Why do Malaysians repeatedly fall for race-baiting?

It is time we realise that our Machiavellian leaders are controlling us through manipulation, deceit, punishment, fear, and distrust.

It was reported in FMT recently that political analyst James Chin of the University of Tasmania speculated that in the run-up to the upcoming state elections, Perikatan Nasional (PN) might use four narratives against the unity government.

And, it is no surprise that the four narratives are that the LGBT lifestyle is apparently spreading under this government; that Christianity is growing whilst Islam is under threat; that the Malay majority in the country is losing power; and that the corruption charges levelled against former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin is nothing more than political persecution.

The final narrative about another alleged corrupt ex-prime minister, is something which is being dealt with by the courts, therefore sub judice. But, the other three stories are so stale, and are a regurgitation of absolute nonsense.

This is the kind of rubbish that the former Mahathir administration regularly spewed out.

The “divide and rule” policy, or divide and conquer, in politics and sociology is about gaining and maintaining power divisively. This is what numerous administrations from the 70s onwards have succeeded in doing in Malaysia.

Unscrupulous Malaysian politicians have taken stoking and fanning racial and religious suspicion, fear, and hatred to an art-form. Every time there is an election looming, the first page of their “playbook” is to start harping on the imaginary and completely unfounded allegation that the majority Malay population is somehow going to lose power.

Then they will throw into the mix some anti-Christian bile, and for good measure, a dash of LGBT issues in the hope of creating enough fear in the electorate to vote for a parochial and narrow-minded set of leaders.

These are the very same leaders who then “scam” the nation.

I mean seriously, how else can they account for the fact that these “self-appointed guardians” with their jingoistic and ultra-nationalistic fear mongering, have presided over the decline of Malaysia in the past five decades? All their affirmative action policies have amounted to zilch.

When Malaysia launched the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970, our GDP per capita was about the same as Singapore. Now, Singapore has a GDP per capita of US$66,176 and Malaysia’s is a meagre US$10,575.

Is this the cost of looking after Malay rights? Ensuring that Christianity does not spread? And, the nation does not get “overrun” by the LGBT community?

It is the same old hogwash that they are spewing, again and again.

And some of our citizenry keeps falling for this nonsense. And all this, while our neighbour Indonesia, another Muslim-majority nation, and countries like Vietnam and Cambodia start to overtake us economically.

Our politicians seem to have no ethical conviction. And they repeatedly show that they can get whatever they want through self-driven manipulation. Mahathir Mohammad, at an age when he should be bringing the country together as an elder statesman, is instead being true to form and is as Machiavellian as always.

Mahathir is hell bent on generating fear to create a retaliatory mood against this current unity government. And, PN is rejoicing on the sidelines and will join the bandwagon.

When will Malaysians realise that our Machiavellian leaders control others through manipulation, deceit, punishment, fear, and distrust. This is what PN is propagating now.

They have no real plan for economic growth, the eradication of poverty, and combatting corruption. Consequently, a better education system, the rebuilding of an inclusive society, and creating a fair and just civil service gets forgotten.

If anyone else comes with plans to do this, the immediate accusation is about the Malay-majority community losing power and they launch into a fear-mongering exercise.

Instead, their agenda seems to focus on religious intolerance, creating racial tensions, masking corruption under the guise of political persecution, further strengthening exclusive policies, and of course, ensuring that your short-pants are not too short.

These are the populist policies that PN and their ilk promulgate. It is unbelievable that in this day and age, some politicians are comfortable with making public declarations about being “Malay first before being Malaysian”.

When someone says this, what chance are they giving to fostering an inclusive nation?

And of course, this type of race and religion baiting works with some sections of the populace.

In Malaysia, our education system perpetuates these racial biases. So many eminent academics have repeatedly argued that our country’s education system has divided the population by race and religion. The education curricula at all levels have been infused with so much religious and ethnic dogma.

So, how can we now expect our children to live together in a multi-ethnic society?

Unless there is a concerted effort to present an education system free from religiosity and entrenched racial doctrines, as a nation, we will continue to be plagued by racism and racist people.

And it is abundantly clear that our current opposition politicians have absolutely no desire for an inclusive Malaysia regardless of race, and religion.