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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stop gazing at the crystal ball to see the next PM



Every day, we hear predictions about who will become the opposition prime minister, if the opposition coalition were to win GE14.
The opposition politicians, just like the public, are falling into a trap, like goats to the slaughter. Any candidate they propose would be easily shot down by Umno Baru.
There are many issues to tackle, like the abuse of Islam, which is used by both Umno Baru and PAS to drive a wedge between the people. There is also the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the high cost of living, a lack of affordable housing, and poor public transport.
If only the opposition would stop their ‘PM’ crystal-ball gazing, and focus on resolving these issues.
When we observe former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad “ganging-up” or “joining forces” (depending upon which side of the fence you are sitting), with former opposition leader, the jailed Anwar Ibrahim, what do you see?
Former enemies putting aside their differences for the good of the nation, and getting rid of the common foe, Najib Abdul Razak?
Or two desperate has-beens and their less than convincing team of supporters?
In World War Two, Joseph Stalin, the leader of communist Russia, the American president, Franklin D Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill, the PM of the British Empire, joined forces to get rid of Hitler and Nazi Germany. They were successful, so why do some Malaysians still find fault with Mahathir and Anwar teaming up?
One social observer criticised the Anwar-Mahathir combo, “Principles? They have none.”
Another political cynic said, “Mahathir started the mess. Racism. Intolerance. Project IC. Let him put right what he started. If those two think they can do it, so be it.”
A student in his twenties said, “Mahathir will be our saviour. Look at the Twin Towers,” to which an older man replied, “A nation cannot be judged by gleaming towers of steel and concrete. Malaysia is now devoid of a soul. What do you, young people, know of our early Malayan history?”
The news that Zaid Ibrahim had joined DAP was greeted with derision by some. One said, “He changes parties more frequently than a mama-san changes her panties. First, Umno Baru. Then PKR. He formed his own party, Kita. Then became an independent. He is now with DAP.”
Another said, “PAS under Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat was a much-respected party, unlike the party today. The current president, Abdul Hadi Awang, appears to be more interested in the afterlife, the dress code, hudud and polygamy. He is quiet about corruption.”
A Malay working overseas said, “Both PAS and Umno Baru claim to be the defender of the Malays, and the protector of Islam. The Malays must be so weak that they need defending. As for Islam, the only protection they need is from fellow fanatical Muslims.
“Umno Baru has been the dominant party since independence. To boast unwisely that the Malays and Islam need defending/protecting, is a reflection of their failure as a party.”
‘Protecting their own interests’
When politicians try to manage religion, they do so to protect their own interests. The end result is that they corrupt both the religion and morality.
When a middle-aged Malay professional was asked about allegedly corrupt Umno Baru leaders, he replied, “I realise that corruption is wrong, but if it was a Malay who was at the receiving end, then it is better that way, than if a non-Malay were to benefit!”
Another Malay housewife, when asked about an allegedly corrupt leader using state funds for his child’s wedding, said, “He only took a few million ringgits.”
These comments came from educated, well-to-do, urban Malays. This is a worrying trend. We have become inured to corruption, like watching violent scenes on television.
An Islamic scholar said, “What do the students we send to the Middle East bring home?” When speaking to a Malay professional, he was told, “Christians are bad. They are out to convert us. Democracy and the rule of law are western evils.”
When did the rot set in?
Today, Friday sermons are said to be an extension of Umno Baru propaganda. Indigenous natives are easy fodder for clerics who are allegedly offered money to convert and marry Orang Asli women. The clerics are said to be rewarded with a house, 4WD and a housing allowance.
The Malay wife is afraid to challenge her husband if he does wrong, because she is a replaceable commodity. The ease of polygamy has degraded the sanctity of a fulfilling and lasting marriage.
The New Economic Policy (NEP), in its various transformations over the years, no longer helps the poorer Malays. Those who abuse the system fear letting go of the feeling of entitlement. Greed has consumed them.
When a non-Malay husband converts, and allegedly kidnaps the children from his non-Muslim former wife, who has won the custody of the children, many Malays keep quiet. They say, “It is not our problem,” whilst some non-Malays say, “We cannot comment on another religion.”
Instead of the opposition speculating fruitlessly about the next opposition PM, they should tackle the highly-sensitive topic of the ‘abuse’ of Islam by Umno Baru and PAS.
It is time politicians stopped degrading Islam, and using it to corrupt our morals.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). BlogTwitter.- Mkini

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