LETTER | Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman recently attracted a lot of attention with his anti-Taliban TikTok video, decrying the support of a certain political party towards the fledgling Afghan administration.
There is a great deal of irony when the same person who denounced the Islamic government of Afghanistan is the same person who willingly posed with a preacher that was labelled an extremist, Zakir Naik.
With Syed Saddiq, we have a person who is anti-Islamic on the one hand, and a supporter of the global faith on the other.
Now, this has attracted a great deal of criticism from his haters on the conservative right, this sort of lalang behaviour isn’t anything new from Saddiq - who has consistently made his political career by portraying himself as a “flexible” politician.
This can especially be seen when he goes on photo-ops in the name of “bipartisanship”, quite often legitimising the current unelected government.
We all questioned his decision to bring his fledgling Muda party to meet with former prime minister Najib Razak at his home - a strange turn of events when considering Syed Saddiq’s past statements towards the latter.
There is a great deal of irony when Syed Saddiq was the same person who decried the possibility of a Pakatan Harapan-Umno unity government with Najib.
Should we accept that Syed Saddiq openly sat down with Najib, whilst Harapan took great pains to deny the latter’s involvement in its attempts to secure support?
Many have seen this as Syed Saddiq betraying his principles - but it should be noted that principles mattered little for him when he was in power.
Malaysians still remember when he went on record to say that “an attack against my Chinese and Indian brothers and sisters is an attack against all Malaysians” about the comments made by the controversial preacher Zakir against the ethnic minorities in this country.
Less than two weeks later, the then youth and sports minister was seen sharing a meal with the Indian fugitive at his home and urged Malaysians to move on. This, of course, was not that he was caught bending his principles.
Prior to the meeting, Syed Saddiq had supported a call for Zakir to be deported. But he also often took the opportunity to position himself as a “champion” of the Malay agenda, which is at odds with his more inclusive TikTok videos.
He had no qualms supporting the Malay Dignity Congress, which was attended by the same kleptocrats and “corrupt” politicians that he today spends much of his time attacking online.
In many ways, Syed Saddiq as a minister represents many things that were wrong with “Malaysia Lama” – cronyism, entitlement and “elitism” to name a few.
Throughout his tenure as a key figure in Harapan, Syed Saddiq displayed a near-fanatical (and dangerous) faith towards Mahathir - and Mahathir’s promise that he would keep his promises.
To be honest, Syed Saddiq can issue platitudes of standing for his “principles” as much as he wants, given that he is now in the opposition. But the youth, as seen in politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are looking for leaders who have a spine and are willing to fight for it.
Not to discount his work in Muar, but how can we trust Syed Saddiq to do the same when his idea of fixing our problems still remains stop-gap measures and performative that is no different from the politics of the old.
We need clear policy outlines and a vision, not more evidence that shows that the Muar MP is just an old dog in a new skin.
Syed Saddiq needs to keep this in mind and decides what he does stand for - his voter base will not expect anything less.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.