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Acting for the love of race and religion. Really?

  • They do not know any other way of getting the Malay support other than fear mongering and playing the race and religion cards.

By Mohsin Abdullah

Malaysia's current population is 32,052,245 as of Thursday 12 July 2018, based on the latest UN estimates.

I've never been big on figures. So, I am going to skip it and just say the majority of the population are Malays.

Being A Malay in Malaysia is also being a Muslim. Most of the time.

As the population of the country grows, so too the Malay population. Obviously.

And if one is to talk about politics and general elections, that would mean the number of Malay voters will increase.

Put simply, there will be more Malays voting in future elections. The soonest will be the next one: GE15.

So, if a political party wants to win via the ballot box, it must get the support or rather the votes of majority of the Malays.

You don't need to be a political scientist to know that.

So, as far as Umno and PAS are concerned, to woo Malay support is of utmost importance. That's what these two parties are doing post-GE14.

Nothing wrong with that!

But, the way they are going about trying to get the Malay support is something else. In fact, I dare say is wrong!

Both are deeply into fear mongering, shamelessly trying to instill fear among the Muslims that non-Muslims, in particular the Christians, are the power behind the throne in this country.

Malay rights eroded, Malay language sidelined, Muslims besieged and Islam under threat!

Never mind if all that are not true. Both are adamant and are diligently at it. The objective is plain and clear for all to see.

Again, we do not need political scientists to tell us that the strategy is to undermine the current government, accusing it of not protecting the Malays/Muslims with the underlying message that only Umno and PAS can do the job.

So, we are seeing them getting very vocal in expressing their so-called love for Bahasa Melayu, protesting the appointment of non-Muslims to top posts with regard to law and judiciary, claiming that Muslims are feeling threatened, worried and restless.

Expect more accusations, no matter how wild.

It's all about politics and vote fishing, using "bangsa" and "agama" as tools.

And it's sad and unfortunate for the country that both parties appear to have run out of ideas.

They do not know any other way of getting the Malay support other than fear mongering and playing the race and religion cards, or divisive politics.

Not that they have not done this before, but it's getting worse after GE14 and the recent Umno elections, something not lost on former Umno minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Talking about Umno and not PAS, Khairy took to Twitter, saying: "After the conclusion of the Umno elections, what did my party do? Play up racial sentiments, start a fund for its former president.

There's nothing wrong in being in solidarity with Najib, but is that Umno Baru is all about? Served with a deadly blow in GE14 but still deaf to the people's voices?"

Will Umno and PAS, for that matter, get what they most desire by doing what they are doing now?

Again, talking strictly about his own party, Khairy had this to say: "If our capital to win GE15 is mongering fear among the Malays on issues like the appointment of a non-Muslim AG, chief justice etc., we can forget about recapturing Putrajaya!"

To Khairy, Umno ought to take the "middle path", not veering to the right because "going right may mean temporary cheers but in 10 -15 years there will be a definite failure'"

In other words, Umno will become a failed party if that is the case.

The question is: will Umno listen to him?

Anyway, even though Khairy's words were meant for Umno, PAS should take heed, too.

But like Umno, will they?

(Mohsin Abdullah is a veteran journalist who writes about this, that and everything else.)



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