COMMENT | The political hype that PAS and Umno are the guardians and saviours of Islam and Malays is simply not true.
Firstly, the political strengths of the Malays and the position of Islam are not threatened or under siege. In fact, demographic changes have empowered the Malays like never before.
On the contrary, it is the manipulation and manoeuvering of the Malays and Muslims by Malay politicians that have contributed to our myriad problems today.
Ours is a nation that was built on the spirit of tolerance, compromise and consensus as our foundation towards a harmonious plural society and we have been successful, until of late, when political greed and a lack of ethics are tearing the nation apart.
Secondly, the Malay Rulers and the Federal Constitution are the true guardians of the position of the Malays and Islam as the religion of the state. We don’t need any fly-by-night politicians to tell us otherwise.
No politician or political party should claim a monopoly of being the defender of the Malays or Islam. We have the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay rulers to uphold and safeguard the rights and position of Malays and Islam as enshrined in the Constitution.
To claim that the Malays or Islam need to be defended gives the impression that the institution of rulers, or the Constitution, has failed! This is bordering on an insult to the Agong and the rulers. No politician or party should usurp or undermine the role and powers of the rulers as written under the Constitution.
The nation has progressed smoothly since independence and there’s no doubt of the ability of the constitutional monarch to safeguard the position of the Malays and Islam as the religion of the state. Thus, there’s no need for any politician or political party to take umbrage or threaten to wreak havoc in the name of the Malay race or Islam as a religion.
The political rhetoric of fighting for the Malays or Islam, as if they are under siege or threatened, is no longer applicable in a nation where the political leaders, the bureaucrats and the rulers are mainly, if not wholly, Malays.
On the contrary, the truth is far from the political hype-up. Many Malays are beginning to question the way that this country has been administered. They are crying out loud for more effective safeguards, protection and checks-and-balances of the executive powers that are, in reality, entirely in the hands of the Malays.
It is this frustration that has driven many thinking Malays to do some political introspection as to where the country is heading to.
It is this realisation that has awoken the largely Malay electorates to look for an alternative government or a new political coalition.
And the new generation is now thinking of the future of the nation.
The subdued and easy-going nature of the Malays has changed over the years. They have risen from their comfort and belief that all is well is no longer well in the hands of the politicians today.
The Malays today are beginning to question the true pursuit of politicians and political parties. They now know that the real pursuits of politicians are power and Putrajaya. They no longer want to take a back seat and leave all to politicians. They no longer want to swallow all shallow political rhetoric of the past by Malay politicians or parties.
Many retired Malay senior government officers, successful intellectuals, and even the royalty, have come forth to express their concern for this nation that is solely run by Malay politicians and Malay bureaucrats, to their dismay.
G25, the rulers and many successful individuals who have no interest to seek political office have now broken from traditions and conventions by speaking out and touching on issues that are normally deemed to be the realms of Malay politicians.
Thus, it is time for Malay politicians and political parties to look in the mirror and ask themselves: where have they gone wrong?
It is a matter of time (maybe not this coming general election) before the Malay tsunami will come if there are no progressive changes to policies, approaches or political mindsets.
The national Government Transformation Programme (GTP), the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and Transformasi 2050 (TN50 ) are examples of progressive ideas that the people are looking for. The way forward now is through national transformation and progress as outlined by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The era of political rhetoric, instilling political dependency and putting fear into or alarming the Malays or Muslims is over. The era of “Malay Dilemma” is over. Now it is the era of progress under Najibomics that truly patriotic Malays are looking for.
The Malays today know that it is the Constitution and the institution of rulers that have safeguarded the position of Islam and the Malays. If anything, they have lost their trust in the politicians and their political charades. Politicians and political parties must know this.
As the saying goes, “You cannot cry wolf once too often,” or otherwise the trust will be gone.
TI LIAN KER is the chairperson of the MCA Religious Harmony Bureau.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.