Malaysiakini Letter

Stop the fractious, almost lethal, friendly fire

M Santhananaban
Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Most Malaysians who welcomed the new government with much enthusiasm, fanfare and fairly high expectations are, as 2018 draws to a close, deeply concerned with the ferociousness and frequency of friendly fire from within the ruling rainbow political coalition.

While the events of May 9-10 had ushered a greater and more open discourse on public issues, this openness has brought us to a somewhat embittered and embarrassing situation.

It would seem that almost every statement by senior leaders in the Pakatan Harapan coalition are subject to the kind of scrutiny that would strain, even undermine, those leaders’ stature and credibility.

How can they govern and provide leadership for realistic and workable policy options when there is constant sniping and strafing?

While this was the Harapan’s electoral victory, it was as much the people’s verdict too. The people of the country cannot now be divided into opposing segments for analytical and polemical purposes.

There is no point in pitting different factions of the population against each other when a clear and decisive mandate has already been obtained.

Some restraint, reserve with decorum and discipline is essential to make the victory of May 9 a meaningful one.

It is laudable that there is now a credible parliamentary opposition, which although tainted by elements of kleptomania, has raised many pertinent issues.

There is really no need for the kind of suicidal friendly fire from the highest levels to prove the point there are upright and conscientious upcoming leaders aligned to the ruling coalition.

We do not need to emulate the quintessential Che Det, not to that extent.


The writer is a retired Malaysian diplomat whose last ambassadorial assignment was to Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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