Is it true that Anwar and Zahid are embarking on “zero-sum game politics”?

JUDGING by the political decisions made by the Anwar-Zahid combination as the two most powerful leaders in the country at this very moment, a PAS Youth leader has wondered if the duo is adhering to “zero-sum game politics”.

With zero-sum game being a political practice of knocking out the opponent, every single difference is regarded as a life and death battle, according to Terengganu PAS Youth’s information department’s working committee member Ahmad Fahmi Mokhtar.

“Opponents are considered enemies that need to be eliminated at all costs. Defeating the enemy is deemed as a duty. Being defeated by the enemy means a ruin. Winning or losing is everything,” he penned in a Facebook post.

Ahmad Fahmi Mokhtar

“Such understanding will prompt them to do anything to achieve their goal which is the ultimate victory. Politics is no longer seen as a contest of ideas, policies or approaches but as life and death battle.

“In zero-sum game politics, the only thing left is to choose to be with me and you will be safe, otherwise you are doomed.”

According to Ahmad Fahmi, this is what can be observed at the moment with Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being bestowed with various fortunes, including being appointed the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) despite carrying a baggage of 47 cases of corruptions and has remained UMNO president with the intervention of a minister.

“And now Zahid has escaped from 47 prima facie charges … As for those who choose not to be with Anwar or to conform to his wishes, they are deemed to be on the side of the enemy who mustn’t be given face,” Ahmad Fahmi pointed out.

Regardless of the outcome, the PAS Youth leader stressed the need for the opposition to be accorded a check and balance role instead of being perceived as an enemy.

“Allocations to the opposition which they (supposedly referring to Pakatan Harapan) fought for in the past have now been blocked,” claimed Ahmad Fahmi.

“The situation of the opposition now is best described by the Malay proverb that you turn into coal if you win but if you lose, you turn into ashes. This is the result of thinking and practicing the zero-sum game – the losing party will suffer losses and lose everything.”

On the basis of the Anwar-Zahid zero-sum game belief, Ahmad Fahmi reckoned that there is a tendency for the unity government “to feel insecure, afraid of its own shadow and denying the services and contributions by ‘them’ who are not ‘us’”.

“Unfortunately, young people who are still loyal to PH-Barisan Nasional (PN) are also struggling to inherit such mentality. This is another loss and destruction brought about by the politics of zero-sum game which further prolongs the lifespan of outdated and archaic political culture,” lamented Ahmad Fahmi.

“Real democratic politics and politics based on true Islamic beliefs need to be inculcated to demolish the zero-sum game political thinking and approach that is rampant now.” – Sept 22, 2023

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