Guilty of Politics, Guilty of Peace

Guilty Of Politics, Guilty Of Peace

Last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world, the country’s democratically-elected government imploded. Pakatan Harapan could not hold back from prioritizing their politics, positioning their heir-apparent to take over the seat of Prime Minister. Then-Prime Minister Tun Mahathir lost his calm and tendered his resignation after Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim and his close supporters’ kept pushing for succession.

This serves as a reminder, the cohort of politicians we have are hard-wired to the fact that they need to consolidate power. This has proven dysfunctional for the country as the opposition’s motivation is to add more political weight to sink the Perikatan Nasional ship. But these maneuverings are short-sighted ventures.

Our Prime Minister was the first to announce in November 2020 that a General Election will be held once the COVID-19 situation is brought under control. This is the constitutionally right way to correct the political error that has wounded our democracy. Now, do we hear of any calls for that from any other leader? Very little, if any.

The current rhetoric against the government is – don’t change the “ship”, just kick out the “failed captain.” This will take us back to the uncertainty that we saw in the Sheraton move. It takes a lot to remove the Prime Minister. What will happen to the Cabinet then? Some politicians are happy where they are. Some political parties think they are underrepresented despite their electoral significance. Some have ambition. While these concerns may have their time and place, this certainly isn’t the right time to pursue politics.

A political stalemate is the last thing we need in Malaysia right now. As we approach close to 20,000 cases a day, we have to admit that we are all guilty of politics. But we can also be guilty of pursuing peace. But what is the cost of peace? Perhaps, it will be at the expense of our politics.

No amount of politicking and jockeying for positions of power will change the fact that we are in a race against time to suppress the pandemic before it further mutates and claims more lives. We need to remain focused on the task at hand to combat COVID-19, protect livelihoods and secure a future where we can still have a stable and safe society to return to.

We need to deliberate on what this stable and safe society means to us. If it is eradicating the pandemic to finally bring this matter to a vote, then perhaps all we see with our politicians is unnecessary.

There are plenty of opportunities in the pipeline for our MPs to make a political stand in the coming months. The tabling of the Budget 2022. The reading of the 12th Malaysia Plan. The vote of confidence that was announced by the a Prime Minister yesterday. These are the opportunities that politicians can take to determine our future.

But right now, our people are falling sick and dying. Right now, many are left jobless. Right now, some even don’t have enough to eat. So as we are all guilty of our politics, we should use our energies, resources, and influence to fight the pandemic. This way, we can win this battle and all be guilty of peace.

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