Sebab apa takut adakan PRU15?

From P Waytha Moorthy, Free Malaysia Today

I am surprised as to why politicians are so fearful to face the 15th general election (GE15).

It looks like only a certain faction led by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pushing for GE15 while the rest, including those in the opposition, seem reluctant to face the voters.

What are they afraid of? Isn’t getting the mandate from the people part and parcel of the democratic process?

When Muhyiddin Yassin took over the government after the Sheraton Move, many in the opposition, including Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu, shouted “backdoor government” and demanded that the mandate be returned to the people.

They claimed that the act of taking over from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was a betrayal and an unconstitutional act that must not be condoned.

But now PH seems to be giving a lifeline to the very same backdoor government which is ruling by proxy via Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Strangely, Anwar, Loke Siew Fook and Mat Sabu go out of their way in assuring and pacifying the prime minister that his government would remain intact so long as they are given political funding and some other flimsy deals.

The talk about the anti-party hopping law that is part of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the opposition and the government is a non-starter.

Didn’t Anwar and Amanah absorb Umno frogs into their parties quite recently, which saw the Melaka government forced into an election? Worst, they allowed frogs to contest under the PH logo.

They know pretty well that Bersatu is filled with frogs from Umno, too. Would Bersatu really agree to an anti-party hopping law?

Hence, not surprisingly, just like the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the proposed law was put on the backburner last week on the flimsy ground that they “need to have further discussions”, and Loke very “responsibly” suggested the MoU be extended beyond July.

The excuse given to avoid a general election is by creating fear that elections held during the pandemic would have a great impact on the country’s economy and that the elections would bring the “court cluster” leaders back to power.

Let me say this. The country is facing a severe economic crisis because it is managed by incompetent ministers recycled from the previous Perikatan Nasional government.

Ismail could not remove them due to the fact that he holds on to the government on the flimsy support of ministers from Bersatu and lacks a proper majority that would make him a strong prime minister.

With such a flimsy government, would foreign investors dare invest in Malaysia? Is the international trade and industry minister doing enough to bring investments and improve the country’s economy?

What about new innovative policies needed to overcome the unexpected pandemic-era economic woes? Clearly, the prime minister’s hands are tied and he is often held to ransom.

So, you fear the return of the “court cluster”? Are you now doubtful of the independence of the country’s judiciary or insinuating the judges are corrupt? Aren’t you insulting the intelligence of the voters and democratic principles? Aren’t the people the real judges? Why fear their judgment?

If these politicians have committed wrong, let the voters be the judge and jury to decide what is right and wrong. It appears crystal clear that politicians from the government and PH are both fearful of the rakyat’s deliberations and verdict.

Doesn’t our democratic system give the mandate to the rakyat to decide their own future? Who are you politicians to “parent” our voters? Voters are mature to decide on their own.

The fear towards the “ghost” of Covid-19 infections is often cited. Our country is transitioning to the endemic stage. Almost all adults have been vaccinated.

The whole world has come to accept the pandemic as part of life. Some countries have even stopped compelling their citizens to wear masks. Close to 200 countries around the globe have conducted elections in the last two years.

In America, 158 million came out to vote at the height of the pandemic. More than 185 million people took part in Indonesia’s local elections.

So, I wonder why are our politicians so fearful of the ballot box – or are they having fever at the thought of elections?

I can only think of one reason – fear to face their voters for their own failings. They speak about democracy, transparency, credibility and obtaining the mandate. So much for parliamentary democracy.

It is time the rakyat took charge of their futures. – FMT

P Waytha Moorthy is president of the Malaysian Advancement Party.