
The Pas and UMNO’s policy, rhetoric and claim that they are defending the Malays, Islam and rulers seem to be a blockage for any political or social reformation PH tries to execute.
If we go back to May 9 general election and ask why on earth had Pakatan Harapan won and BN that ruled and built Malaysia for more than 5 decades since Malaysia Independence lost? You may get the following answer: PH won because it promised Malaysians reformation, full democracy, and equality which BN could not do for years.
People may think that BN was ousted because of 1MDB scandal, but it s not only that; almost half of Malaysian people wanted to topple it even before 1MDB revelation. In 2013 general election BN was about to lose – they won only with a small margin.
According to BBC, in 2013 general election the then Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional coalition won 133 of the 222 in parliamentary seats – its worst-ever election performance. The opposition won 89 seats, up from 82, in GE13. Defeated opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim accused the ruling coalition of widespread fraud.
Most of the people who voted for PH were those from the minority groups, particularly the Chinese and Indians, besides the educated urban people from all races.
They voted for PH because they want an end to kleptocracy, bureaucracy, nepotism, racism, extremism, corruption and so on. In short, they wanted democracy that goes in line with the new Malaysia aspirations that focus on equality, development and prosperity.
According to the dictionary, “kleptocracy” means “a society whose leaders make themselves rich and powerful by stealing from the rest of the people.”Nepotism means favoring a race or a person than the others – a type of discrimination.
But could the PH government fulfill this dream for the people as pledged in the election manifesto?
Pakatan Harapan for a long time has been carrying the flag of “reformsi” and democracy when they were in the opposition. But now when they become the government it seems “they cannot walk the talk”.
Dr Mahathir has recently said that they have to study for any reformation move, such as ratifying the Rome Statute, whether it suits the culture and norms in Malaysia or not.
After a while one would wonder whether the process of transformation towards democracy, transparency and equality that PH is trying to embark are acceptable by the Malays and Islam as a whole.
Some Malay and opposition groups have been making fuss since PH took to power, claiming that Malay community and Islam have been sidelined. And hence they claim to defend the Malays and Islam. They even rallied against the new government and threatened to create a “Malay revolution”.
The Pas and UMNO are championing the struggle of the Malays and Islam while PH is championing democracy and equality among races or ethnicities.
War of political ideologies is mounting, and if not managed well it might lead to a political crisis like what had happened in the Arab world in 2011 till today.
Dr Mahathir, who has been a political leader for more than two decades, just recently realized that only through a democratic, clean government with zero corruption Malaysia could become a developed nation like Australia or New Zealand and Canada.
But now that he has a chance to be the Prime Minister again, can he do it?
When we have democracy, we will have freedom of speech, people will voice up and the government will listen to their concerns. When we have democracy and transparent government, people will have adequate education system and equal job opportunities. When we have democracy and clean government, nobody will be above the law, and there will be no bribes, corruption, or abuse of power. And eventually economy will flourish and the country will develop.
Democracy is the fundamental and the core pillar of development. Economic growth may spare us extra money, but not civilization or development status, unless it comes in a package in line with political and social reformation.
Those who are against democracy are considered as “traitors” to the country. They only serve as a stumbling block to the progress of the people especially the Malays, Muslims and the prosperity of the whole nation.
Dr. Mahathir’s move and strategy to turn Malaysia into a developed nation in the near future must be supported by all Malaysians, especially the Malays who make up the majority.
The Muslim Malays, and all Muslims in general, do not need to feel unsecured with any new transformation approach or system being introduced by the new government in various sectors as long as they are equipped with good and up-to-date education and skills which qualify them in today`s globalized, competent job market.- World News