While Malaysia powers through widespread abuse of power and large-scale corruption, there are those who choose to prioritise one’s ego over our collective national interest. In a time of desperation when we need a united front, we are facing disunity because of the deficit in moral conscience.
Recently, we witnessed a few PAS leaders claim that they are now the ‘kingmakers’ of Malaysian politics. If they side the opposition, the opposition will win. If they side with Umno-BN, the ruling elites will stay on ruling us all.
I won’t try to skirt this issue but address this with full honesty. If we are confronted with three-cornered contests, chances of winning are quite slim and the status quo remains. In a way, this makes PAS’s claim correct. However, behind that honesty lies a more interesting fact.
Any credible opposition party can be ‘kingmakers’ if they flirt with both sides while sacrificing their principles.
Let’s take PKR for example. They have 28 parliamentary seats and rule the Selangor state government. DAP has 37 parliamentary seats while leading the Penang state government. If one of these parties decide to leave the opposition coalition under the pretext of PAS’s version of ‘politik matang’ while flirting with both suitors (ruling government and opposition), they could also be ‘kingmakers’.
The opposition needs them to win. In an event of a hung parliament, Umno-BN needs them to cling on to power. In fact these two parties are in a much better position than PAS since they hold more parliamentary seats than PAS.
However if this were to happen, in a three-cornered contest, they’ll stand the chance of losing both Penang and Selangor. Furthermore, they also risk alienating both suitors due to their political inconsistency. Their grassroots support are also very likely to grow disenchanted to the party elites due to the political whoring.
In the end, the opposition as a whole loses out while Umno-BN clings on to power. The abuse of power and rampant corruption continue like normal.
Despite being a newcomer, even PPBM (Bersatu) could be a ‘kingmaker’ if it wanted to. With the combined influence & experience of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir, a lot can be done to shift a large segment of Malaysia’s electorate. The fact that a three-month-old party can assemble a 10,000 strong crowd during their party launching is proof of this.
Losing one’s sense of direction and purpose
On average, a Bersatu-held ceramah can easily amass a 2,000+ crowd. Its good relations with Warisan in Sabah, in addition to its 200,000 strong party members can make or break the opposition during election. This again sounds grand, but in reality means nothing without other coalition partners. It’s unity which makes or breaks the opposition, not an individual party strength.
We could be ‘kingmakers’ if we adopted PAS’s approach of ‘politik matang’. Flirt with both sides and hope for the best. In the process of flirting, you lose one’s sense of direction and purpose. You form a relationship of convenience based on distrust while waiting for the time to be backstabbed and chucked to the corner when no longer needed.
PKR can flirt with the opposition and Umno to be a kingmaker. DAP can flirt with the opposition and Umno to be a kingmaker. Bersatu can flirt with the opposition and Umno to be a kingmaker. But these parties don’t do so because political whoring betrays the trust of their supporters and the rakyat.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. We need one another. Discard the ego and take the high road. United we stand, divided we fall.
SYED SADDIQ SYED ABDUL RAHMAN is a part-time lecturer at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) Malaysia and is Asia’s best debater, winning the United Asia Debate Championship in May 2015.
Source : @ Malaysiakini