Twist of fate: Of PH-led gov’t on the receiving end and its hypocrisy towards BERSIH rally

IT really doesn’t matter whether the BERSIH (Coalition for Clean and Fair Election) rally attracts the crowd as in the previous rallies against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

For those who are merely looking at the crowd, the BERSIH rally today will be the first rally against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) led unity government.

That more BERSIH rallies are underway in the future cannot be discounted.

Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the present leaders of PH component parties especially the DAP and PKR who rode on the earlier wave of BERSIH rallies never realised that these rallies could be used against them in the future.

In fact, dissatisfaction against the unity government is already gathering momentum. The PH led coalition that came to power on the bandwagon of reforms has ceased to be a reform-based government.

In fact, the mantra of reformasi has completely disappeared as soon as the coalition came to power.

Those who are blind to the fallacies of the present government argue that political stability had to precede before reforms could be introduced.

The government already has a parliamentary majority, thanks to the defection of six Bersatu MPs. What more is needed for political stability?

Corruptors left off the hook

The term political stability is a subjective one – it can be used as more of an excuse to delay reforms. Anwar is a big disappointment to Malaysians hungry for reforms and change.

Anwar’s ascension to power was welcomed because the public really believed that he unlike other earlier prime ministers would undertake the much-needed reforms.

If his own political party was predicated on the need of reforms, then the public needed no further affirmation of the reform agenda of the PH lead coalition government.

Unfortunately, after Anwar having been in office for slightly more than a year, all hopes for reforms have evaporated. The public is wondering if there will be reforms at all.

Is it the fault of the electoral watchdog BERSIH to express dissatisfaction with the leadership of Anwar? Does Anwar expect BERSIH to take things lying down?

In the last one year or so, the problems of the country are presented as those that are externally created. It is said that the slide of the ringgit is caused by the rise in the US interest rates and China’s purchasing power.

But what about the internal factors? If the government can condone some high-profile corruption cases, what will be the effect of these on foreign investors’ confidence in the political and economic system?

Anwar repeatedly cites foreign investment figures for last year to suggest investor confidence but he conveniently neglects to inform the net investment figures.

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Hypocritical PH

Foreign investments alone are not the sole indicator of the robust nature of the political and economic system.

What about the effect of the ringgit slide on the Malaysian population especially the majority, low-income earners? Did Anwar factor this element in his analysis of the overall confidence in the economy?

Something is seriously wrong with the country but Anwar or the government is not willing to admit them. As in MacBeth, the fault is not in the stars but ourselves.

The blame is always on the others; the opposition and some disgruntled elements.

BERSIH is not asking for something that is new but merely wants reforms limiting the term of the PM, separating the office of the Attorney-General (AG) and the public prosecutor, thus adopting a firm stand against corruption and others.

Shouldn’t the hypocritical PH lead unity government be looking into these? Whatever happened to the earlier shouts of reformasi and lawan tetap lawan?

Before the scheduled date of the BERSIH rally, the police were let loose against the BERSIH organisers. They were warned of holding the rally without permits and others. These were similar warnings against BERSIH during the BN regime.

The BN regime is no more. Ironically, those giving directions to the police today are those in forefront of the earlier BERSIH rallies.

The Madani government’s antipathy towards the BERSIH rally can be captured by quoting the famous line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “Et tu, Brute (You too, Brutus?).” – Feb 27, 2024


Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

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

Main pic credit: BERSIH Facebook

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