Zahid bends the knee to Hadi

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Cowardice rightly understood begins with selfishness and ends with shame.”
– José Rizal, Noli Me Tángere

COMMENT | Well, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Umno president under investigation, has finally kissed PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s ring, when he claimed that Umno and PAS should merge.

Hadi, with his silence, is playing hard to get (which just makes it more humiliating for Umno and gives the PAS base that extra boost), but really, has there even been a kleptocrat that he has not liked for the advancement of race and religion?

I previously made two points on the only Malay opposition:

“Now that Umno is the opposition and a babe in the woods when it comes to opposition politics, they are subservient to PAS who have demonstrated that they are willing to go at it alone, if need be.”

“The Malay opposition will define itself by offering a virulent counter-narrative when it comes to issues of race and religion. They will attempt to force the Harapan regime to demonstrate how committed they are in their secular principles, and of course their egalitarian principles – if they are committed to these at all.”

What is destroying Umno is not the fact that its members are jumping ship or that the state has initiated a slew of investigations into the corrupt practices that had the imprimatur of the man leading Pakatan Harapan, but rather the utter cowardice of the current Umno leadership to go at it alone if need be. That and the fact that there is no short supply of court jesters operating without supervision.

Handling dissent

The upcoming rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), jointly organised by PAS and Umno, is the perfect opportunity for 'New Malaysia'.

We get to see how Harapan handles legitimate expression of dissent. We get to see if it caves to the political machinations of Umno and PAS...

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