“The true function of the opposition is not to sabotage, overthrow the power that be”

IN elections under a democratic system, a typical outcome is for one political party to be declared the winner and the other to walk out of the contest as a loser.

In the Malaysian context, the party that wins with the most number of seats or having the biggest number of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat will establish a government at the federal level with the blessing of the Yang di-Peruan Agong (YDPA) while the party that fails to get a majority will end up on the opposition bench.

In western democracies like the US which practices a two-party system (either the Republicans or the Democrats will rule), the winner will form the government while the defeated party will take on the opposition role by monitoring the government in terms of auditing its performance or direction to ensure that the well-being of the American citizens is not compromised at all cost.

Essentially, they will establish their own “shadow cabinet/ministry” (as in the Westminster model which somehow forms the basis of the parliamentary system in Malaysia) to scrutinise the policies and actions of the power that be or even to offer alternative policies.

However, the bottom line is that they fulfil such task diligently and professionally yet never harbour any ill-intent to sabotage or overthrow the existing government as how many would expect ‘political enemies’ to behave.

To prevent a hung Parliament in Malaysia, the unity government – an unprecedented exercise – was established in the aftermath of the 15th General Election (GE15) at the advice of the YDPA to prevent a prolonged stalemate. As its name suggests, a unity government is formed by a coalition of parties that can comprise several main blocs alongside smaller parties.

Papparaidu Veraman

In this regard, Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was appointed to spearhead what is today known as the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) ruling coalition has for the past seven months been focusing his energy to re-build the country’s economy from the ruins of yesteryears partly due to political instability and the devastation of COVID-19.

Instead of lending a helping hand or joining forces with the unity government to remedy the country’s so-called ‘ailing’ economy, it is disheartening to observe that the opposition camp is rallying their loyal supporters by leveraging economic hardship felt by the ordinary citizens to their advantage.

Bad enough that they fail to explain the root causes of the current high cost of living that stems from global inflationary pressure or high borrowing cost to the decline of the ringgit to their mostly rural audience who may be detached from economic realities, the blame game has only intensified to the extent of turning unruly amid the looming six state polls.

We have in recent times borne witness to abusive words, lies and slanders from the opposition front – especially from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang – who have been portraying that the Federal government will fall after the upcoming state elections and that the opposition is ready to assume the PM’s position.

In this regard, I would like to call on the opposition factions to stop provocations that make little sense for their ‘immature’ statements can further jeopardise the country’s economy and bring about more widespread hardship to the common people.

I also want to correct their misleading notion by emphasising that the state polls are purely state matters which are not related at all to the PM nor the Federal government although its outcome may in the future test the popularity of the unity government in the 16th General Election (GE16) come 2027.

I believe electorate of the six states that go to the polls in August are mature enough and not easily consumed by fraudulent claims of the Opposition. I am sure they will all give strong support to Anwar’s leadership in steering the country to a brighter and more stable, prosperous future. – June 29, 2023


Papparaidu Veraman is the founder & advisor of Malaysian Indian Voice (MIV) and assistant organisational secretary to DAP Selangor.

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

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