Let Us Pause Awhile

By Sarawakian

The first six months of the year 2020 has already passed. It has been an eventful beginning of the Year of the Metal Rat. Many of us if not all would never have predicted what had befallen nor continue to lurk today.

Globally, the Covid 19 pandemic caused a huge change in the lives of many citizens around the world. What began as a lockdown of Wuhan in China on 23 January 2020 before Chinese New Year had spread globally until this time of writing. With no end in sight, governments around the world took their own actions in alleviating their own situations. We could easily see how many were humbled as they fought the unseen enemy which has no artificial cure in the form of the elusive vaccine.

In Malaysia, we have not only gone through the same from 18th March 2020. Only Sarawak was being more proactive with their border closures and actionable strategy as easily as 1 February 2020. It has to be reminded that they were the first to also create wristbands for quarantine and tracing apps for your mobile devices.

Malaysia also saw a new Prime Minister on 1 March 2020. However, this change in Prime Minister from the 7th Prime Minister to the 8th Prime Minister was not like any other in Malaysian political history. The 7th Prime Minister not only resigned citing loss of confidence but the whole ruling coalition composition was changed to place the incumbent Prime Minister number 8.

The voters were dumbfounded as the whole idea for elections was to find what the majority wanted as a ruling coalition. But instead, through cleaver political manoeuvring, a small breakaway group made a new coalition with the same ones who lost the majority to form a new majority.

There is something which we all are now made aware of how serious being honest and true to your calling is with political members of Parliament. They simply do not think it is. There is no law yet against party hopping. Yet many of us voted based on the logos on the ballot paper instead of personalities.

It is something important for us to push when it comes to the next election. We have to somehow ensure those who become the government quickly create a law against party hopping. This is in many beliefs an act of betrayal of trust given by voters.

Many of us who were dumbfounded and thought to be dumb whilst the elitist politicians yet again play with the voters; did not do nor say much since 1st March 2020. There is a reason for that. The worry for the economy began as early as December 2019 as the global economy seemed to have slowed. The shenanigans of the so called β€œcoup” which many think was uncouth paled in comparison at that time as the escalation of Covid 19 being announced as a pandemic took centre stage.

The Movement Control Order began on 18th March 2020 as a 2 week block and extended for 2 weeks after the 28th March, 14th April and 28th April. It was extended again to end on 12 May 2020 but this became the Conditional Movement Control Order from 4th May till 12th May 2020. It was further extended until 9 June 2020 which was a 4 week block instead of the expected 2 week block. Thereafter, it became the Recovery Movement Control Order to end on 31 August 2020. We have now seen the evolution from an MCO to a CMCO and now an RMCO.

Malaysia also saw Parliament sit for just a few hours on 18th May 2020. The 2nd sitting is from 13th July till 27th August 2020 for a period of 25 days. The 3rd and last sitting for the year is scheduled for 2nd November till 15th December 2020 for a period of 26 days.

To date, we still hear and read about how political coalitions are jockeying for support of confidence as the difference between the two coalitions of Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan Plus (PH Plus) is razor thin. This would not be good for the economy as any government from any coalition does not have a strong mandate.

Whilst the new normal beckons, the kingmaker of Sarawak MPs from a united GPS holds key to support of confidence. They would also not want to risk this new found status with a snap election as they have the Sarawak Elections to contend with a looming strong local opposition. In fact, it is better for GPS to hold the kingmaker status until the end of the Parliamentary term. Petronas vs Sarawak is an interesting case.

As voters, we have awakened to the fact that both coalition options reeks of internal strife. Disappointed we have come to the point of disillusionment. Yet, slowly we must take hold of ourselves and fight against the manipulative acts of those whom we put in or out of government.

Our strongest weapon has been and would always be our votes. We cannot lose sight of this nor give up. We cannot allow them to be lords of our destiny as they are there because we put them there. Who gets the seat is up to us. Let us continue to pressure them and escalate this pressure. Show them that the Rakyat is the real Boss, not some wannabe.

Do not wallow in self-pity nor wallow in despair. We did it before in 2018 when we came together only to be betrayed because we believed. The belief in conviction for fair and meritorious policies cannot be bent. We should come out stronger and wiser and vote not only for a party but whom the party puts up. We rather have good people in government rather than those who aim to betray for power.

God Bless Malaysia.