Bersatu’s dilemma – stay with Harapan or join Umno-PAS.
Hmmmmmmmm: So, finally the cat is out of the bag. This the whole purpose of organising the Malay Dignity Congress, isn’t it?
The organiser tries to bring in the leaders of the Malay-based political parties Umno, PAS and Bersatu to ‘persuade’ them to work together. Those who might not be amenable to the union were not invited.
Quigonbond: I would like to see Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) comment on Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan’s proposal for Bersatu to pull out of Pakatan Harapan and join Umno and PAS for Malay unity.
If GPS agrees to join the racial-theocratic coalition, they should be prepared to lose the next state election.
Anonymouss: Before Bersatu president Dr Mahathir Mohamad even agreed to join the Umno-PAS alliance, Mat Hasan is already asking for positions – “But Umno and PAS should be given a significant role in restoring this country. We don’t want to be just passengers.”
The Umno politicians are so eager to take up government positions again.
They are trying to hoodwink the Malays into thinking that they are fighting for the community’s interests. Instead, politicians like Mat Hasan are just using religion and race for their own political benefits.
Jaya Jayam: Bersatu leaving the Harapan coalition to team up with Umno and PAS would be for the greater good of this nation.
Harapan would be rid of its cancer. Unfortunately, this could lead to a major racial rift which can cause mayhem unless PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and the other Harapan parties can steady the ship.
But from past experience, there appears no hope to educate the masses about intellectual politics instead of racial politics.
There seems to be little hope for racial unity in this country as the rakyat has been conned by politicians for far too long. Only God can save us.
Guuunner: If Mahathir decides to take Bersatu out of Harapan, the remaining parties in the Harapan coalition can form a purely multiracial government with Warisan and GPS, and steer the country clear of racial extremism.
That’s the way to go for a truly New Malaysia.
Just A Malaysian: A race where its leaders steal can never progress. See certain countries in Africa and Asia being ruled by dictators as examples.
And then look at countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, China and Australia. See how the population reacts when their leaders misappropriate even a small sum of money.
See how their leaders are thrown to jail or commit suicide for a very minuscule sum when compared to the size of the corruption in Malaysia.
These countries are administered well. Mat Hasan, it is never the unity of a particular race which is the crux of our malaise.
It is corruption by politicians and those holding important positions, who then hide behind the veil of race and religion, which is holding the country back.
The people, including the Malays, should ‘bangkit’ (rise) and get rid of these pests once and for all.
Malaysianheart: Mat Hasan’s offer to Bersatu seems to be still grounded on the feudal style of thinking and doing things. This does not sound like a democracy to me.
Heads of political parties cannot simply suggest or do things as if the whole party belongs to them. What happened to shared governance in administrating a country? Is the government made up of only one party? Do all these politicians really know the Federal Constitution?
They talk like they don’t even know that there is a Federal Constitution that guarantees the position of Islam, bumiputera privileges and the national language.
If every politician, especially those in the ruling government, are carrying out their duties diligently, honestly and fairly, there should be no worry about the race, religion or language.
Perhaps those sharing their fears, insecurities and tendencies for division are really saying that they are afraid of non-Muslims ruining the country if placed in a position of authority.
Could this really be a reflection on how our previous ministers and government machinery have been practising over the past 60 years?
Fair Malaysian: Mat Hasan, let me tell you something in a short and simple way.
Great empires of the world have collapsed. Take the Roman Empire, not to forget the rulers of Egypt, the French, the Russians and the Caliphates.
They all have one thing in common for their fall – greed and parochialism. When Umno fell after ruling for over 60 years – greed and parochialism were at the forefront.
What Umno, PAS and the Malay NGOs are talking about – racial unity and ummah (religious ties) – are not new.
While Umno had a good start during pre-independence, over the years, greed took over. It became a party for getting contracts and positions and ultimately, included allegedly corrupt leaders.
Not that Umno may not get a bite at the cherry again, but it will be an uphill task for the party to win in the next general election. People generally will identify it with the wrong reasons, especially corruption.
PAS and parochialism are inseparable. The inclusiveness of the late ‘Tok Guru’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat saw the party shedding this image for a while, but with current president Abdul Hadi Awang, it continues to distance itself from the non-Malays in the country.
The inability and unwillingness of Umno to purge itself of rogue elements had weakened the party exponentially. It may look like the race and religion factor had given Umno a new lease of life but it is going to be a dead end.
For a revival and as a long-term strategy, Umno needs to go back to the drawing board.
The best chance for Umno to regain its influence is by becoming a multiracial party in word and spirit and embrace and extend a hand of sincerity and friendship to all Malaysians.
The party needs to distance itself from money politics and take the lead to report its members suspected of corruption to the MACC.
However, with the same faces around like Annuar Musa and Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the party is heading nowhere.
If Umno follows this path sincerely, it doesn’t need to ally with Bersatu, or even PAS, in order to regain respect and support.
Newday: Bersatu was formed because something had to be done to get rid of Umno’s gross corruption and self-enrichment.
Has anything changed yet within Umno after their failure in the election? The answer is a resounding ‘No’.
Mind you, Bersatu itself is showing many signs that the Umno DNA is still floating around within the party.
Anonymous 0123456789: I respect Mat Hasan but I do not agree with his call for Bersatu to join PAS and Umno.
Bersatu should stay with Harapan. Mahathir is doing a great job there… breaking Harapan apart.
Malaysian unity is more important than Malay unity
Dear Dr M,
This is my second letter to you in two weeks and this time it is about Malaysian unity and dignity. As prime minister, you are the one who can play the biggest role as far as this is concerned, and like many Malaysians, I am puzzled, confused and horrified at the way you tackle one of the most important issues facing our country.
You talk endlessly about Malay unity, or rather the lack of it, but is it really Malay unity that we should focus on or should we prioritise Malaysian unity instead? I am not even sure I understand what you mean by Malay disunity.
If Malays don’t support any single political party solidly, does it mean they are disunited? Of course not. They just have different opinions about these political parties, much like Americans routinely vote Republican or Democrat, depending on the times.
There is a change in government, as part of the democratic process, all the time, but in Malaysia it was different. The party you previously supported, Umno, of which you were a very big part and contributed greatly to make it undemocratic, ruled this country in a coalition for over 60 years, a world record which still stands today.
Then, as history has shown everywhere, where power is concentrated and accountability disappears, corruption begins to grow and grow and grow and eventually becomes uncontrollable. The Umno government borrowed money and put its hands in the till and stole unabashedly – over RM30 billion as verified by the auditor-general then, with US$7 billion unaccounted for.
When the elections came, the Malays were at a crossroads as to what to do – do they vote out kleptocrats at the expense of the party they had uninterruptedly supported since independence in 1957? The answer was clear – kleptocrats must be kicked out.
They were resoundingly anti-Umno – from over 50 percent of Malay votes in 2013, Umno’s share dropped to as low as over 30 percent – which means that as much as 70 percent of Malays voted against Umno in 2018, casting their vote unequivocally for the opposition. Remember PAS was in the opposition. Let me say that again, the Malay vote was decidedly anti-Umno.
This is the important part – together with the strong swing of the non-Malays away from BN, and by extension Umno, this was enough to throw the kleptocratic government out.
In other words, Malaysian unity threw the kleptocratic government out, and you became prime minister because of it, and because Harapan chose you to be the interim prime minister for a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-dimensional coalition.
How fantastic and wonderful is that – torn between loyalty for Umno and the clear evidence of a thieving government, they chose either Harapan or PAS in more or less equal measure, but they were united in their disdain for Umno – and we have a new government and new, old prime minister.
If the Malays had followed your brand of unity – if that means supporting a single party come hell or high water – they would have stuck with Umno for better or worse. And you would not have become prime minister, the coalition would not be in power and Najib Razak would continue to rob and steal, put people in jail, sack good people and run roughshod over the country.
Yet you continue to castigate them for their political disunity, unfairly. They are politically disunited because of the poor quality of the various parties out there, who claim to represent them, especially those that are Malay and Islamic.
Your Bersatu, in which the membership, like Umno’s, is only confined to Malays and the party that you intended to be a replacement for Umno, did not achieve its aims. Among Malay parties, it is a mosquito, with just 13 parliamentary seats after the elections, with Amanah with 11 seats being the only one with less. Multi-racial PKR, which has significant support among Malays, notched up over three times your 13 with 47.
Dear Dr M, the days when elections can be won by the blind support of the Malays of largely one party are gone. You may perhaps want to form an alliance of all Malay parties, but I doubt even you can do it, and even if you can, whether that coalition will last.
It will be a coalition of the tainted and the corrupt and it will lead eventually, because of lack of accountability to the voting public, to another round of excesses bigger than the last, from which we may never recover and put our fates in the hands of a dictator. Is this what you want from Malay unity?
According to the last population census – in 2010 – Malays formed just 54.5 percent of the population (table below). If you want to get a majority of the popular vote based only on Malay votes – that is, not rely on others for political power as you said at the infamous Maruah Melayu conference – you need 92 percent of Malays to support one party. That won’t happen.
Now, let’s say you get just 50 percent of Malay support and 60 percent of support from non-Malays, you are home – you will win the elections hands down. If you want Harapan to continue to lead after you are gone and for Umno/PAS to not regain power, the solution is simple – diminish the racial divide among Malaysians.
Surely you can see Malaysian unity is the best for the majority of us, Malay or non-Malay, even if the majority in the country are Malays. No one can take anything away from the Malays because they have a large influence on ultimate political power.
What is a threat to Malays is not the non-Malays or the non-Muslims, but their own leaders who have betrayed them by not ensuring equal and fair development of the country for the majority of the population. Since Malays are in the majority, when there is such failure, Malays will feel it the most.
The reason for that is that the Malay leadership post the 1969 racial riots, which may well have been engineered, have enriched themselves and their cronies through corruption and acts of patronage, giving those who had lots of money even more and widening the income gap.
Dear Dr M, your ignorance of Malaysian unity is incomprehensible and if one were to impute motives, one obvious one would be that you are once again going extreme to gain popular support.
That’s a dangerous way to go – you are underestimating the intelligence, knowledge and wisdom of your own race – they can read you and they can reject you, like they did Najib.
Do not take lightly the survey findings that Pakatan Harapan’s support has dwindled to 38 percent now from 80 percent post-GE14. It is not because of the lack of Malay support, but of broad support – lack of Malaysian support, in other words.
Have genuine policies that help all disadvantaged Malaysians and the lower-income group, and your ratings will improve, as will the standard of living of Malays.
Your rejection of Malaysian unity in favour of Malay unity is unwise, to say the least. Then you go and dignify with your presence a congress on Maruah Melayu, the thrust of which was that non-Malays are threatening Malays.
Not only that, you poured fuel on fire by calling our ancestors “orang asing” (foreigners) at that same conference because ultimately all of us, including even the Malays, came here from elsewhere, according to historians.
You went on to say that Malays were forced to accept these “orang asing” as citizens in exchange for independence, a rather unorthodox interpretation of history, not supported by facts. In the 1955 elections preceding independence in 1957, the Alliance won around 80 percent of the total vote and 51 out of 52 seats contested, an astounding victory indicating tremendous unity for independence among all Malayans.
You have an ancestor who came from India, like many other Indians in this country, and even a lesser history in this country compared to many non-Malays. Does that make you any less a Malaysian? Surely not. That’s the same with non-Malays – we are not any less Malaysian.
Preceding your address at that Maruah Melayu the conference CEO, Zainal Kling, said that Malaysia was for Malays, but you never put him right. The only social contract is the Constitution, which gives equal rights to all Malaysians.
Dear Dr M, there is only one way for Malaysia to move forward – as Malaysians. Right now, you are not helping.