What Kerdau and Merlimau say about us
These and more are the stuff that by-elections (and political campaigning) in Malaysia are made of. Of course, accusations like these get thrown about by everybody - usually at the opposition coalition - but nobody takes responsibility.
So, Malaysiakini reports
that, "More and more print campaign material emerges, painting Pakatan as anti Malay and anti Islam. Most do not bear party logos but several were seen distributed by Puteri Umno during BN candidate Roslan Ahmad's visit to the Pasar Malam yesterday."
As long as these campaign materials do not originate from a certain party, it is apparently alright to use them.
I find the whole exercise of using the racial and religious card utterly despicable and beneath contempt. It's flinging mud at the other person with earth dug from under your feet.
Sure, it will be dismissed as race-religion baiting and condemned as dangerous although hypocritically endorsed by certain parties as necessary political tactics. This race-religion shill is a mockery of everything that BN supposedly stands for.
Secondly, it does nothing to elevate political discourse in the country; it merely exposes the depth to which some politicians and their parties are willing to go - not for the sake of the rakyat, but to remain in power.
Thirdly, instead of leading politicians to renounce these dangerous underhanded tactics of disinformation and vicious diatribe, the opposite invariably happens.
Finding themselves on the back foot, aspiring politicians, political parties - in this case Pakatan - are forced to declare they are NOT anti-Malay, NOT anti-Islam, etc. Invariably, proof is offered to back up their stand - ala Lim Guan Eng in Penang - which in turn entrenches these same racial-religious shill and perpetuate them at the same time. Hence, the good guys are for Malays, for Islam, etc.
Maybe I'm too naive, but it appears there are no other issues to frame our discourse. It seems that these issues are being clearly manipulated not just to taint BN opponents, but also employed to further embed them as irreversible social determinants.
We cannot promote a more egalitarian and equitable Malaysia without a serious paradigm shift. We have yet to see the emergence of credible agents driving the nation towards such a change. But one thing is clear: we cannot support any individual or party that refuses to move in the direction of change for the sake of ALL Malaysians.