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The Grass Is Not Necessarily Greener On The Other Side

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KUALA LUMPUR – Each time news reports emerge that the opposition is planning to have a public rally to supposedly overthrow the ruling government, I (Mohd Nasir Yusoff  – Bernama Writer) am reminded of what my late father used to say.

“You don’t have to demolish your old house just because some people are promising you a bigger and better home.

“It may end up being an empty promise but even if they do give you a new house, it may not turn out to be better,” he had said.

My father never went to school but his analogy’s inherent wisdom is most relevant in view of the current political developments in the country.

“SAVE MALAYSIA CONSENSUS”?

It was reported recently that the opposition coalition planned to organise a so-called “Save Malaysia Consensus” rally at the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) field in Pandan Indah next Monday.

According to a news portal, some former leaders of our government are to share the stage with opposition leaders with the common objective of seeking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s removal as prime minister.

The rally proponents are crying out that Malaysia, apparently, is in dire need of being saved, but then, is there any guarantee that they can govern this nation more effectively?

Is it not possible for the new administrators to place tighter curbs on the people’s freedom so that they can have a firm grip on the power that they had been eyeing for so long? In the end, they too may face similar attempts to remove them from power. Again, my father’s “new house” analogy comes to mind!

Leaving the analogy aside, any form of political unrest can trigger chaos, which can shatter the peace and harmony of the plural society we live in.

ADVERSE IMPACT

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, according to Newton’s third law of motion. So, should there be a confrontation between the pro-rally and anti-rally factions at next Monday’s gathering and things go out of hand, what will be the consequences?

In the past, when protesters wearing yellow T-shirts gathered in the city, their opponents retaliated later with a “red T-shirt” rally.

Then, more recently, when former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters put up a billboard in Selangor demanding for his release from jail, another poster emerged declaring that Anwar was not a political offender but a criminal offender who was found guilty of committing sodomy by the court. The fact that the second poster came complete with an explanation on sodomy made the situation worse – imagine how embarrassing it would be for parents if their young children read it.

Any kind of upheaval will open the door wide for the nation’s enemies to troop in and take advantage of the situation. Certainly, we don’t want turmoil in a nation we are so proud of and which is among the handful of Muslim nations in this world that enjoy peace. And, please don’t get me started on the threat posed by extremist groups.

Instability, furthermore, is bad news for our economic growth. Just recently, Bank Negara Malaysia had projected a growth of between four and 4.5 per cent for Malaysia’s economy this year.

Opposition leaders who have stable incomes need not worry about a deteriorating economy. Life won’t be as tough for them as it would be for job-seekers who have to search high and low for employment.

Jobs are going to become more scarce if this political instability persists and keeps foreign investors away. The losers are going to be the younger generation.

UNDEMOCRATIC

It is a real pity that next week’s rally is being closely linked to former leaders of this country who were held in high esteem by the people for charting the nation’s growth and success. It is a real pity too that they have chosen the undemocratic path to pursue their ambitions when they know only too well that the opposition have a presence in this country mainly due to the democratic principles practised by the government.

Certainly, they are not setting a good example to the younger generation by urging the people to reject a government that was elected by the people through the ballot box. Why can’t they just wait for the 14th general election? If it is true that the people want a change, then let them elect (a new government) through democratic means. Have some respect for the principles of democracy.

Monday’s rally is obviously a ploy by the opposition to gain momentum for its anti-government offensive well before the next general election. They got the momentum going even before the 13th general election when they accused the Barisan Nasional of “recruiting” 40,000 citizens of a certain country as “phantom” voters.

Then they started targeting government institutions and even alleged that Tabung Haji would go bankrupt. And while they were busy urging Muslims to withdraw their money from Tabung Haji, someone revealed that a certain opposition leader has accumulated a huge amount of savings in his Tabung Haji account. Those who believed the wild accusations and had withdrawn their savings have now lost their chance to fulfil their haj pilgrimage.

It is very interesting to study political science, as well as strategies to overthrow one’s enemies. It is said that man is a political animal. To put it simply, animals pay no heed to the law and they will do anything to ensure their survival. It is the same in the political arena, where slander and falsehood are commonplace even among the Muslim politicians, although Islam describes slandering as more sinful than committing a murder.

The rally organisers are portraying the government as their common enemy. They are out to stir up hatred against the government and see its downfall. To do this, the opposition leaders are willing to work with some of the former leaders of our government – the very people who were their sworn enemies in the past! Hopefully, these former leaders will soon come to their senses and realise that the opposition is merely using them to wrest power.

LOYALTY TO GOVERNMENT

People’s declaration? If it really is the people’s declaration, then we want to know how many people have actually come forward to support it.

During the Friday sermons, Muslims are frequently reminded to be loyal to the government. Are we not being disloyal to the nation by participating in a rally that is aimed at overthrowing a democratically-elected government? If we are, indeed, loyal citizens, then it is our duty to honour the laws and regulations of the country.

My dear father also used to say that should our house fall into disrepair, we should all join hands and slowly restore it. Over time, the house will be fully restored and the need to demolish it will no longer arise.

— BERNAMA

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