LETTER | Hardly six months into the Pakatan Harapan-led government, a feeling of déjà vu is back to haunt us. Again, the attempt to destabilise and bring down the government is in the making.
Perhaps the only difference this time is the operation is more open and direct, unlike the previous Sheraton Move, which was more covert and opaquer.
As I see it, the issues involved are not just the conservatives versus the progressives, the extremists versus the moderates or the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) versus the pious. It is just the lust for power and money, the rest are merely red herrings.
By now, most of us must have noticed that the opposition is using the strategy of democracy to fight democracy. They will use their rights to rally, protest and make incendiary remarks to regain power. They do not care in the process the country is torn apart or the people are made to suffer.
Racial and religious strife is hard to mend once it is ignited. We have too many countries providing us with this example.
Malaysia is a beautiful country where people can live happily and harmoniously. The dissatisfaction and animosity are mainly due to bad policies and corruption that keep the people poor and disenfranchised.
This is where the unscrupulous politicians come in. They capitalise on racial, religious and class differences to divide and destabilise the country even though they know that race, religion and class can’t put food on the table.
When people are dissatisfied, angry and getting nowhere, they would probably swallow hook lines and sinker on any extremist ideas that are fed to them.
In the US, because of depleting income and standard of living, many Americans are turning to extreme ideologies such as Nazism and white supremacy. In Iran, they once fought and kicked out the Shahs but now they are fighting the Islamic Republic.
At the end of the day, the people must be given hope. This is where good governance and sound policies come in. The people must be assured of jobs, reasonable income, housing, and competitive education opportunities.
Special privileges, and racial and religious exclusivity can’t put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. These are mere conduits used by the elites to siphon the national wealth for themselves. Sadly, the people are just too gullible or indoctrinated to buy into this strategy year in and year out.
For this reason, the Harapan-led unity government must stand firm, notwithstanding its own weaknesses. Given the present circumstances with Malaysians so divided, the unity government is the best choice we got.
To me, this is not the time for Harapan to act too gentlemanly. The opposition will endlessly talk about its democratic rights now. But I think we are not short of experience on how they governed the country when they were in power. They created an emergency and they did so many things that were not accountable.
The Harapan-led government must now use every power and opportunity to nip in the bud the continuous attempts to cause fissures and dissensions among the people.
In the meantime, it must continue to focus on policies and programmes that can make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.