M’sia needs new approach to party politics, says author

Changing the future of the nation and people can be achieved via non-racial political tactics that benefit everyone and combat graft, according to Lim.

(The Sun Daily) – A different approach to party politics is required for Malaysia to move ahead as a nation, instead of coalitions of the willing and less willing, bed partners of convenience, and big tent approaches, said political author Lim Teck Ghee.

He said changing the future of Malaysia and its people can be achieved through non-racial political tactics that can benefit everyone and combat corruption.

“A new tent inclusive approach where present parties dissolve themselves and set up a new, and for the first time in Malaysia, single multiracial party born from the merger of existing parties should be carried out.

“For a single multiracial party to exist, two ingredients are needed – party leaders who reject ethno-religious politics and are committed to disrupting divisive institutional frameworks, and public pressure.”

Lim said a single multiracial party has been the missing link in the development of Malaysian politics.

“The next general election and its aftermath could provide the opening to correct it.”

He was speaking at the launch of two books, co-authored by him and Murray Hunter titled Dark Forces Changing Malaysia and Malaysia Towards GE15 and Beyond.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj said he fully supports a non-racial approach to economic and social policies, but the reality of the country’s divisions cannot be ignored as racial disparity runs across the board and is not confined to any one community.

“More than 60 years of race and ethnic politics has left all Malaysians with ‘dark forces’ within themselves. But do we imagine that only the Malay population has these dark forces? What about the non-Malays? Aren’t we all affected by racial and ethnic policymaking as well?”

Jeyakumar said there was discontent with the New Economic Policy of the 1970s-1990s.

He added that the policy, however, was a fair attempt at affirmative action despite its flaws, given the circumstances at the time.

Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas said that Pakatan Harapan had won in GE14 because voters took into account the 1MDB scandal and corruption.

“Corruption is cancer to society. The majority of voters who voted corruption out of office have been saddled by two administrations engulfed in corrupt activities such as the LCS (littoral combat ship) scandal. This must be stopped to earn the people’s trust again.”

Lawyer-activist Ambiga Sreenevasan agreed with Thomas, saying that corruption needs to be combated, and the people are looking for a breath of fresh air.

“Malaysians want something new, something different. They want a new message, that can bring the country out of despair, but we do not have choices right now. Corruption is the biggest issue for me. The people lost hope in our electoral process when the Sheraton Move happened and rightly so,” she said.

Jeyakumar, Thomas, and Ambiga were speaking at a forum titled “Dark Forces Towards GE15” in conjunction with the book launch. Other panellists at the forum were human rights lawyer and activist Siti Kasim, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and Gerak Independent co-founder Tawfik Ismail.