What Next, Malaysia?

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By Mahathir Mohd Rais

2023 has arrived, and whether we like it or not, the government must continue to focus on the uncertainty that surrounds our country’s future. 
Economical predictions were made all around the globe late last year and the increase in Covid-19 cases in certain countries is truly something that must be followed thoroughly. 
Recently, our esteemed opposition leader, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin gave an important message to the people of our country. His leadership in forming an opposition that is committed to helping the people is admirable.
What was said, is certainly true.
Even though the government has been doing a fairly good job of handling recent tragedies in our country, it must be said that the opposition has the ‘all hands-on deck’ motivation in ensuring that the delivery of government to the people is that of high-quality and fair. 
It must be acknowledged that political differences have caused misunderstandings among our citizens.
I believe that it is time that we put our differences aside to prepare for the uncertainties that might lead the country to an unforeseen downfall, threatening the lives of many.
The latest forecast made on the worldwide economic downturn is something that we must keep an eye on.
The world’s leading economist predicts that 2023 might be the year that we fall into a recession.
This is not good for any country, especially ours, a developing one.
The reality is, when a country like Malaysia falls into recession, those who are in the B40, and extremely poor communities will suffer the most.
Resources will be scarce, causing increased stress among our citizens. We have suffered enough during the past few years, have we learned nothing?
With the COVID-19 virus being a huge issue that caused many to suffer, physically, mentally, and emotionally, it must be said that it paired with the recession does not sound like a day that our people deserve to live in.
We cannot afford to lose more lives, nor can we let our people starve again.
The health of the citizens of Malaysia must be taken care of.
We cannot let our people down again; we should learn from our mistakes as political leaders. 
Nevertheless, the effects of the downturn could be mitigated by the government and even better, with the opposition working hand in hand with the government to create proper political stability throughout the upcoming recession, or at least, in preparing for one. 
The opposition bloc has clearly made its stance in terms of the ideology that we hold as a political party.
We are here to serve the people, for the people, with the government.
This means that we are not going to criticize the government for silly issues, but instead, give constructive criticism to the government, ensuring that we are fit enough to lead the country if the government ever fails to do so. 
It is no longer about who deserves to be the government, but it is about who is more capable of leading the country to prosperity, in every way.
Datuk Seri Hamzah has clearly stated that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is creating a ‘monitoring group’ for each minister to ensure that work will be completed by these ministers, and if they aren’t, then the media and the people will be the first to know about it.
At the end of the day, it is not ‘unity’ that brings us together as a nation, but perhaps the differences that lie between the government and the opposition will very much do so.
The check and balance ideology are very much critical in this state because someone must criticize the government if there are any wrongdoings, and that is our responsibility as the opposition.

About the author: Mahathir Mohd Rais (pictured above) is the Information Chief of National Alliance (Perikatan Nasional) Federal Territories. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.

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