By K Veeriah
I WAS bemused by PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man call for PAS, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Umno to continue its cooperation beyond the next general election. He urged the parties to do so, ostensibly, to minimise internal politicking and be focused on solving issues affecting the people such as the COVID-19 pandemic!
Tuan Ibrahim, I do not know if you got your cognitive functions right! How would any right-thinking person equate your advocacy for political survival to that of focusing on the plight of the people?
Did it not register in your mind that there is a complete world of difference between the political expediency of the Perikatan Nasional (Perikatan) bedfellows and the suffering of the population?
According to the Business Survival Coalition, the Government’s multi-billion-ringgit financial assistance package did not reach the targetted sectors such as tourism, retail and small and medium enterprises (SME). According to them, only 3.2% of the existing SME’s benefited from the financial assistance.
So, I cannot fathom your proposition that the PAS, Bersatu and Umno’s backdoor partnership ought to prevail not only now but beyond the next general election. In my view, you are but propagating a race-based political ecosystem when our nation was built on the fabrics of a diverse melting pot of race, religious and cultural inheritance.
One need not be a rocket scientist to decipher your race-based political agenda!
As per the record, the Pakatan Harapan Government, though short lived no thanks to the political manevouring of unprincipled political parties like yours, did endeavour to dismantle the race-centric landscape of the nation.
M’sia thrives on diversity, not bigoted agenda
Thus, it is my considered opinion that you, sir, ought to refrain from advocating a race-centric political foot print when what is, desperately needed, is a holistic transformation of the embedded race centric political mentality.
At the bottom of the political spectrum, the race and religious inclinations, skewed towards a selected segment, has dominated the political equation. That needs to change for the sake of a progressive society without any reservations for the colour of one’s skin, religious beliefs and cultural practices.
But it is obvious that you do not subscribe to a plural society by calling for the race centered political parties to act “quid pro quo” so as to ensure political dominance. Rather than advancing your political agenda, what you ought to be focused on is the plight of the people.
If you have not been told, the Department of Statistics Malaysia has just disclosed that the unemployment rate has increased from 4.8% in December 2020 to 4.9% in January 2021, marked by a spike in unemployment in the tourism related sectors.
In a nutshell, it means that the Perikatan Government’s financial assistance schemes have failed to arrest the escalation of unemployment! It is, therefore, obvious that much more needs to be done to address the situation.
Whilst that is the reality, the PAS deputy president seems to have prioritised the political survival of the fragile Perikatan Government, given Umno’s decision to party ways from the coalition after the Parliament is dissolved.
So, Tuan Ibrahim, I would like to suggest for the Government and your good self to resolve the real issues of job losses, pay-cuts, business closures and others, instead of wasting time on petty politics just to stay in power. – Mar 11, 2021
K Veeriah is a veteran unionist who contributes to FocusM.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.