When Umno politicians make public statements what the public should take note of more seriously is not what is stated but the opposite!
Take Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz’s recent statement to not call for early general elections. He said the government was “stable now” and should not be disturbed by calls for a general election soon.
Is the government “stable now” a fact or the image he wishes to create in public perception? Is it based on what is real and true? Since his party vice president Ismail Sabri Yaakob became the prime minister, we have faced poor management of floods (last December’s Selangor floods), Azamgate, Sapuragate, Serba Dinamikgate (the biggest fraud in local history involving the false reporting of revenues over RM6 billion), double standards, incompetence, compromised institutions, the return of a convicted former prime minister in the public sphere and the loss of the rule of law and Nazri, a lawyer, calls all of this a “stable now” government?
He must have a very low opinion of the public but we can see through the attempts at influencing public perception. What he means by “stable” is that his party Umno is in government and Umno will not create trouble to threaten that position. The fact that he doesn’t want a general election now can only mean one thing: that he is not confident that Umno will win a majority if a general election is called now. Hence this spin to justify not calling for a general election so that Umno can remain in government.
All the more reason why now or soon may be a good time to call for a general election — if opposition parties are able to size up the situation correctly and unite to make it happen!
The underlying reason why Umno remains in government is because it is protected by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between it and the opposition Pakatan Harapan. All the so-called criticisms by Opposition MPs fall on deaf ears because the government is not obligated to oblige as long as the terms of the MoU are upheld. Everything else is as happened and Sabri’s silence on all the crucial issues is a deafening testimony of his leadership capabilities or the lack of!
The Opposition needs to size up the current political scenario and decide if prolonging this government will benefit the nation or benefit the people in and close to this government.
It is the responsibility of the Opposition to enforce the checks and balances necessary to ensure there is no abuse or misuse of the government. When these fail, the Opposition has the duty to remove an errant government and do everything in its power — according to the rule of law — to make it happen.
Unfortunately, we seem to be seeing an opposition that prefers “to join them if you can’t beat them” — re: the MoU! If the leaders of the Opposition are unable to take the bull by the horns and solve the political dilemma we are in, how can they lead the nation?
Opposition leaders need to unite their parties under a single coalition, the “big tent” if you wish to call it, and boldly call for a general election. They should take control of the situation and decide when and whether to call for elections and not wait for others to make the decision for them.
They will succeed only if they make the necessary sacrifices to unite their parties. That would contrast against the “care less” attitude of the government and present the opposition coalition as a decisive force to reckon with and able to lead because it demonstrates the will to solve the current deadlock.