The acceptance of former PM Dr Mahathir by the opposition camp has sparked an endless stream of controversies. The Economists has even questioned whether Pakatan Harapan is unable to find another leader better than him.
This is a tragic development in Malaysia’s politics whereby an old generation political leader is back in the limelight and could very likely be a “transitional” prime minster.
This not only reflects the dilemma of the opposition pact but also Umno.
After GE13, senior politicians during the times of Mahathir and Abdullah have been brought back to the forefront, including Azalina and Annuar Musa.
The murky outlook of the Malaysian politics has stemmed from the restrictions imposed by our political parties on the development and growth of young generation leaders.
For instance, Umno has set quotas for divisional nomination for senior party positions. Only those commanding sufficient political resources could possibly get a place in the party leadership, and only the one with the support of most MPs will get to become the prime minister.
We recently saw in France a young man who had never been an elected rep nor taking part in any political election eventually became the country’s president.
39-year-old Emmanuel Macron has made history as the youngest president of France.
A largely unknown low-key politician merely three years back, Macron founded La République En Marche! in April 2016, and it took him only about a year to ascend to the top.
According to political analysts, he emulated the grassroots campaign of former US president Barack Obama in 2008, mobilizing volunteers to knock at the doors of some 300,000 households in order to understand their needs.
He built himself a brand new image that promised hopes for many a disenchanted Frenchman.
Back to Malaysia, we are still very much stuck in the quagmire of age-old politics. No new political discourse, and people are getting increasingly tired of politics.
Politicians on both sides of the great divide are busily attacking their rivals, and an issue as minor as the demolition of a restaurant could be exploited over and again for so long.
Our political leaders can hardly come up with any new idea, such that they can even come forward with things like “you help me, I help you” and remarks that are a sheer humiliation to our secularism.
It will be a disaster if Mahathir will ever get to become the PM again, as he offered to.
Pakatan Harapan has banked on Mahathir’s influences to win the support of rural Malay voters, but have the opposition parties ever questioned the policies of his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, or the party’s stand on New Economic Policy and other racial issues?
If Pakatan fails to strike a common understanding and resolve the political differences among member parties, the history of PAS quitting the pact and causing a split in the opposition camp will very likely be repeated.
There are apparent differences between the ideologies of both DAP and PPBM, and for goodness sake these must never be swept under the carpet.
The voters’ eroded confidence may be restored if the opposition pact would come forward with a common policy statement soonest, offering alternative solutions to address the country’s crisis.
Nevertheless, for the past four years we have only seen opposition parties arguing over a wide range of issues, or harping on the RM2.6 billion political donation and 1MDB scandals without offering any positive solution.
To be honest, people in cities and towns are well familiar with the 1MDB issue, and organizing another rally in urban areas will not have any additional impact. In its stead, too many rallies will only trigger political lethargy among the people.
Perhaps Pakatan should think why more and more people have become disinterested in the election and would rather cast spoilt votes.
Our democratic politics will be in for a major disaster if political lethargy is crushing the people’s faith in democracy.
Pakatan must make a bold move to allow young generation leaders to take charge. Anwar Ibrahim is still behind bars and Mahathir’s records are anything but desirable. Both are not suitable candidates to helm this country.
Severely divided and at a crossroads, the country is in need of young faces that are fresh, bold to change and will start a fresh political revolution to create a new nation for us all.
If Pakatan is not even courageous enough to take the lead to change, how do we expect it to change this country?