An opposition parliamentarian worries that the rise of Donald Trump and his race-baiting campaigning which led to a stunning victory in today’s US presidential election will embolden and reinforce the same practice back home in Malaysia.
“While much will be said in the next few days by academics, analysts and pundits to explain Trump’s unlikely victory, my greater fear is what his victory may spell for us in Malaysia,” said Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming in a statement.
Trump’s stunning victory, reminded Ong, was based on a divisive campaign that pits the majority versus the minorities, that made appeals to a narrow base of voters, that compelled Americans to look inwards rather than outwards and that was populist and short of policy substance.
“My fear for Malaysia is that Umno may be following a similar playbook in the run up to the 14th general election,” he said.
He said that similar tactics are already in play, noting the tactics of the red-shirts led by Jamal Md Yunos, the recently-proposed delimitation exercise that will dilute ‘mixed’ seats and empowers a narrow electorate, as well as the amendment to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.
“These steps were already in Umno’s playbook before Trump’s victory. My greatest fear for Malaysia is that Trump’s victory will only embolden those in Umno seeking to maintain power by emulating and expanding the Trumpean ‘winning’ strategy," concluded Ong.
Other MPs shared similar concerns about Trump’s win as its possible effect on global politics and economy. Though at least one seem to think that Trump or no Trump, the concerns of business and the economy still talks the loudest, above and beyond words said during campaigning.
Batu MP Tian Chua: The issue is that we are entering delicate time, where you have a superpower led by someone who is taking extreme position, so we have to be extra careful. There is nothing to do with Pakatan win or BN win, there are not the issues to watch out.
It might prove the Muslim extremism also. People in the establishment have to watch out the deprived groups now feeling that they want to use their power to show, even ideologically incorrect.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar: It is anger and resentment against the status quo. Again showcased by underprivileged groups. We often underestimated how they would actually translate this anger. Not everyone would be discerning or rational in decision making. That’s a lesson we need to take.
A clear-cut narrative which addresses and invokes emotion with the electorates is the one that wins the election.
I think for the oldest democracy in the world, it’s downright upsetting, to note someone bigoted and prejudiced in views, disrespectful to women, rises to the top is a sad development.
I really want to place some importance on Bernie Sanders, He was an earlier favourite of mine. I felt he did manage to influence some of his policies... It’s important to look at those.
Johor Baru MP Shahrir Samad: I don't think that a lot will be affected We have good trade relations with Asian countries, indeed our own trade with the US is only 15 percent of our trade.
Whomever is president, it is difficult for them to ignore approaches that is beneficial for business and the economy.
We must be able to differentiate between campaign rhetoric and actions in office.
Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong: Our first question is whether the TPPA will go on or not, considering that Trump seem committed to dismantle the trade deal, it is our man worry.
If there is no monitoring from the government, the deal will be worthless.
Klang MP Charles Santiago: At the moment, yes, the peso and the market are in inflation and the currency’s value will go down and plummet. This shows a lack of confidence and loss of support (from the business world) to Trump.
As such his policies (when he takes office) will be sorely tested.- Mkini