The green wave is a threat… but to whom?
The same DAP that accuse PAS of being racial and playing racist extremist politics would accuse other members of their own race that support PAS to be “traitors of the Chinese/Indian people”. All of a sudden, race matters… and “Malaysian Malaysia” is no more.
Frank Lyspea King
A month after GE15, political issues and conflicts in Malaysia have not subsided. It is easy for any member of the ‘unity’ government led by Anwar Ibrahim to point their fingers onto PN, specifically PAS, and say, “The green wave is the problem blocking Malaysia from recovering economically and getting back up on its feet post-lockdown”.
In the long term however, it is much easier for each party within the government to blame every imperfection in the new government on others. In fact, it is much easier than ever to do so than ever before. With the new ‘unity’ government combining parties that were on each other’s throats just over a month ago, a simple strategy of putting the faults on the other guys in the team is more than enough to satisfy each of their voter bases. PH can blame the government’s issues on BN, and vice versa.
Accountability is a thing of the past, where parties and coalitions didn’t usually have to work with unlikely allies. But that won’t save PN from being the target of government accusations, and politicking does not simply stop when the members of the government declare to do so. Politicians in general are very capable of coming up with excuses, accusations and twists to convince the rakyat.
Among all things to be noted about the new government however, is the ignorance of BN and PH regarding the strength of PAS and the growing support of PAS among not just the Muslims but some of the non-Muslims as well. Although they were shocked that their predictions regarding PN (such as Rafizi Ramli’s failed prediction that PN would win no more than 30-40 seats), they appear to not have done enough work to understand PAS from a voter’s perspective and simply make it all out to be “racist
politics” and “paid TikTok advertisements”. BN (specifically UMNO), and PH are all guilty of this misconception.
All except DAP.
As a party that had briefly worked with PAS in the past, DAP should have a degree of knowledge regarding not only PAS’ politics but also that of UMNO. Now that UMNO is forced to befriend DAP (with their President recently making a now-infamous remark of praising DAP and saying PAS should make an example out of DAP), DAP could simply put all their work into having their Malay Muslim PH friends becoming their mouthpieces against PAS.
Malays in general are much easier to be convinced by their own race than the Chinese and the Indians. A Chinese MCA member would have more difficulties to convince most Malays to support BN than a Malay UMNO member. DAP understands this, and puts all their work against BN and PN regarding racial issues and religious issues onto their PKR and Amanah friends. This created the misconception that DAP had been silent during GE15.
However, DAP did not stay silent at all. They were loud – just with a different language. With a strong language and cultural barrier between the Malays and the non-Malays, DAP promotes opposition against PAS by accusing PAS of all the things mentioned by PKR and Amanah in their respective languages. A strong key point of theirs is simple; “Even the Malays (of PH and BN) oppose PAS, why should we support them?”
However, the same DAP that accuse PAS of being racial and playing racist extremist politics would accuse other members of their own race that support PAS to be “traitors of the Chinese/Indian people”. All of a sudden, race matters… and “Malaysian Malaysia” is no more.
It helps that PH members did not publicly disapprove of DAP’s racial remarks even since GE13 and GE14. Anwar Ibrahim, being the voice of UMNO who had a long time ago once said that “a Malay party would never work with DAP” somehow stood silent when DAP had members who made statements such as “using the Malays to screw the Malays”. Obviously even PAS is not free from making extreme statements (a certain PAS leader who infamously said that those who vote other than PAS will go to hell), but somehow only they are accused of racism, extremism, intolerance, and occasionally corruption.
But all these statements could just as equally – if not more – be applicable to DAP, which could havepreviously been said to be the non-Muslim equivalent of PAS. DAP has racists, extremists and a long history of anti-Malay statements now ignored by the Malays who are equally just as guilty of giving DAP the green light with their silence on DAP’s statements over the years. Perhaps they had forgotten what they had said about DAP over the years or excuse it as “we understand DAP better than we used to”.
They’re not necessarily wrong on that one – they know much better on how to woo the non-Malays now than when they were in UMNO and PAS.
However, PAS today is much bigger than just an East Coast party well-known for controversial statements and a certain accent. It has transcended into becoming a nationalized party with a firm grip over areas that were previously strongholds of PH and BN parties. With UMNO’s waning support among the Malays, PAS have taken over the role of UMNO into becoming the only sufficient force against PH.
Such a major responsibility had not been expected by PAS, who had for decades be sidelined only to the rural areas of the Malaysian Peninsula and ruling the ‘backward’ states up north. However, their recent victory of becoming the biggest party in the Malaysian parliament makes the fear of PH and BN more understandable and rational. PAS is now an easy target to be attacked left and right. If UMNO remained in that position post GE15, they would be much better prepared after years of experience being the “big guys”. But such experiences of conveniently receiving consistent support from the Malays for decades since independence made them lose their balance since GE14, with only one term (including their return post-Sheraton) to prepare for winning back the hearts of the Malays.
On the other hand, PAS is now given the mandate by the rakyat and responsibility to fight this current Anwar government, were it to (very likely) fail, eventually. A government formed by coalitions forced to be allies to secure government positions is not bound to be stable long-term, or at least not quite long enough for the Malaysian economy to reach the state the rakyat desires it to be.
Although receiving mostly Malay support from most states, non-Malays (and non-Muslims in general) gave PAS a huge support from Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu. All these states had been familiar with PAS for a long time, and understands PAS better than anyone else. Terengganu and Kedah are in the top 4 highest GDP among all states in Malaysia, and Kedah isn’t doing bad in receiving investments. But the image of PAS being the ‘party that failed to govern Kelantan’ has become the general view of PAS
throughout Malaysia. With PAS given the trust of the Malay Muslims – and soon perhaps the non-Muslims as well – PAS must evolve and change beyond the kampungs, the masjids, and the suraus.
PAS’ efforts throughout the years of offering education and humanitarian work has remained unchallenged, with institutions such as PASTI and humanitarian groups such as the Amal unit. But the failure of PAS to properly administer alongside Bersatu and UMNO (who despises Bersatu) is bound to repeat with the current BN-PH administration.
…and the Green Wave must be prepared to stand in the way between the BN-PH’s failure and the rakyat’s well-being.