A Bersatu without its Indigenous Principles is Just UMNO 2.0

Source: SCMP

A Prime Minister’s first address to the nation is bound to be historic. The rakyat, after going through a tumultuous political crisis, needed words of comfort. They wanted assurance that the crisis was over, that the nation would move forward. 

However, this Prime Minister was of a different mold. A hesitant leader, his premiership started with a plea, with humility. Muhyiddin is an enigma. An exception from all the power-hungry megalomaniacs the rakyat was told about in Malaysian politics. 

Or so it seems. The truth, as they say, is relative. 

In reality, he is not an elected leader. Unlike his predecessors, his government was never voted into power. In reality, the legitimacy of his premiership was in doubt, by the very mentor he thanked and talked fondly about. 

In fact, his mentor has a strikingly different narration of events from what the new premier asserted. Muhyiddin emphasised that he is not a traitor. Yet Tun Mahathir said he was the one who betrayed him the most. 

Muhyiddin said he never wanted to be Prime Minister and was only compelled to do so when there is no MP with a majority support in Parliament. However, what he so conveniently left out was that he was the prime instigator of the political crisis that required a Prime Minister candidate in the first place. 

Since the “Sheraton Move” saga is still fresh in our memories, a revisit of the events and major players that led to the fall of a legitimate government will only make you lose hope on democracy. Instead, let us rewind to 2016 when Muhyiddin’s party Bersatu was officially formed. 

It seems that in Malaysian politics, 4 years is enough for a whole party to suffer dementia. At present, Bersatu is a far cry from what it stood for in September 2016. Consisting of a rogue group of UMNO leaders who had enough of the party’s rotting system of cronyism, corruption and kleptocracy, Bersatu did something never done before by a splinter party of UMNO; gaining support from the masses.

Of course, how can the rakyat not support them? This was a party that courageously stood up against the UMNO regime and vocally decried its injustice and rampant corruption; the loudest of whom was Muhyiddin himself. Reform was the slogan and through GE14’s monumental victory, reform was their agenda. Well, at least it was. 

It all changed last week when the party decided to waive the principles that founded its very existence. A quick browse to Bersatu’s official website so easily shows these reasons but unfortunately, Muhyiddin and Co have made a mockery of it all.  

How can the party focus on institutional reforms and return integrity to our nation’s administration when they accept with open arms the very corrupt leaders they were fighting against before?

How can Bersatu fight for democracy and protect the rule of law when they have betrayed democracy itself? Forming a government void of the rakyat’s mandate with kleptocrats is as undemocratic as it is unethical. 

Furthermore, by accepting UMNO en bloc into Malaysia’s first backdoor coalition, Bersatu has lost its moral code. A Malaysian United Indigenous Party without its indigineous principles has lost the reason to exist. With the direction Muhyiddin is bringing the party, Bersatu’s disband is imminent and it will surely rejoin UMNO.

After all, isn’t that the most muafakat thing to do? 

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