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SEVERAL days ago, I came across a statement from Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz expressing his hope that ‘sanity will prevail over the madness of politics.’ (Saya mendoakan agar kewarasan mengatasi kegilaan berpolitik).
I’m in my mid-50s now, and, as a rakyat who has seen the drama of politics since the 1980s, frankly, it is getting tiresome to see the same players dominating the stage for the past four decades. Dominating is not so much the problem as seeing them now trying to take political advantage of the current crisis and causing instability to the country. Even in the maddening intrigue of politics, there is I believe such a thing as being ‘too much’.
The fresh-faced finance minister hit the nail right on the head when he called for sanity to prevail. I am not a political scientist with an empirical pulse on the nation’s sentiments, but I am sure a considerable portion of the rakyat would agree that politics should take a pause in a critical time such as this.
As it stands, we have seen massive gains in the national vaccination process, and there is a lot of chatter from policymakers about opening up the economy very soon. Three states (Sarawak, Perlis and Federal Territory Labuan) have moved into Phase 3 under the government’s recovery plan. It would seem that, for now, the powers-that-be are slowly but surely taking the country out of the crisis.
Make no mistake, there is a need for improvement in many areas; government needs to look into improving our standard operating procedure (SOP) and ensuring consistent messaging. The people have questions about the reasoning behind some SOP and many are grumbling about the shutting down of certain public offices and business sectors. Here, I believe our MPs should take the proactive lead in making sure these questions are answered and improvements do take place.
After months of seeing our opposition criticise the government’s handling of the pandemic, we are left wondering where the opposition’s own Covid-19 ‘blueprint’ for the rakyat and government to consider are? We did see in the news that representatives from several political parties had submitted their respective memorandums to the finance minister. I do not believe, however, that there is a unified blueprint nor an alternative plan from the opposition regarding the way forward out of the pandemic.
The only consistent message we rakyat get from our opposition MPs and politicians are political tirades and calls for the PM to step down. Yet, I wonder what is the alternative? Till today, we have seen none.
Hence, when the declaration came from the Umno president this week that several of their MPs have pulled support from the government, no Malaysian could speculate with certainty who can form the next government.
There has always been claims of ‘numbers’ by certain politicians, so many times that it has become a meme and a punchline to jokes, but, in all seriousness, the Rakyat knows that there is no faction out there with a ‘strong, formidable and convincing’ majority.