Strangely, despite having 10 monarchies – 100% of them Malay Muslims – the country is also the only nation in the world where the majority race – also ethnic Malay Muslims – continues to seek protection. Yes, besides being the majority (61.7%) of the 32 million populations, the ethnic Malays comfortably dominate the civil service – occupying 78.8% of jobs in the government.
The Malaysian army comprises 98% of Malays, while 80% of the Royal Malaysia Police are Malays. So, how could the non-Muslim minorities threaten the Malay-Muslims and Islam? Yet, at least 4-million gullible UMNO-Malay-Muslims and 2-million ignorant PAS-Malay-Muslims actually believe that they have lost power to the “Chinese, Christians and Communists”.
Ever since the collapse of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the racist and corrupt old government that had ruled for 61 years since independence in 1957, the newly formed government of Pakatan Harapan (PH) was entrusted to breathe a new life in the country. Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest leader, was incredibly popular after he led the PH coalition to a stunning victory.
Not anymore. In a survey done by Merdeka Centre, Mahathir’s approval rating has plunged to 46% (in April 2019) from 71% (recorded in August 2018). The same study also showed that under his leadership, the PH government saw its popularity dropped to 39% from 66% within the same period of time. In comparison, just before former PM Najib Razak lost his power, the BN’s rating hit a low of 34%.
In general, voters were dissatisfied and disillusioned with Mahathir administration in combating “bread and butter” issues. Public satisfaction in the government’s management of the economy dropped from 60% in August 2018 to 40% in March 2019. Voters who had thrown their support behind the 94-year-old premier felt the “country was headed in the wrong direction”.
To add salt into injury, the premier chose to dance to the opposition’s tune – playing racial and religious cards in an attempt to swing Malay voters over to his own PPBM (Bersatu) party. He tries to be more Malay than UMNO and more Muslim than PAS, without realising today is not 1987 – the era where he controlled the mainstream media and social media has yet to exist.
Mahathir allows Zakir Naik, the controversial Indian Islamic preacher accused of spreading hate speech, laundering money, and funding terrorism by the Indian government, the free hand to mock and insult minorities Chinese and Hindus – telling them to go back to China and India respectively. The evil plan was to use racial and religious cards to rally Malay-Muslim voters.
The prime minister is driving the PH government to oblivion. Instead of putting top priorities in fixing the education system, attracting foreign investors, promoting meritocracy, becoming a better leader (than his first stint as prime minister from 1981 to 2003), exterminating cronies and corruptions, and whatnot, Mahathir is wasting his second chance by playing too much toxic politics.
The simple fact that the PH’s popularity (39%) is closing in to the BN’s rating (34%) speaks volumes that Mahathir could end up as a pariah like Najib, his predecessor and protégé-turn-nemesis. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that in the 16 months since PH took over with Mahathir calling the shot, racism and extremism have become worse now than during the previous regime.
As Mahathir’s popularity drops like a rock, the Pahang’s Sultan Abdullah, installed as the country’s 16th Malaysian King on July 30, has become a new celebrity. Unlike other monarchies, the sultanate has won praises for helping accident victims whenever he sees one. The humble king was also seen ordering food from a KFC restaurant.
More importantly, in his royal address in conjunction with his official birthday celebrations recently, the king has called on Malaysians to stand tall as a nation that transcends all differences to create lasting unity and togetherness. He urged leaders from all walks of life to put aside the differences to serve the people in efforts to establish a harmonious and united society.
Sultan Abdullah has also said that the spirit of tolerance and cooperation is the foundation towards strengthening national unity – a message clearly targeted at both the oppositions UMNO and PAS, as well as Mahathir administration. But his most stinging message was delivered during his maiden address right after he was installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in July.
Stressing that unity and harmony are the pillars and the strength of the nation, the king said – “Playing with fire will burn not only oneself, but also the whole village.” Obviously, the monarch knew that any bloody racial riot to be sparked as a result of excessive extremism and racism being played by the opposition parties (UMNO and PAS) would be a disaster to the country.
But there’s one individual whose popularity is rising rapidly, and could easily overtake the popularity of PM Mahathir or even that of the King (Sultan Abdullah of Pahang) himself. Nope, we’re not talking about Najib Razak, the world’s biggest crook currently facing criminal trials and could be jailed for years. We’re talking about the wife of the King – Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah.
Very little was known about the country’s queen, until her account on the micro-blogging site Twitter “exploded” days ago. Apparently on Wednesday (Sept 11), Queen Azizah deactivated her Twitter account, leading to speculations and rumours that she was offended by cyber-bullying. Tens of thousands of Twitter users pleaded with the queen to change her mind and reactivate her account.
Apparently, during the Merdeka Day (Independence Day) celebration on August 31, Tunku Azizah was criticised on social media for apparently taking too many photos during the parade, with a Twitter user Finalana (@Finalana1) criticised the Queen for “behaving like a small child and taking pictures during the parade” (the tweet has since been deleted).
The nasty user also wrote – “could you not have just sat down properly like a queen who is appreciating the event. Like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.” Instead of using the authorities to arrest the rude user, the queen thanked Finalana for the comment and clarified that she took photographs because the King asked her to do so and she was merely following his command.
The police was quick to arrest Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) Youth chief Khalid Ismath on Friday night (Sept 13) in response to a report lodged against him over a social media post relating to the Queen. Another Twitter user, Firdaus Asraf, has posted a formal apology on his account, saying that he regrets his actions and he hopes that Tunku Azizah will accept his apology.
However, the queen has explained that she deactivated her Twitter account for personal reasons – not because of negative comments online. Surprisingly, she expressed her disappointment over the arrest of Khalid Ismath. She told the Palace to inform the police to not take any action, forcing the police to make a U-turn and free Khalid on Saturday (Sept 14).
The Queen said – “I am truly upset that the police have detained those people. Through the years, my husband and I have never made any police report on bad things said about us. It’s a free country. I repeat again, I did not deactivate my account because of them. My husband and I have never made police reports, and I have never been sad (when I read comments about me); instead I laugh because Allah knows who I am!”
If the Queen wanted those who had badmouthed the monarch to be arrested and punished, as most of the monarchies in the country would normally do to show off their special status, she could just keep quiet and let the police do their jobs. Instead, she took a very rare approach – telling the police to back off and gave a short lecture about freedom of speech in a democratic country.
In comparison, about 2 weeks ago, Mahathir has threatened that any member of his own party PPBM (Bersatu) found making statements or announcements that could spoil the image of the party would be subjected to disciplinary action. The premier was apparently upset after his own “chief strategist” Rais Hussin told a forum that PH is in serious danger of losing the election if polls were to be called soon.
Obviously, Mr. Rais’ supposedly freedom of speech was seen as a humiliation to Mahathir’s leadership. As the captain of the ship, the prime minister cannot accept criticism, especially one coming from within his own party. Mahathir spoke like he was still the same leader of a Malaysia stuck in the pre-Internet and pre-Barisan Nasional era, where he ruled with an iron-fist for 22 years.
Interestingly, unlike Mahathir, who isn’t super proud of his ancestors who originated from Kerala, India, the same cannot be said about the Queen. In an interview with Chinese media Sin Chew Daily in July, the monarch proudly revealed her Chinese heritage, sharing her family history with its ties going back to Guangdong, China.
Heck, the queen can even speak a certain Chinese dialects. She revealed – “I am a Cantonese, I know how to speak a bit of Cantonese, a bit of Hokkien. If I go to China to search for my roots, maybe I can even find the ancestral house, may also find the fourth-generation descendants, no matter it is Ong or Wong, I confirm that I am a Raja Permaisuri Agong with Chinese lineage.”
The Chinese lineage of Queen Azizah, the daughter of the late Johor Ruler Sultan Iskandar and younger sister of the current Johor Ruler, Sultan Ibrahim, can be traced as far back as in 1885 when Sultan Abu Bakar, widely known as the Father of Modern Johor, married a rich Chinese merchant’s daughter named Wong Ah Gew who then became Sultanah Fatimah.
The Queen exposed her Chinese heritage just before her coronation – suggesting that she was sincere and serious about defending the country’s multiracial and multicultural diversity. She has definitely beaten Mahathir in showing the true meaning of speaking the truth without fear or favour, not speaks with a forked tongue. Watch out her popularity!
Source : Finance Twitter