Friday, September 25, 2020

Where politicians play dangerous games


BSC, 25/9: Last night Shafie Afdal said sorry to the Sabah people for the inconvenience he'd caused by calling for the "snap" election, which happens tomorrow and involves over a million voters throughout the state.  
The caretaker Chief Minister said he had to dissolve the Dewan Negeri in August to deny parties that wanted to seize power from him.  
Shafie said with Covid-19 (Sabah travellers bring infections to KL, Selangor, Kelantan) there is a possibility that voters might be infected. "But the political turmoil and the power grab have forced me to dissolve the state assembly so the people can decide. We are giving the mandate to the people," he said on FB.  
Such hypocrisy, so common in Malayan politics, has found a toehold in the political landscape of Sabah.  
And it has become even more prevalent in the the past weeks of intense campaigning by candidates vying for the 73 precious seats in the state assembly. 
The anti-Malaya campaign, I've decided, is not just another big hypocrisy but also mighty dangerous. Yes, Sabahans have always felt a little special compared with their fellow Malaysians from the Semenanjung. And if we are to be honest, we in Semenanjung also feel that they are a little more special than us. How do you explain the feeling that you are "not in Malaysia" whenever you are in KK or Kudat or Ranau and Kundansang? 
Their cultures are so different, the air fresher, the people somehow more beautiful. 
But this anti-Malaya political spin is, simply put, dangerous. Even more dangerous than the racial and religious card that the Malayan people of Malay, Chinese, Indian dll origins are often accused of playing. 
It doesn't matter who wins tomorrow, but the Chief Minister of the new government had better take urgent steps to stop this dangerous brand of politics. We Malayans would rather the frogs than politicians who'd put national integration at risk just as long as they can gain, or regain, power.


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