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LETTER | Who's more toxic: Unity govt or opposition?

LETTER | The recent court decision to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has generated more than enough brickbats on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the unity government.

Most have criticised the decision as being “orchestrated” by someone from the top to save the unity government. We are also not short of criticisms that claim that “reformasi” is dead and Malaysians, particularly the non-Malays, are now condoning and supporting corruption.

Mind you, many of these criticisms were put forth by very established social and political activists and commentators.

More recently, Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has also announced his party’s withdrawal from the government bench, citing unacceptable hypocrisy and abuse of power. In the process, DAP was targeted.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

I do not know if there was interference in Zahid's case or not. I do not know whether Zahid is truly guilty or not. But I do wish that the situation in Malaysia today could have been different.

As a nation, we are saddled with too much unresolved baggage and whoever that is in power must find a way to wade through the treacherous terrain. Whichever way we look at it, there is no perfect government for us for now.

Hence, when we provide views and criticisms, we must first know what politics we are talking about – practical politics (realpolitik) or ideal politics.

We must be very naïve to think that Zahid fought so hard with his own colleagues within Umno and BN to be with Pakatan Harapan in return for nothing.

We must also be very naïve to think that Harapan, with only 82 parliamentary seats, was able to form the government with Anwar as prime minister without having to sacrifice some of its principles and objectives.

Hobson’s choice

To me, this is realpolitik. Sometimes, we must move three steps forward and one step backward. Sometimes, we must tolerate or even do evil things for the greater good.

The righteous ones would probably criticise me for being a Machiavellian that encourages “the end justifies the means”. But then, in immediate terms, it is Hobson’s choice for us. We just have to choose the lesser of two evils, at least in the interim.

If Zahid is sacrificed leading to the collapse of the unity government, can anyone venture to envisage a new scenario for us?

What would that new government be in terms of inculcating national unity, fighting corruption, withdrawing court cases, handling religious bigotry, and managing the economy?

In many ways, the predicament of DAP is the predicament of non-Malays. I think we should all stop crapping about DAP being in control of the government.

Today, the non-Malays are fighting and struggling to remain Malaysian. What choice do DAP and non-Malays have if not supporting Malay politicians who at least could promise some semblance of inclusiveness and moderation despite all the failings that come along with it?

Do not be mistaken, those criticising Anwar, the DAP and the unity government for condoning corruption and abuse of power are just a red herring. Their objective is political just like some of the decisions made by the unity government are political.

As citizens, we ought to know both the government and the opposition will play politics to the hilt. We just need to know who is more toxic, divisive, insular, bigoted, and incompetent.

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

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