MUDA should be praised rather than calling it a third or a spent force

IT really doesn’t matter whether MUDA wants to be the third or a spent force.

The recent actions of the party in taking a stand against corruption should not be used to fit the mechanical political models of developed countries. It is not scientific to argue that political formation in democratic countries aligns in favour of a two-party or two-coalition system.

There are many political variations depending on the level of democracy, the maturity of the political parties and most importantly whether the public is willing to recognise political formations that might not fit into the normal binary matrix.

Moreover, there are exceptions to the rule especially if Malaysia does not have the same level of democratic experience as the US or Great Britain. To expect political parties in different countries to fit into one or two models might not be scientific.

Rather than taking umbrage with a young party like MUDA by saying that it could even be spent forcefully, credit should be given to the leadership in steering the party out of the present ignominious imbroglio that the Madani government is embroiled with the granting of the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) to UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

While the entire Pakatan Harapan (PH)-Barisan Nasional (BN) shamelessly sought to justify Zahid’s DNAA, it took the courage of the MUDA leadership in general and its president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to opt out of the unity government.

The idea of the spent force was not something perennial, but a position taken to take an independent stand.

Nothing more, nothing less

MUDA might or might not have ulterior motives, but in this particular instance, what was praiseworthy was Syed Saddiq’s initiative to move away from the decision of the unity government that sought to justify corruption.

Syed Saddiq might be attacked, but the fact remains that he took the decision to distance himself and MUDA from the ignominy of corruption in the past shoddy deals of the BN coalition.

The political parties that fought against the corruption of BN have decided in the interest of power and position to mark a deafening silence on the reprieve provided to Zahid.

It doesn’t matter regarding the political direction of MUDA in the foreseeable future, but the fact remains that the party came to the fore to take umbrage of the unity government’s attempt to condone corruption especially the discharge given to Zahid.

This should have been addressed by those who sought to criticise Syed Saddiq over the DNAA granted to Zahid.

If political forces coalesce around binary political formations then on the same token, do these democracies allow for the discharge of persons or leaders who have been charged with corruption especially if these charges are deemed to have prima facie evidence?

It doesn’t matter regarding the political trajectory of MUDA, it doesn’t matter whether the party doesn’t coalesce around binary opposites as expected under normal political circumstances, but what is important is whether the party rises to the occasion to take a stand against corruption and other financial misdeeds.

Even if MUDA becomes a third force, what does it matter? At least the party was able to shame seasoned politicians and leaders of the government for condoning corruption.

How can MUDA be a wasted force when it comes to the limelight in opposing the nefarious practice of providing reprieve for Zahid from prosecution against corruption? – Sept 24, 2023


Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the former DAP state assemblyman for Perai. He is also the former deputy chief minister II of Penang.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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