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5:22pm 23/11/2022
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Moderation the way forward for new government
By:Sin Chew Daily

Malaysia is a multicultural society established upon the principles of moderation and impartiality. Tilting towards any specific ethnic community is poised to bring disastrous consequences to the nation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, we still did not have a new prime minister, and were still unsure whether Anwar Ibrahim or Muhyiddin Yassin would eventually get the job.

After a whole morning of BN meetings, caretaker PM Ismail Sabri announced in the afternoon that the BN supreme council had resolved in its meeting not to support any coalition in forming a joint government, adding that BN chose to remain in the opposition.

Supreme council member and incoming Jelebu MP Jalaluddin Alias revealed that no BN reps had signed any statutory declaration in support of anyone as next PM.

New Straits Times reported quoting a source that the 30 BN MPs had reached an agreement not to side either PH or PN, and would propose to the King to allow the caretaker government to continue operating until the new government is set up.

So, no new government and no new PM for the time being!

Meanwhile, Sarawak premier’s office proposed in a statement to form a joint government that would include PN, BN, GPS Sarawak and GRS Sabah because the four coalitions had broad representation in the Malaysian society. However, it also said it would respect the people’s mandate and would leave it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide on the PM candidate.

So, the “Borneo caucus” is not going to make a decision, meaning there’s no such option of forming a joint government for the time being!

That said, the claim of the four coalitions’ representation of the Malaysian society is contestable. Upon counting, we have come out with the following numbers from the four coalitions: Malays (110 seats), Chinese (nine), Indian (one) and East Malaysian bumis (18). We are not here to comment about the validity of the claim. We are just trying to make the numbers a little more transparent to the Malaysian public.

Neither PH nor PN has secured the support of BN, and their 86-seat and 105-seat support respectively have yet to reach the 112-seat threshold. So, we still need to wait a while longer!

The 15th general election is the most drastic in the country’s history with no political camp able to secure a simple majority in a “hung parliament” dilemma, making it essential for a cross-coalition alliance to form the new government. And it looks like the hung parliament phenomenon will likely become a new norm in Malaysian politics, as the country enters a new era of “Malaysian Democratic Politics 2.0” or “Year One of Inter-coalition Government.”

From the establishment of Barisan Nasional in 1973 (actually the expanded version of its predecessor Alliance) until it lost the election for the first time in 2018, most of us had long been accustomed to a “one-party democracy.”

Suddenly, we now come to the realization that such a model of democratic politics is becoming history. Because of that, politicians have to jump out of the box and learn to embrace their once sworn enemies, accepting the reality that they may need to join hands with these former foes to form a joint government for the well-being of the rakyat. This is the responsibility and obligation of elected representatives, and they have no other choices!

It is sad that BN has opted to remain in the opposition. Perhaps they still cannot adapt themselves to the new “post-election multi-coalition administration” common in Western democracies!

The forming of the upcoming government is a very tough journey. Whether Anwar or Muhyiddin eventually gets the job, he will have to command an ideologically very divergent team and put the most capable people at the most appropriate positions for the sustained development and prosperity of this nation.

Malaysia is a multicultural society established upon the principles of moderation and impartiality. Tilting towards any specific ethnic community is poised to bring disastrous consequences to the nation.

We still need some time for the new government to come into being. His Majesty has urged Malaysians to remain calm and patient.

Meanwhile, Anwar posted early Tuesday morning that he was alarmed by the seditious racist remarks of some irresponsible individuals.

Inspector-general of police Acryl Sani warned on Monday that the police had detected numerous remarks belittling other races, religions and the royal family on social media after the election results were released, adding that actions would be taken against those responsible for undermining national harmony.

Now that the election results have been released, we would like to urge Malaysians to cool their emotions and be prudent in whatever they say or do. Do not vent your frustration on social media but learn to sensibly accept the outcome while we wait for the birth of our new government.

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