Said Lim Kit Siang: “If Anwar Ibrahim’s government can last five years and we can explain that the fear of ‘Malays and Muslims being downgraded’ is just propaganda and toxic political illusions including lies, deception, hatred, brought by irresponsible politicians in the information age nowadays, we have a good chance to succeed in our mission to reset the principles and policies of developing the country as formulated by the founders of our independence, including the first four presidents of Umno, for Malaysia to be a light in a difficult and disturbed world.”
He added: “The most important challenge for Anwar’s government is to ensure that it marks the beginning of a new political era to reset the national agenda back to the original principles of developing the nation and not a false dawn.”
In fact, apart from the economy, Anwar must pay close attention to issues of race and religion. He must know about all this.
According to Ilham Centre’s political analyst, Mujibu Abd Muis, Anwar’s first step in handling the situation is to control the Malay-Muslim narrative through the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers so that it reflects a unity government compared to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Anwar has already done this. His congregation is lined with many Malay leaders who are mostly young. Apart from Anwar and the two deputy prime ministers, 18 of the 25 ministers are Malays, thus Muslims.
Mujibu said, of course Anwar took lessons from what happened to the PH government as a result of the Sheraton Step coup in 2020, even though he was not in the government at the time.
In short, the fall of the PH government led by Mahathir Mohamad was due to the narrative of race and religion which saw the emergence of an administration dubbed the “Malay-Islamic government” made up of Bersatu, PAS, and Umno.
Before the government was established, PAS and Umno (then good friends) loudly accused the PH government of being dominated by DAP despite being led by Malays. United then silently repeated that narrative until the Sheraton Move.
Personally, I do not agree that the PH government is dominated by DAP, but the Malay community swallows the accusation. Since I am not armed with a detailed survey, I cannot describe the number of Malays who believe the accusation. Suffice it to say that “quite a few” Malays believe.
The so-called “Chinese-dominated government” can or has been blunted by the formation of Anwar’s Cabinet which is lined with many Malay ministers (on the other hand, Anwar must convince the non-Malay community that they will not be ignored).
Blunted but will not disappear, because there are Malays who want to believe what they want.
The accusation of “Islam is threatened” or “Malays are in danger in their own homeland” was successfully used by PAS and Bersatu in the 15th GE. That narrative is no longer used by Umno because it is already sitting in a unity government.
PAS and Bersatu still use that tactic to attract Malay support and will definitely continue. It is not surprising because using (or misusing) issues of race and religion is a shortcut to get votes as shown in GE 15, as was said earlier.
Anwar himself is often accused of being a Jewish agent even though Hamas, the enemy of the Zionist regime, was one of the first to congratulate him when he was appointed prime minister.
Back to Mujibu. He said, with the establishment of a unity government (not a PH government), DAP needs to lower its “tone” when making demands in the government.
For me, DAP has not been exaggerating when making any demands even though it is acknowledged that there are among the tough middle leaders. Regardless of the fact that DAP often gives in. They agree that the position of prime minister must be filled by a Malay-Muslim. They did not “rebell” when Malay leaders were appointed menteri besar in states where DAP won a large number of state assembly seats.
In GE14 for example, when PH managed to rule Perak, DAP who won the most seats gave way even though they had a Malay-Muslim assemblyman who was eligible to be appointed as Perak menteri besar.
That’s an old story. A new story when Anwar formed the Cabinet of Ministers, DAP did not make any demands or demands. Gobind Singh Deo admits he was offered a ministerial post but turned it down. In the Cabinet, DAP is represented by four ministers. There was no objection even though it was acknowledged that there were dissatisfied leaders and grassroots.
For me, DAP acted like this “for the greater good” and looked at “the big picture”. Agree or not is up to you.
Talking about “the big picture” – that’s what many PH voters did after being disappointed when Anwar named controversial leaders and election losers in his congregation. Most prominent is the appointment of Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who was given one of the two positions of deputy prime minister.
Now, in my opinion, many PH voters and Anwar supporters accept this reality of a “unity government” not a “PH government”. It means that there is tolerance and as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong advised – winning does not win all, losing does not lose all.
But what is still being talked about is the appointment of an Umno person who is also the former finance minister, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz. A video of Anwar campaigning in Kuala Selangor ahead of GE15 went viral. It shows Anwar promising “God willing, if I become prime minister, Tengku Zafrul will not be on the list.” Received applause from the audience.
For the opposition and the anti-Anwar group, this is like the sprout of the future ulam. This is being exploited and will continue to be exploited.
Of course Anwar knows the impact of his move. He must have certain reasons and reasons for bringing in Tengku Zafrul. As the prime minister, he cannot or does not need to announce to the public why he did so.
The only thing that is certain is that this issue will be used by the opposition to prove to the people that Anwar has not kept his promises, and therefore cannot be trusted. This will be lit all the time everywhere, especially when several state elections are held next year.
We don’t need to be political experts to know that Anwar needs to do something to deal with this problem without telling the secret behind Tengku Zafrul’s appointment.
As written in my article the other day, Anwar must ensure that his government succeeds in bringing excellence to the country and the people, and also if Tengku Zafrul himself carries out his duties well.
I end with the words I used to close the previous article – if the government takes care of the people, the people will take care of the government.