Umno, PAS and the shape of things to come

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“But he that sows lies in the end shall not lack of a harvest, and soon he may rest from toil indeed, while others reap and sow in his stead.”

- JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Mark my words, the next general election, the election that the grand Umno Poohbah likes to keep us guessing on, will be the last Great War for Malaysia.

Moreover, if anyone thinks I am being controversial or provocative in my use of the term “war” than you can take your sensitivities and migrate because this is exactly what Umno thinks of elections in this country. This is not a functional democracy and Umno considers anyone who does not vote BN as enemies of the Umno state.

I say “for Malaysia” because this is exactly what is at stake. What kind of country do you want to live in? A country ruled by kleptocrats and religious zealots or a flawed democracy with incremental, maybe even infinitesimal, progress?

Does that sound overdramatic? Hyperbolic? The consequences of losing this election will not be felt immediately. It will slowly creep up on an apathetic citizenry. As Malaysian history demonstrates, the Malay and non-Malay community that were fairly integrated before will soon find themselves separated, not by the banality of culture but rather the heavy boot of religious and racial superiority, which post-1969 has been the agenda of choice for Umno potentates, the most cunning of which leads the opposition today.

However, it could be worse. Depending on how “badly” Umno wins, the Umno high command may decide that they cannot afford to play election poker any more, even more so when they have stacked the deck in their favour. While it is possible that Umno may turn on itself, the current grip that the grand poohbah has on Umno, with the cash is king ethos, the new National Security Council (NSC) laws and the servile security apparatus, all point to darker designs.

This Umno hate fest was historic for a couple of reasons. First Umno embraced PAS in its bosom, via Hadi Awang’s hudud bill, but more importantly, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who for so long demonised the DAP, entered the lion’s den and apparently came out with the impression that he was surrounded by multi-racial Malaysian lambs.

If PKR still thinks that it is simpatico with PAS and if Bersatu still thinks that PAS is an oppositional voice, the words of PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan should dispel this delusion. If the sight of the grand Umno poohbah and Hadi Awang joining hands at the Rohingya shindig, not to mention the exclusion of the Muslims from PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu, does not shake these Muslim oppositional power brokers out of their stupor, nothing will.

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