The last straw: Time to give third parties a chance in Malaysia
First published at Think Left.
The Pakatan Harapan regime has become morally bankrupt. There will be no more gaslighting otherwise. Their whole spiel of this not being a pure Pakatan government is dashed by us seeing how far they are willing to go for their political advantage. First, working with Mahathir in 2018, then UMNO and now from the many cases DNAA was used we have come to the partial pardoning of the very same individual against whom was the whole mobilisation for the 2018 victory. Nothing is sacred it seems.
Shamelessly, Anwar and gang hide behind the powers of the monarchy to absolve themselves of their involvement. Constantly using the name of the YDPA will do nothing to hide the veneer of filth the Pakatan leaders, primarily Anwar Ibrahim, have elected to coat themselves in. The desperate, hysterical pleas to stop talking about the pardon shows how hollow the word Reformasi has become to these pretenders. Their cyber troopers are out in droves to defend them, either for their paychecks or due to sheer stubbornness to not admit their mistakes.
Let us be clear. We live in a Constitutional Monarchy. Key word here is Constitutional, meaning the supreme law of the land is the Constitution and it is through that Constitution should we read the powers of the Monarch(s). Whilst the decision to Pardon is indeed the YDPA’s, the YDPA acts solely from the advice of the Pardons board. The YDPA in exercising their power does not act absolutely, rather is always advised, either by the PM or an associated body from the executive. In this case it is the Pardons board. And no, we do not believe any of Shafee’s assertions on the board’s decision.
To use the name of the YDPA to excuse the root of the decision that lies with the Pardons Board is simply irresponsible. At the very least, it undermines further the democracy in an already faltering nation. Now we see that Pakatan is desperate enough to cannibalise it’s own leaders, what with Tony Pua being investigated for Sedition, following from the very same Act of Parliament these supposed leaders were supposed to repeal. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so utterly terrifying, how the honeyed words of these champions of the people have turned sour in the face of maintaining power.
If we need more proof, not far would we need to seek to find. The Perak state, through their Perak State Development Corporation, are seeking to sue Dr. Jeyakumar, the chairperson of Parti Sosialis Malaysia, for defamation. Of course they fail to articulate on this issue as the farmers they are actively seeking to forcibly evacuate from their land would paint a different picture. In chasing supposed development, the Perak state would elect to destroy acres of farmland, providing much of the vegetables Malaysians consume, to build a factory. Such is the lust for “investment” that the food security of our country, which is already in dire states as our food import bill stands at well above RM 80 billion, is further undermined. Who holds Perak? Why if it isn’t our friends from Pakatan Harapan with their colleagues in Barisan Nasional. Where is Howard Lee in all this, I wonder, when he so vehemently denied that PH has thrown away their principles in our past interview on BFM. Shameless.
Where do we stand then, us ordinary Malaysians caught in the political machinations of powerful yet insecure men? Our experience during the lockdowns of COVID-19 have shown us who stands with us in times of strife. Each other. We have to rely on one another if we are to fight against the manipulations of those in power. PM Anwar is not Reformasi Anwar. Or rather, PM Anwar is not who Reformasi Anwar wanted us to believe he was. Hence, we must show PM Anwar and his esteemed colleagues they do not run the show, we do, just as we did to Najib and gang in 2018.
First and foremost, we must be brave enough to withdraw all support from Pakatan Harapan. Even Barisan Nasional had the decency to show how their political aligned with their actions, as bad as it was. Pakatan Harapan lied through their teeth. They lied about what they were going to do with Zahid, the Sedition Act, IPCMC and now Najib. Anwar says it’s his responsibility to expedite Pardon applications? And we are supposed to believe out of all of the cases the first that he would choose is the very person whose pardoning would secure his position as Prime Minister? Sorry la we weren’t born yesterday.
We should no longer enable liars to lead us, we must throw them away and start anew. This does not mean voting for Perikatan Nasional, though. PH loves to use PN as their bogeyman as they did use BN previously. Now they are with BN and their actions bear striking resemblance with PN. Be that as it may, we still remember Muhyiddin’s time as PM and his many blunders. Plus the divisive politics of PN should never be supported. Instead of voting for them, we must be brave enough to risk a PN government.
What I mean by this is we must turn to Third Parties and Independents when elections come. We should withdraw all support, funding and campaigning for the big parties, be it PH, PN or BN. We must give others a chance, especially those with a proven track record. We must give the brave Dr in Sungai Siput battling against the Perak state to save farming land for ordinary farmers. We must give the stout man in Kajang who has saved countless houses of urban pioneers from being demolished. We must give Parti Sosialis Malaysia a chance.
Similarly, we must give others a chance, even fully independent candidates who show a passion to serve. Let us not forget that PKR’s darling boy in Batu, Prabakaran, was himself an independent. We must fund these smaller, more grassroots individuals and organisations, campaign for them and boost their reach. We may even choose to join them! Even if this means Perikatan comes to power, it must be done to empower ourselves such that it doesn’t matter who holds government. If we are organised enough with our votes, they must listen to us.
But further than partisan politics, even further than electoral politics, we must take a good hard look at what we have become. So detached from grassroots organising such that greedy politicians have used us for their political gains. No more. We must return to organising ourselves against them. This must be done through unions and people’s associations. Employer oppressing you? Strike with your union! Potholes in your Taman? Mobilise residents against the local council! And if you want to set these organisations up, give Parti Sosialis a call as this is what we do day in and day out.
Let the people’s power reign supreme and let Pakatan Harapan fall to never get back up again. This is a lesson they have chosen to learn and we are the teachers.
Arveent Kathirtchelvan is the coordinator of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) in Gombak.