ADUN SPEAKS | The Malay Dignity Congress (MDC) scheduled today in Shah Alam is about anything but unity or dignity of Malays.
If there is an honest effort to mobilise the Malays for their social, economic and political advancement, nobody will have any serious objections.
In fact, Malaysians will welcome this move as long as this congress does not stray into another race and religion baiting.
But there are no grounds to say that the MDC will be anything, but race and religion baiting for the benefit of some section of Malay leaders who have abandoned Umno to come into Bersatu, following the last general election.
This group of individuals, former Umno leaders, especially those who have joined Bersatu, are behind this MDC.
In the name of Malay dignity, this group of former Umno leaders, are using four public universities as their cover behind this congress.
Strange that the Education Minister Maszlee Malik, knowing this, has allowed nonetheless the four universities to be used for political purposes. So much for the reform-minded minister.
The congress has nothing to do with Malay dignity, but more about certain groups of individuals and former Umno members wanting to organise a gathering to ingratiate themselves to the powers in Pakatan Harapan, particularly Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
With the slow but sure development of crony kleptocracy, these leaders or organisers who have been left out of the economic gravy train for some time, are clamouring for economic goodies from the Harapan government.
What better way to show their presence or importance other than to organise this congress, invite Mahathir to give the opening address and provide some semblance of neutrality by inviting PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
But the congress is anything but neutral.
It is meant to shore up political support for Mahathir to continue as the prime minister and not to give up power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (photo).
In a way, there is an obvious realignment of the gathering of forces among those in Bersatu, as well as from outside, to support Mahathir from adhering to the Harapan succession plan.
In a nutshell, the MDC is all about shoring up support for Mahathir from giving up power to Anwar.
In fact, from a broader perspective, the MDC represents the coming together of disparate forces within Bersatu, Umno and PAS to thwart the chances of Anwar from becoming the next prime minister.
It is not that those who oppose Anwar love Mahathir. It is a larger political game that has been rehearsed and played out for the kind of politics to emerge in the aftermath of Mahathir’s period as the prime minister.
If they can neutralise Anwar on the succession matter by shedding crocodile tears for Mahathir to continue, then the way might be paved for the realisation of the political fruits, even if the Umno-PAS coalition comes to power in the next general election.
This group behind the congress might be in Bersatu, but mind you, they have no political loyalty as such. They are only loyal to those in power and what they can get in terms of material benefits, such as contracts and projects, just as in the heyday of Umno.
Whether Mahathir knows about the ulterior motives of this group or individuals behind the congress is not clear.
However, his flippancy towards the succession matter might indicate that he is not completely free in deciding on the succession matter. The whole idea is to abandon the Harapan agreement on succession.
I think that Mahathir should not have agreed to attend the congress knowing very well the ulterior motives of the organisers.
But he did, even in the realisation that Anwar was not invited.
There was no way they could have extended the invitation to Anwar when the entire thrust of the congress was to oppose him from becoming the prime minister.
The most unfortunate or tragic thing is that once again Malays are taken for a ride by self-seeking and opportunist politicians for their greed.
P RAMASAMY is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang and the state assemblyperson for Perai.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.