Sungai Bakap and a Malaysia without Anwar

Both the Malays and the non-Malays clearly do not want Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister, so why delay the inevitable?

Tajuddin Rasdi, FMT

When the Sungai Bakap by-election was announced, I thought it would be a great opportunity for the unity government to hone a strong narrative for Malaysia. The constituency was in Penang, a DAP stronghold, while the federal government holds many aces up its sleeve.

I thought PKR, with Umno’s help, would pull through with a slim majority.

However, there were two caveats to this scenario. Firstly, the non-Malays would have to actually come out in strength to vote, and, secondly, they would still support Pakatan Harapan.

There was never a doubt in my mind that the Malay votes were still with Perikatan Nasional.

Malays are an easy lot to figure out. A rise in the price of nasi lemak and they would change the government! Place bottles of alcohol in the middle of a mall and governments would fall. Senang saja.

The Chinese are a bit different. If you disrespect their vernacular education, like how PAS blundered in Kuala Kubu Baharu, they will come out in droves to send a clear message.

The Chinese do not change governments because of nasi lemak prices.

The chance for the unity government to change the matriculation quota was lost, but this was a double-edged sword.

PH would have seen a total loss of their Umno-PKR Malay supporters. So, when the matriculation issue was not taken up seriously, the Chinese simply stayed home and sulked.

The Indians love to blame the government but not their own leaders.

I have often wondered why rich Indians do not help their race. In this regard the Indians are very much like the Malays. Both think it is the duty of the government to help poor Indians and Malays, and to ensure that you must put a leader or a government of the same race.

So, is this what the future is going to be for Malaysia?

Anwar wants to reform Malaysia by introducing a version of Islam that is open, inclusive and compassionate. The Malays reject it because it comes from a non-ustaz, as only an ustaz can teach the right Islam for one to go to heaven.

Since PAS has many ustaz and PKR is ustaz-less, the choice becomes very clear. Malay professors, middle class urbanites and members of the T20 do not care much about helping the poor in Malaysia.

Their route to heaven is to spend money on religious pilgrimages, donations to Muslim organisations, especially Palestine, and even more money to over-teach their children religion at religious schools to ensure mama and papa have places in Jannah.

I do not see any discussions of the Madani philosophy and Islamic civilisation during Friday sermons, mosque lectures, university courses or on social media. Is there a podcast on Madani that holds anyone’s attention? I must have missed it.

Despite his good intentions, Anwar clearly has no clue how to run an effective campaign to reform the Muslim mind and change the narrative.

Two years is long enough to blame the PAS “green wave”. The failure clearly lies with NGOs like Abim (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia) and Ikram (Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia), which have had no impact on the alternate narrative campaign.

On Anwar’s fight against corruption, no one, whether Malay or non-Malay, cares two cents.

Even though Anwar is going after the alleged “mafias” of Malay corruption, the Malays do not see corruption in those who pay them.

Just ask the Malay influencers. The sale of alcohol may generate haram money but corruption money is simply an investment to help Islam and Malays.

On the part of the non-Malays, their minds are tied to former prime minister Najib Razak’s push for a pardon and deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s conditional discharge.

However much the MACC drags in corrupt people, who are mostly Malays by the looks of news reports, the non-Malays cannot take their minds off Najib and Zahid.

As long as Najib and Zahid are alive, the non-Malays will never let go and never appreciate anything Anwar may do to stop corruption. The idea of politics being the art of war, and the art of waiting and timing, are irrelevant. For the non-Malays, Najib and Zahid must pay.

Perhaps it is time for Malaysians to ready themselves for an 80% Malay-led Perikatan Nasional government again.

With this kind of sentimental logic in both the Malays and the non-Malays, I think Malaysia must be ready to accept the likes of Abdul Hadi Awang to rule Malaysia as prime minister.

Will an all-powerful all-Melayu ulama council be established to sit above parliament, like in Iran, and veto anything debated by the lower house deemed to be un-Islamic?

Would populist and conservative policies fill the discussions and the halls of parliament? The likes of a possible ulama council will ensure this.

Perhaps it is not a bad thing that PN will come to rule.

If Anwar goes for broke and attends to all the grievances of the non-Malays in education by revamping the university and matriculation quota, puts Zahid “where he belongs”, places Hadi under arrest and makes English the primary language of education, we will have a new government by September.

So why delay the inevitable? The Malays want their Melayu-dominant government, so let them have it now.

The non-Malays do not want or like Anwar, so let’s see their preferred candidate take office instead.

I wonder who they would prefer. My money is on Hadi or Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. Sorry, Muhyiddin Yassin, you just do not have the numbers, unless the East Malaysians back you for prime minister against PAS.

It’s time Malaysians who are impatient for change get what they deserve.

The Malays and the non-Malays both clearly do not want Anwar. Why delay till 2027?

With Zahid out of the way, Umno will end up with PN. You can bet on that.

The message from Sungai Bakap is clear to me. Why delay the inevitable?