Of conniving traitors and opportunists

When they wanted the Malay votes, they agreed and supported Dr Mahathir’s stand on wanting a Malay-based party. However, when they had already secured power, they opposed any move by Dr Mahathir to meet the Malays.

(The Malaysian Reserve) – THE incessant whining and lamentations from some segments of Pakatan Harapan (PH) supporters over the betrayal of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which led to the Sheraton Move and eventually to the fall of the PH government have, intentionally or otherwise, somewhat concealed earlier betrayals.

Of course, these were conveniently ignored so as to allow them to continue blaming Bersatu and in particular its former chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).

The betrayals were openly committed during the Tanjung Piai by-election in November 2019, about three months before the Sheraton Move.

That by-election, which was called after Bersatu representative died, saw non-Malay voters, in particular the Chinese, abandon Bersatu and vote for an MCA candidate.

The swing was colossal — from a 524-vote majority in the Bersatu victory in the 2018 General Election to a defeat of 15,086-vote majority defeat in the by-election.

One of the reasons given for the non-Malay vote swing against Bersatu was because of Dr Mahathir’s decision to attend a Malay Dignity Congress a month earlier.

Basically, the sentiments expressed by the Tanjung Piai non-Malay voters was that it was wrong for Dr Mahathir to attend the congress and in so far as they were concerned it was racist. These sentiments had already been widely expressed prior to that.

It was actually unfounded because during the congress, Dr Mahathir had used the opportunity to censure the Malays for being lazy and complacent and this had caused them to lose out in a land they claim to be theirs.

In fact, after the congress, Dr Mahathir became a target among some of the Malays for censuring them and obviously, they had expected him to rally them to unite and build up strength to “put the non-Malays in their place” and “reclaim the land” from the non-Malays.

But Dr Mahathir did not pander to them nor did he try to be a populist.

Instead, he persisted with his consistent treatment of wanting the Malays to look inward and self-assess.

Regardless of how it turned out, in the first place, it was actually racist on the part of the PH non-Malays to insist that Dr Mahathir did not attend the congress.

Firstly, when Dr Mahathir decided to work with PH, he had insisted on forming a Malay-based party — Bersatu — meaning that while working with the multi-racial partners, he wanted a specific attention be given to the Malay voters and that needed to be pursued through Bersatu.

The non-Malay partners and multi-racial Malays agreed to it, knowing full well that the only chance of defeating the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) was by having a Malay based party leading PH.

In short, to get the Malay votes, a Malay and Malay party must lead PH for the objective to be achieved.

And it worked. Umno and BN were defeated, and Bersatu and PH took over the government after the 2018 national polls.

Yet, when Dr Mahathir attended the congress, basically for him to meet his electorate, the non-Malays opposed it and called him a racist.

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