LETTER | The 10- year-old clip featuring Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Unity) P Waythamoorthy has been hogging the news in the mainstream, alternative media and more so in the social media.
The recent exposé by R.AGE, we hope, would give our fellow Malaysians some understanding and grasp of the historical and current issues afflicting the Indian Bottom 40 (IB40) community.
Compared to the national average, the school dropout, unemployment and crime rates are higher in the IB40 community. Anybody who has stayed near a rubber estate or with an Indian community will know how bad their living conditions are.
It is therefore not too difficult to understand the frustrations of the Indian community which has been long neglected by its own leaders and the lack of political will to improve their socio-economic status. Instead, they were used only to win their votes by cash handouts but only to be forgotten until the next election
We may not agree with the politics of Waythamoorthy but surely we can understand why the Indian community sorely needed a much more vocal, aggressive and extrovert exponent to champion their rights and to highlight their predicament and deprivation.
How different are the historical nuances of Waythamoorthy from the current display of racial zealotry by Umno-PAS-right wing Malay NGOs against Icerd which they have mistakenly surmised as abrogating their Malay rights?
And it is these same racist goons who are calling for the expulsion of Waythamoorthy from the cabinet. Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the racist of them all?
Maybe, we should first ask Hadi Awang to seek the nations’ forgiveness on his Amanat which labelled our Federal Constitution as “… mengekalkan perlembagaan penjajah, mengekalkan peraturan kafir, mengekalkan peraturan jahiliyah… dan kerana kita berjuang dengan puak-puak ini, kalau kita mati kerana berlawan ini, mati kita ialah mati shahid …” which, among others, were the triggers for the Memali flashpoint, before asking Waythamoorthy to do so, whose actions, by the way, did not tantamount to any national crisis or loss of lives.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad shamed Anwar Ibrahim, jailed him and subjected him and his family to unimaginable ill-treatment. Yet we voted for him and now put all our hopes for the future of Malaysia on his lap.
We may not want to forget Waythamoorthy’s, Hadi’s or Mahathir’s past but we are willing to forgive them. Let bygones be bygones. Let go of the past, let’s move on but be mindful of the present and plan for the future.
Like an accomplished master clinician, Mahathir has been spot on with his diagnosis of the national woes, and is surgically cutting and drying the national ills with his medication.
So guys, trust the old sly fox, a politician par excellence to select Waythamoorthy without hesitation, to shoulder the Unity portfolio under his watch. It would be naïve to even suggest that Mahathir was oblivious of Waythamoorthy’s political track record.
Guys! Give the doctor a break and let him appoint those who will assist him to reformat and jump-start the policies of the country and make Malaysia great again. To make Malaysia once again, a roaring yet compassionate tiger.
As the leader of a multi-party coalition, Mahathir needs to reach out to all segments of the society, of which the Indians form a small but significant minority. Waythamoorthy’s Hindraf fully supported Pakatan Harapan during the 14th general election, so in a manner of political speaking, it's payback time for Hindraf.
In the New Malaysia, the doctor needs leaders who truly care for their respective communities, a trait which Waythamoorthy embraced and displayed with utmost passion.
Although we detest all the noise and ruckus the rakyat and the opposition have stirred against this new fledgeling government, we all accept and recognise this as a healthy sign of a thriving democracy.
If Waythamoorthy creates undue problems, it will frustrate the rakyat, who will agitate. We know it and he knows it. Transform, perform and conform or the rakyat will boot you out.
Musa Mohd Nordin is a board member of Muslim Professionals Forum and Awaluddin Mohamed Shaharoun is with University Technology Malaysia.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.