PASMA, the moral alternate
The announcement by PASMA on the 26th May that they may form a new party in June after the PAS Muktamar should the need arise is another sign that politics in Malaysia is becoming more competitive sidestepping the usual stereotyping of race and religion. PASMA can provide an alternative to Malay heartland voters from UMNO’s handouts and baseless fear politics and PAS offer of hudud and hardline rule which is incompatible in a multiracial country. PASMA’s move can be progressive and steer the rural Malay minds to good governance and economic growth that will benefit youngsters. This new group can pose a serious challenge to the corrupted UMNO and hardline PAS.
Under the leadership of Tok guru Nik Aziz PAS was able ward off the strong challenge of UMNO and stay clear of all the traps set by UMNO to bait them. But without him PAS has become untrustworthy to even keep their words within their Pakatan partners. They have fallen back to religious hardline to gain moral acceptability from the Malays. PAS members have been at odds and therefore can never join hands with UMNO members. Their political rivalry goes a long way. Unless the present PAS leadership takes note of the ground sentiment and act accordingly they may end up being rejected by party members. PAS Ulamas wing should give up tabling Hudud bill and focus on winning Putrajaya.
The 1MDB fiasco with a debt of RM42 billion under the prime minister’s charge and simultaneously introducing GST because of 16 years of continuous fiscal deficit and high public debt has not gone down well with Malaysians including the kampong folks. The increase in prices of goods and services in name of GST pinches the pockets of these kampong folks and they feel let down by UMNO. Everything is not hunky-dory in UMNO either. Dr Mahathir’s tirade against the Prime Minister’s involvement in 1MDB, GST, BRIM and Altantuya murder case has weakened the moral integrity of UMNO and its leaders. The unquestionable support of Malays on UMNO’s ability to lead the race and the country is fast evaporating. Rich poor gap within Malay society is widening at an alarming rate.
Chinese and Indians have left MCA and MIC and now it’s the Malay community’s turn to dump UMNO. These component parties have become corrupted and keen on enriching themselves. Malaysia is on the verge of being downgraded by Fitch rating agency due to the chronic fiscal deficit, high public debt, 1MDB and poor commodities prices have weakened the ringgit. The conflicting and contradicting policies of economic growth and race based affirmative actions have not taken the country anywhere. It only enriched UMNO and BN leaders and their cronies. Race based politics of Malaysia has alienated the talented workforce inducing them to leave the country. Without the talented and skilled workforce no nation can become a developed or high income nation.
Of late we are hearing of IS militants attempting to destroy strategic locations within the country. Our forefathers laid the road to moderation and inclusiveness. But Dr Mahathir changed direction towards more race and religious based politics and policies leading to fundamentalism and extremism. Datuk Seri Najib’s economic transformation program and government transformation programs were sabotaged by hardliners and zealots within UMNO. Under the current governance model by race based parties Malaysia is trapped and cannot achieve its true potential. We have lost many useful years. Unfortunately we haven’t learnt our lessons yet.