MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Friday, June 30, 2023

Be patient Muda, time is on your side


I have good and bad news for Muda. Let me throw some negatives at them first.

Barely two weeks after I wrote about young politicians groping in the dark, came a noisy Muda throwing tantrums and wallowing in self-pity, perhaps fitting in exactly on my take about the peculiar species of “pathetically childish” politicians.

I noted that these young people have nothing original to say but are repeating the same rhetoric and offering nothing of value to issues they brought up in the public sphere. Muda did just that, in my view.

And yes, they fall way below my expectation of up-and-coming leaders, people able to take over the seniors and provide sound, strong, and cohesive leadership.

This is Muda. Well, how do Muda leaders and members feel so far? Already annoyed or even angry at my criticisms? Wait, here’s more.

A day after the party announced its solo venture into the coming state polls, this is what I wrote in the New Sarawak Tribune:

“The trouble with Muda president Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman and his party is they think they are the only ones representing the youths of Malaysia, conveniently forgetting there are youth wings in almost all the political parties.

“We can recall the number of times Syed Saddiq and Muda lamented how they were ignored by Pakatan Harapan and the unity government as if they were ready and seriously anxious to be a part of the governing coalition.

“But when elections approach, they change their tune and condemned Muda’s former allies for reneging on their election pledges upon assuming power, stating that if they kept their proposed mandates, Muda wouldn’t need to contest the state polls.

“Syed Saddiq explained the ‘new politics’ that Muda will bring into the state polls will go beyond partisanship and will revolve around the people’s needs and principles.

Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

“Wow! Great sound bites, young man! I would suggest you say something new rather than recycling hollow, hypocritical statements made by people your grandfather’s age about principles and looking after the people’s needs. They are stale, overused, and sound really boring.

“With the decision to go solo, and contest against the Harapan/BN coalition in the coming polls, it clearly shows Muda is an insincere and untrustworthy party. The governing coalition should sever all ties with Muda for now.”

Fair-weathered friends

I think that is the best way to teach the young upstarts a lesson. Until they mature, act like adults, and are able to exercise patience, Muda should have no place in the Madani government for the time being.

It’s the same old story. In times of peace, they will say, “Let’s unite and work together for the people.”

When an election approaches, they will smear each other so badly that some might even be ashamed of their own name. Personal attacks are not uncommon.

The “people” will be forgotten; it will then be about “me, myself, and I”.

Seriously, the fight for seats among allies can get so dirty, the unbearable stench might last till the next polls five years later.

If they do not get what they want, it’s not surprising to hear them resorting to the evil deed of sabotaging their allies, friends, and even family members, during the elections.

Isn’t that a familiar ring to what Muda is moving into now? They will not be honest to concede that many Muda people are keen to contest in the elections and hence, they have to go solo.

All this talk about a third force and offering the people an alternative choice is hogwash to me and those who have been through the mill, been there and done that.

We know when hollow sound bites are being peddled. It’s bad when our younger politicians are learning the dishonest and wayward style of playing politics so early in their careers.

They should learn to be forthright and honest in their messages to the electorate. Do not start talking nonsense and lying so soon in your career.

Syed Saddiq also announced those interested can apply to be Muda candidates in the coming polls. This is also not something new and it is not feasible.

Let’s say I’m interested to contest in Muar in the next general election. Will Syed Saddiq be ready to hand his seat over to me and let me contest Muar on the Muda ticket? I doubt it. So, let’s get real, Muda.

Heart in the right place

I’ll stop the negatives here for now and if one fine day, I have a chance to meet Syed Saddiq, I will be happy to tell him some more of his and Muda’s weaknesses and failings so far. Of course, credit will be given where it’s due as well.

Now, a little good news for Muda. Here are some positives I can give to Syed Saddiq and Muda.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad

He was right to take the gamble to form Muda in 2021 and dissociate himself from Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pejuang.

I’m glad the young man has awakened from his slumber as a Mahathir-sponsored boy minister and was able to see the treachery and shenanigans of the Sheraton Move.

That’s a great move, Syed Saddiq. It proved you have some principles and your heart is in the right place.

Being one of the initiators of a political party in Sarawak in my 30s, I understand and appreciate the arduous journey ahead for a new, small party.

There are so many battles and wars to fight and only the honest, sincere, and battle-hardened will be around till the end. Many will fall by the wayside along the journey.

I see potential in Muda. It has some smart, charismatic people and the president is one of them. They must be patient because time is on their side.

Remember, success in politics is not solely measured by winning elections but by making a positive impact on the lives of those you represent.

One more piece of advice - before you take one step, think two steps ahead of you and you will most likely not be pathetically childish in my book any longer.

Godspeed Muda. - Mkini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH is a veteran Sarawak editor and heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS). He can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com.

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

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