A BROAD electoral front under the leadership of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) is more than necessary as the 15th General Election (GE15) is not far away.
It doesn’t matter if this can be termed as the big tent approach or broad united front. What is needed is for PH to establish a broad electoral front with fraternal political parties and organisations that are opposed to the Barisan Nasional (BN) or Perikatan Nasional (PN).
UMNO, Bersatu and PAS are the parties that have pushed the country to the brink of disaster. Despite their differences in emphasis, they have no vision for a more progressive Malaysian society.
Their extreme racial and religious rhetoric have divided the nation by pitting the races against one another.
Such ethnic and religious extremism have inevitable produced a form of governance that tolerates massive corruption, financial scandals and other misdeeds. No wonder the country has lost more than a trillion ringgit due to slippages caused by corruption.
The question before all like-minded political parties and organisations is whether political power should be returned to UMNO in the BN coalition. Alternatively, whether UMNO can be opposed and defeated in the forthcoming GE15.
Enough is enough
Haven’t we had enough of UMNO for more than six decades? Haven’t we had enough of the BN coalition that led the country on the path of no return?
Ethnicity and religion have a powerful hold on the masses so much so that these twin elements are used to main the hegemony of UMNO at the expense of the welfare and well-being of the people.
BN by losing power in the last general election has made it possible for the PH Government to briefly crackdown on corruption involving a few top UMNO leaders.
Without PH in power, former prime minister Najib Razak would not have been convicted for corruption and not to mention about the other cases of corruption and money laundering by other UMNO leaders.
But yet these leaders give the impression that they are popular with the masses which thus give rise to the perception that UMNO might return to power.
If UMNO is returned to power, then another cycle of corruption might be in the offing. All those who have been charged might emerge unscathed. Najib might be free to walk the corridors of power again.
No stopping UMNO
There might not be strong forces to check the arrogance and greediness of UMNO. The future of this great country might be lost forever. There might not be another PH to checkmate UMNO.
It is not too late for the opposition – not just the PH but other like-minded political parties and organisations – to come together in an electoral alliance to stop the juggernaut of UMNO.
PH alone might not have the strength and stamina to oppose UMNO. In this respect, PH should cast aside minor differences with other potentially like-minded parties to think of a broader electoral front.
I think that only through a broad electoral front that the opposition could prevent UMNO or BN from coming to power. An electoral front is merely a strategy to deny votes to UMNO.
It is not an end itself but means to larger and more fundamental end of creating a just and egalitarian society.
Perhaps, a society based on the rule of law, a political environment that checkmates ethnic and religious extremism, and most importantly, dismantling the oppressive structures which are the source of divisive politics but are vital for Malaysia’s resurgence.
It is not too late for the battle against the divisive and narcissistic UMNO. – Sept 28, 2022
Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyman for Perai. He is also Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.