For the good of the nation, step aside now, Anwar


Y.B. Datuk Seri,

It is only a matter of time now before another general election is upon us. The last few years have been tumultuous ones for the nation. People are weary of all the political infighting. The pandemic, the floods and rising prices have taken their toll on living standards. Mismanagement and incompetence have made matters worse. Many are struggling. Many have lost hope.

There is a deep longing in the body politic for political stability, sensible policies that make a meaningful difference, honest leaders and good governance. Right now, voters have three choices: a coalition of the corrupt (Barisan Nasional); a coalition of traitors and extremists (Perikatan Nasional); and a coalition that failed the people the last time around and still can’t get its act together (Pakatan Harapan). At this rate, many may not even bother to vote. 

Our politics today is very much personality driven. Most people have already made up their minds about the main political personalities in the country. The general conclusion is that all these leaders are cynical, self-serving and more often than not, thoroughly corrupt. They have made a mess of things; they are not the solution they promised to be. 

Looking at the trajectory we are on, Umno seems set to win though it is unlikely to obtain a strong and stable majority. It will win not because it is better but because the alternatives are unappealing. 

We are all agreed that Umno’s return will have terrible consequences for the nation. For one thing, the rule of law will be seriously undermined; many of those convicted or facing trial will likely be given sweetheart deals. Our nation will also rise yet higher among the ranks of the great kleptocracies of the world. And all hope for reform would be lost. Slowly but surely, we will slip down the road towards a failed state.

Unless there is a dramatic change in the political dynamics of the nation, our future is bleak. We need to rejig the system, break out of the despair that is setting in, bring new hope, stir the imagination of the people, give them a real reason to vote. We need a new paradigm, new leaders with new vision that will irrevocably alter the political dynamics.

Regrettably, this kind of change can’t happen with you as leader of the opposition. Your time is past. Fate has been unkind to you in many ways. Dr Mahathir Mohamad did you (and all of us who supported Pakatan Harapan) a great injustice when he denied you an opportunity to serve our nation as prime minister. But your performance as leader of the opposition these past two years hasn’t helped either. 

Like it or not, you are not the one to lead us into GE15. You cannot win. You cannot inspire the voters to turn out in sufficient numbers to stymie Umno’s march to Putrajaya. If you stay, the change that you yourself fought so hard for, paid such a high price for, will recede further and further into the background.

Yes, other leaders need to step aside too, but even if they did their parties and coalitions have little to offer. PKR alone has great potential because it stands for values which I believe are shared by most Malaysians. Only PKR can unite our people and infuse them with a common purpose. That’s why I believe that if change is to come to the nation, it must begin with PKR, the lynchpin of PH.

And it must begin with you making way for a new leadership team.  Make way for Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah Anwar. Let them build an informal coalition of younger leaders that would include the likes of Hannah Yeoh and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. Together, they can forge a message of hope that will fundamentally alter the national dynamics and shake our nation up like never before. If done right, it could create a tsunami even greater than the one we witnessed in GE14.

If you make way now, even at this late stage, a new team will still have time to hammer out a new deal for Malaysia, an agenda that we all – Malay and non-Malay – can embrace, an agenda that is focused on truly helping the people, rebuilding our capacity, restoring the integrity of our national institutions, rebuilding trust between the communities. People are hungry for change; if a new generation of leaders sound the trumpet call, they will surely respond.

It all begins with you, sir. Our fate and the future of our nation is now in your hands. If you stay, you condemn us to a dismal future. But if you step down now, you will make it possible for us to dream again of building that better Malaysia that we all so desperately want.  It is the greatest act of patriotism and sacrifice that you can do for us and for our nation at this critical moment in our history. And so, for the sake of our nation, please step aside now. – May 24, 2022.

* Open letter from Dennis Ignatius.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.



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Comments


  • Nurul not contesting in PKR polls. Rafizi said "PKR should forget about GE15". Syed Saddiq is more quiet than usual.

    LKS closed his political career. OKM is taking a hiatus. Maybe so too TP and YBY.

    Khairy and Hishammuddin are mum about their political aspirations.

    Do these guys know something we didn't?

    https://www.mbip.gov.my/en/node/493

    ......and that was before 1MDB and Covid-19.

    Posted 1 month ago by Malaysian First · Reply

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  • Dennis, I agree with you on Anwar dismal performance. He is certainly no PM material. But I cannot understand why you said in the same breath that Tun Mahathir did a disservice to Anwar for denying him the opportunity to be PM.

    For one, you just admitted Anwar's "..performance as leader of the opposition these past two years hasnt helped either...". So I submit that Tun actually did us a favour to spare us a lousy leader.

    Secondly, Rafizi and Nurul are can sprout a coalition of young likeminded politicians but for the long term future. Certainly not GE15 or 16 as Nurul rightly predicted. Nurul too has written off her fathers chances of being PM.

    Thirdly, you are still in denial that the refomasi movement started by PKR in the early years and DAP's vision of a utopian Malaysia will need a total mindset change of the majority race, an endeavour Tun Mahathir has admitted he had failed in. 60+ years of BN-UMNO rule and abuse of the race and religion narrative to retain power cannot be undone in one, two or even three election cycles.

    Fourthly, not all in UMNO are bad. Khairy Jamaluddin and may be Mat Hassan stands out. Lets face it, if 65% of the population needs and concerns are not properly addressed, change will not happen at the polling booths. UMNO has to change, internally in order for real political change to have a chance. Tun M tried to dismantle UMNO via Bersatu and now, Pejuang but it has proven to be impossible.

    In summation, opposition politicians need to come to terms with the reality before any realistic progress can be achieved towards a more sustainable political future for our country.

    Posted 1 month ago by Super Duper · Reply

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    Posted 1 month ago by Joe Jess Thwaite · Reply