My friend from BERSATU called me recently and, like so many others have already done, asked if I had been given a seat to contest in the coming General Election. I told him that I appreciated his concern but that I had not received any offers.
To be exact, I received a tentative offer months ago but I was not interested in that seat. It had no political significance for me. Winning a seat and becoming an MP is not that important at this stage of my life. I will only contest in these elections if my participation signifies a significant new political narrative in the country that augurs well for our future. Let me elaborate.
If I were a DAP candidate, then I would only contest in an urban, Chinese-majority area. The significance would be that DAP truly welcomed this Malay and was willing to give up a “safe seat” for him. The DAP’s generosity can be a new political narrative for the country, dispelling the widespread notion that DAP is a selfish Chinese party. This is significant because UMNO and the ultra Malays are always saying DAP will take over the country to the detriment of the Malays.
Some may think that I am just looking for a plum seat and am not willing to take any risks. Let me remind them that if I had wanted safe politics, I would have remained in government and would not have sacrificed my Ministerial position over some Chinese citizens who were detained under the ISA. My interest has always been about having a better future for the country, not about becoming a YB.
If I were a Bersatu or PKR candidate (this is purely hypothetical of course, since I am not a member of either party and the Pakatan Harapan is not flexible enough of an organisation to accommodate me), then I would only contest against Datuk Seri Utama Shahrir Samad or Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. These two Barisan Nasional “icons” would be significant opponents because they represent the past, and because their blind loyalty to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a political phenomenon that must not be allowed to gain a stronger foothold if we don’t want to end up a perfect dictatorship.
When smart people abandon reason and obediently follow instructions at the expense of the people’s welfare, we have to face them and defeat them. This is another example of the kind of significant political narrative that interests me. UMNO has a few “icons” still making news every day, and they will continue to roam the streets unless the Pakatan are willing to take them on.
Anyway, I am due to go south next week to do my usual circuit of small ceramah where I explain to people, especially the Malays, why change is all that can save our future. We have no capital, no land and no expertise; I will keep reminding them that the elites have stolen from them for a long time, and that it’s about time we put a stop to it. I don’t need to be a candidate to be a messenger.