IS there an irresistible “green tide” phenomenon in Malaysia that will transform the country into a complete Islamic state by 2032 when we go to the polls again for the 17th General Election (GE17)?
Such is the view of some political analysts who see Malaysia inexorably heading in that direction.
However, I am not that pessimistic, although the “green tide” phenomenon in the 15th General Election (GE15) had caught all political parties, analysts and opinion polls by surprise.
I believe that the “green tide” phenomenon in GE15 – which had resulted in PAS emerging as the biggest parliamentary group in Parliament with 49 MPs – stood on sand and is far from being invincible.
This is because the phenomenon came about due to the creation of toxic politics of lies, fear and hate with race and religion thrown into the mix as well as the lowering of the voting age to 18, which had added 1.4 million new voters to the electoral row.
The outcome of GE15 isn’t always bad – on a positive note, we have witnessed the rejection of the “Bossku” phenomenon as well as the condemnation of kleptocracy. Unfortunately, GE15 also saw certain quarters succumbing to the politics of fear and hatred tactics for lack of a counter-narrative.
That said, whether the “green tide” phenomenon becomes an irresistible wave moving forward will depend on the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government’s ability to implement reformasi policies and programme to reset the country.
As such, Malaysia must learn from GE15 and not allow Malaysian democracy to be hijacked by toxic politics.
This is why it is imperative for Anwar’s government of the day to deal with the problem of misinformation and polarisation of the social media – which pose an existential threat to Malaysian parliamentary democracy – while striving to create a clean, honest and incorruptible government.
We must ensure that come GE16, Malaysia – having learned her lessons from the previous general election – no longer has to grapple with toxic politics. – Dec 9, 2022
Retired DAP supremo and former Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, 81, has a colourful political career spanning 57 years.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main photo credit: The Star