Rembau Times does not support Bersih 5.0

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The Rembau Times is unafraid to say that we do not support the Bersih 5.0 rally.

This is in spite of our feeling of disapproval at the administration of Mr Najib, whose sole policy objective seems to be to try to cover up the 1MDB scandal through whatever means possible. In doing so, the Cabinet Ministers in Najib’s Government have had to do their fair share of making silly comments and peddle fairy tales denying any impropriety in the world’s most reported financial scandal. While most have done so reluctantly, a few like Minister Rahman Dahlan and Minister Salleh Said Keruak actually revel in it.

The reason is that the objectives of Bersih 5.0, which has not changed from Bersih 4.0, 3.0 or 2.0, does not address the source of the problem.

Like it or not, UMNO – Barisan Nasional has won every election fair and square. UMNO wins because the message of a Malay centred government has appealed to the rural voters, whom collectively determine the bulk of the parliamentary seats.  Just the same way that Trumps message of protectionist and a pro-White policy appealed to rural America and won him the Presidency.

The Opposition’s chance to assuage these rural Malay voters came and went in the aftermath of the Perak fiasco. They were a given a chance to govern a predominately rural Malay state and they messed it up. The larger rural Malay public took note of the antics of the then DAP influenced State Government, shook their heads and swore never again to give the Opposition a chance.

More than that, the Opposition has also lost any moral authority.

After all, I tend to believe that there is no meaningful difference between how the Opposition and the Government governs. Both are based on patronage, display a lack of integrity and generally treat their supporters as “cattle” to be corralled in one direction or the other.

After all, a 28 year old Opposition politician owns an 8 million ringgit house and nobody says anything? A Chief Minister gets a substantial discount on a house purchase and DAP lawmakers flock to defend him?

These are all symptoms of a country that has been to fixed on quick fix solutions. “Not happy with Corruption and the Prime Minister?” The answer proposed is simple. “Change the Prime Minister!”

Now, wait a minute.

Why not actually take a step back and acknowledge the elephant in the room. Yes, the Prime Minister is accused of corruption. All the evidence corroborates the accusations and points to his guilt. But the key point is that he is still the Prime Minister, free to fly around and lecture people on ethics and integrity.

The issue is that it is not the Prime Minister who is broken but rather to accept that is what the voters wanted. They wanted Najib . They overlooked 1MDB. They have agreed to pay GST, a decision vindicated in all the major by-elections held since the tax was introduced.

Perhaps the reason is that while the may grump and gripe about Najib, the Opposition to Najib just disgusts them. Even to the extent that those who received scholarships and assistance during the Mahathir administration are willing to disparage the ex-PM because Dr Mahathir associates with Bersih, and the DAP.

Thus rather than waste peoples time and create the occasional headlines, what the Opposition should do is to focus relentlessly on correcting this massive negative perception the rural Malays have of the DAP. Policies like ensuring that only those conversant in the National Language can be nominated to contest as Members of Parliament. Showing through racial blindness in deciding the next one to succeed Guan Eng as the Penang Chief Minister. And practising integrity and actually meaning it.

Simple things like these matter.

Not another edition of a rehearsed play that hogs the headlines but achieves nothing else.

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