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Premature concerns

  • Relax! There's so much excitement in the air that we are in no position to look at things calmly.

By Azmi Sharom

I am sure most of you are as shocked as I am with the election results. I never thought that it would be like this. Not only did Pakatan Harapan win, but they won big.

I honestly thought that the combination of gerrymandering, disproportionate constituency sizes, the questionable issue of postal and early votes, and PAS making many contests a three-cornered fight; that there was no way the PH could win.

There is still much to do, of course. The new government must be held accountable to all the promises that they made.

Already there are worrying signs. The awful Anti-Fake News Act which was supposed to be repealed is now apparently being refined.

And all those BN MPs and Aduns hopping to PH makes me very uncomfortable. They should not be accepted, in my view.

However, even though it is still very early days, I hear so much angst and worried sounds coming from PH supporters.

At this stage, I just want to say: chill, relax, take a breath. The problem is that there is so much excitement in the air that we are in no position to look at things calmly.

The combination of decades of distrust plus the incredibly high expectations of those who support PH means every single word, every single action is examined so closely. The smallest minutia is scrutinized, debated and worried over.

I am not saying that we must take our eyes off the ball. Of course, any government must be watched closely. It is just that with emotions running high at the moment, there is a danger of jumping to conclusions and getting needlessly hysterical.

Let's give it a bit of time. The cabinet has not even been chosen yet, so it is hard to criticize a government that does not exist.

I am ready to face this next stage of the political development of our country, ready to pick up the fight for human right where we last left off.

But for now, let us just enjoy the moment. Let us be proud of the fact that we are the only nation in all of Southeast Asia to have a regime change without the need for massive demonstrations, military intervention or bloodshed.

As befitting what I believe to be the fundamental nature of Malaysians, we changed in a peaceful, quiet and almost laid back manner.

Congratulations to all of us, no matter whom we support, for it is us the rakyat who made this peaceful change occur.

(Azmi Sharom is a law lecturer at Universiti Malaya.)

 

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