When Harapan can’t talk about race and religion

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Beware the ridiculous. It will one day rule you.”

- Steven Dietz, ‘God's Country’

COMMENT | We do not normally see pieces like Fa Abdul’s piece ‘And the award for best actor goes to…’ on Malaysiakini very often. This is to say that the “serious stuff” that Fa Abdul wrote is ignored for pieces that highlight the corruption scandals in this country and not the underlying moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the opposition.

I realise long-standing friends from the opposition do not like it when I write these – as one political operative often says – “screeds”. However as each day passes, I keep thinking of how even if the opposition loses in the upcoming general election, they will not have the moral or intellectual high ground. Those people who voted opposition would not be able to say they voted for change but did not succeed.

If “racism” is such a big issue to people who support the opposition, if the systemic inequalities that some describe as an “apartheid” system is really destroying this country, then do we really have a future when the opposition will never address these issues? Even if by some miracle they do manage to take over Putrajaya, the opposition would always be beholden to a demographic that supports institutionalised racism.

When questioning the Pakatan Harapan new deal, I wrote – “Anti-Chinese narratives fuel ‘ketuanan’ politics and while it may seem like a good political strategy to further the narratives that the Malay community is under threat from foreign Chinese intervention, the reality is thanks to Biro Tatanegara (BTN) courses, the social contract, the racist rhetoric of Umno, the ‘putar belit’ narratives of the opposition, this meme that the Malay community will always be under siege, is what is going to destroy this country in the near future.”

This is why racial politics in this country is so screwed up. While Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman gets to wax eloquent about how a Chinese man is a hero because he defended a Malay man in a political gathering organised by right-wing Malay nationalists – and this is precisely what Bersatu is - Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, a member of another right-wing nationalistic Malay party, gets to call Perkasa – a right-wing nationalistic NGO - "racist" because Perkasa cast aspersions on “Chinese” (PRC) development in Malaysia

While I have claimed that a two-party system is the only moral and intellectual argument that one could make for supporting the opposition, the reality is that I think no political party is interested in resolving the systemic dysfunction in this country because the single issue of removing Najib from power dominates mainstream politics these days.

Consider this piece as an attack on my own argument.

Let say the opposition removes Prime Minister Najib Razak from power, then what...

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