By SP Nathan
On Monday, lawmakers from Umno and PAS staged a walkout, claiming there had been a technical issue with the appointment of the new speaker. All but three of the opposition MPs walked out of the Dewan Rakyat, allegedly to meet with the press, and returned an hour later to be sworn in.
One of the three who did not budge was Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin. The following day, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa said Khairy had “gone rogue” for not going along with the herd.
The pertinent question is, should they have walked out? Even the Yang di-Pertuan Agong made a joke about it. Yes, it was a joke.
The “new” Malaysia is about engagement; it’s about inclusiveness. Even if Pakatan Harapan (PH) had somehow failed to meet the technical requirements, there must be an intelligent and credible way to show such malfeasance. Walking out is so unintelligent and definitely not credible.
Barisan Nasional (BN) appears to have forgotten why its MPs are sitting in the opposition bench. It is because the majority of the rakyat found their methods not credible and their actions unintelligent. The walkout proved one thing: the people were correct in their choice on May 9.
BN must reinvent itself to meet PH on an altogether different plane. There are many articulate and intelligent people in PH who are familiar with the issues facing the rakyat. BN, during its time, survived due to a pliant media and government agencies like the PDRM and MACC, not because it was smart or intelligent in many of its actions.
Now that BN has no more such access, it has to become what the opposition was before. It must work hard, work smart and be intelligent. It needs to find the real issues and bring them to the fore. It needs to fight for the betterment of the rakyat.
Despite Umno’s claims, no race is under threat. Islam is still the official religion, and the royalty seems comfortable with the rakyat’s choice of government. It is Umno that is struggling to reconfigure itself, unable to accept the reality that Malaysia can be governed without it at the helm.
Monday was a great example of Umno and the other remnants. Clueless and lost, the best they could do was to walk out. Even the Agong found it amusing.
So, Annuar, it is not Khairy who has gone rogue. Khairy appears to have followed his intellect, and he upheld the interests of the people who elected him. Many in the past referred to his Oxford pedigree when they felt he had not done what was right. Perhaps Monday was the beginning of a new Khairy who defiantly turned his back on the rogues. Yes, Annuar, I think that is what happened. Not what you said.
SP Nathan is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.