IT is increasingly evident that ever since Pakatan Harapan failed to meet the agreed deadline of announcing our prime ministerial candidate, certain quarters are now attempting to apportion blame on the DAP by questioning our values, principles and commitment to the cause of reform in Malaysia.
Let me start by saying that since our inception, DAP’s raison d’être has been to fight for the people of Malaysia. For 54 years, the struggle of DAP has been for the collective well-being of Malaysians and not for the ambitions of any single individual. DAP’s commitment to a better Malaysia has always been our priority and will continue to be our priority.
The obvious bears repeating. The rakyat overwhelmingly voted for a Pakatan Harapan government in the last general election.
Therefore, to deliver the people’s mandate, we need to stop this immature quarrelling of questioning each other’s principles and loyalties the soonest in order to formulate a pragmatic solution to save Malaysia from Kleptocracy 2.0
DAP’s commitment to Anwar and Dr Mahathir our ally
Let me begin by reiterating that DAP unconditionally supports Anwar Ibrahim to become the prime minister of Malaysia.
Ever since Anwar was first sent to prison, DAP has stood firm by him. We mustn’t forget that it was the late Karpal Singh who represented Anwar in his first sodomy trial.
Karpal’s wholehearted support for Anwar came at a cost to his freedom as he was detained under the Sedition Act in 2000. Even after new allegations against Anwar arose in 2008, once again it was Karpal and the DAP who unconditionally supported the PKR leader.
We have supported Anwar during his darkest days, and will continue to support him during his brightest, even after some of his closest allies inside his parties have deserted him. Despite that, there are some who not only question but accuse DAP of abandoning him.
Attacking the DAP and even Dr Mahathir does not achieve anything productive. It only creates an unnecessary stumbling block that stunts our progress towards finding a pragmatic solution to save Malaysia from Kleptocracy 2.0
We must remember that it was with Tun Mahathir as our PM candidate who helped Pakatan Harapan garner the numbers to win the federal government back in 2018. Now, we must realise that it is with Dr Mahathir as prime minister and Anwar as his deputy that we can deliver the government that Malaysia voted for.
DAP has publicly backed this combination because it is apparent that it is the only viable way PH can gain back the federal government to deliver the people’s mandate. Further, DAP has pledged to ensure the implementation of mechanisms to ensure that Anwar will be handed the Prime Ministership in six months from the time we regain the federal government.
This will not only help rid Malaysia of the very same kleptocratic government that was voted out in 2018 but also ensure stability and certainty in a time when the world is beset by the socio-economic crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Focusing on the bigger picture
There is a famous and overused sporting cliché: we have to take it one game at a time.
Ever since PH ascended to the federal government in 2018, we have been blinded by the issue of “transition of power” to the extent that it ultimately cost us power. Unfortunately, even in opposition, this obsession continues to divide us.
The reality is before we start thinking about the cup final, we must first qualify for the cup. In order to qualify, we must have the numbers. Currently, the combination of Dr Mahathir as prime minister and Anwar as his deputy appears to be the only viable formula.
The longer we continue to obsess over this issue, the more authoritarian Muhyiddin, Najib and Perikatan Nasional will become as they reverse all our reforms and execute Kleptocracy 2.0. Malaysia is descending by the day and there is no way we can stop it from happening from the opposition benches. As it is, parliament has already been muffled on the pretext of the movement control order.
Staying in opposition will also cost us our freedoms, as Perikatan Nasional continues to use the levers of state to intimidate us from voicing out against injustice.
Throwing stones from glass houses
The fact is that the breakdown of Pakatan Harapan Government occurred following sizable defections from both Bersatu and PKR.
In the case of the latter, defections continue to occur till this very day. Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang became the latest to jump ship as he sided with Perikatan Nasional, leaving Sarawak PKR with only two representatives in the Dewan Rakyat.
Besides MPs, PKR assemblymen continue to defect even in the PH strongholds of Selangor and Penang. Recent high profile examples include former Penang state exco Afif Bahardin and Selangor Deputy Speaker Dr Daroyah Alwi.
Yes, these representatives have betrayed the people’s trust in them. But at the same time it is no use to dwell on those who have left.
Rather it is more important to focus on how we can all come together to return the people’s mandate and prioritise our nation’s well-being. This cannot be achieved if those in glass houses continue to throw stones by making accusations and questioning the loyalties of their allies.
By Aimran Sarhan Abdullah – Political Secretary to Tanjong Bunga assemblyman Zairil Khir Johari.