Strengthening Democracy Amidst Crisis

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By Mahathir Mohd Rais

The recent political crisis in Malaysia, marked by the actions of several MPs from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) declaring their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has sparked widespread condemnation.
Their decision, which includes a request to change seats in the Dewan Rakyat, is considered by many as irresponsible and a violation of the basic principles of political responsibility.
The criticism does not only come from political opponents but also from voters who perceive this change in stance as a disregard for the mandate given by the people.
They view the actions of the Bersatu MPs as a betrayal of their promises to the voters and a failure to maintain loyalty to the coalition and the principles of the party that supported them.
In making this decision, the MPs stated that their motivation was related to issues affecting the people, such as the rising cost of living and ongoing problems with water and electricity supply.
They emphasize that their actions were in the interest of the people, not personal or political gain.
In this context, a comparison can be made with the stance of fellow MPs from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), who remain committed despite not receiving allocations for years.
Their strength and dedication in the face of financial resource shortages become a symbol of sincerity and political dedication.
Conversely, the attitude of Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, who remains committed to the principles and institutions of his party despite facing suspension by the UMNO Supreme Council without changing seats, reflects another aspect of political loyalty.
This attitude draws attention, especially when compared to the actions of the Bersatu MPs, which are considered a betrayal of the principles of loyalty and obedience to the party.
This situation shows the differences in individual approaches, where loyalty and principles are interpreted and practiced in different ways.
It invites reflection on the meaning of loyalty and integrity in politics, and how these values should be translated into concrete political actions.
Ultimately, this dynamic reflects the diversity of opinions and approaches in Malaysian politics, characteristic of a mature and open democracy.

About the author: Mahathir Mohd Rais, Perikatan Nasional Federal Territories Information Chief. 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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