Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

62 years after Merdeka – 'New Malaysia' is a fiction

S Thayaparan

Published
Modified 3 Sep 2019, 6:58 am

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

"Mahathir is PM. There's disunity in the nation. People are wary of their future and the economy.

"I'm chugging beers while listening to the Blues Gang sing 'Apo Nak Di Kato' live.

"In 1989 as it is in 2019."

– An astute Twitter post

COMMENT | Merdeka this year is especially disheartening. You would think that the way Pakatan Harapan political operatives talk about this “New Malaysia”, they would have something to show for it. 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng talks about how the greatest challenge facing the Harapan government is the lies and slander perpetuated by its opponents.

“The people have nothing to gain by following those who preach national division through racial and religious extremism,“ he proclaimed while ignoring the reality that the biggest proponents of race and religion-based dialectic is the party with the smallest numbers but which control the levers of power enabled by non-Malay powerbrokers who just want to hold on to power.

Seriously, these kind of lies and slander rhetoric are the stratagems Harapan used when they were the opposition in all its incarnations. Move on. The greatest obstacle to a "New Malaysia" is the reality that Harapan political operatives lack the will, imagination and the cojones to carry out the reforms that they promised their base would “save Malaysia”.

Contrast Lim’s Merdeka message with that of PSM leader S Arutchelvan’s piece on wage inequality. What I like about the piece is that it is about the rakyat or at least that demographic of the rakyat which nobody seems interested in. It was not about maintaining political power but rather about how a certain section of Malaysians live. We often forget about that. If this isn't a great way to acknowledge Merdeka, I do not know what is... 

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