This post was published as a letter to editor in Malaysiakini. As such, I am posting an revised copy based on my letter
The ascendancy of right wing politics
Dr Hsu Dar Ren
Mar 11, 10 5:02pm
One headline yesterday screamed: ‘Chinese will take over in the next election, warns Perkasa’. I do not know how these right-wingers passed their mathematics. Chinese Malaysians plus the Indian Malaysians constitute less than 40 percent of voters and majority of them are in seats that are in urban areas where the weightage is much smaller compared to the rural ones.
In some of the urban seats, for example, those in Kuala Lumpur, it is not uncommon to have more than 60,000 voters in one constituency. On the other hand, seats like Putrajaya have much less voters.
Recent events have showed that right-wing politics is on the rise and the ascendancy of these right-wingers do not bode well for the country. The country is on the road to extreme racist politics if these right-wingers have their way. The road that these right-wingers advocate is a direct opposite of the ‘1Malaysia’ concept which was introduced by none other than the prime minister himself.
I suspect the recent announcement that BN will amend its constitution and open its doors for direct membership is a ploy to admit these right-wing organisations, and with this, those component parties advocating the middle ground will have much less influence.
Another effect of this direct membership seems to be that if any component party head does not toe the line of the dominant party, then the latter can choose a more compliant one from this component party to challenge this not-so-compliant party head.
If the compliant one wins, the party will then toe the line of the dominant party. On the other hand, if the compliant one loses, he can bring his members out of that component party and join as direct members, thereby weakening the influence of the not-so-compliant leader of the component party. This will ensure that the component parties will always toe the line and whatever sharing of views and power would be a thing of the past.
In this way, direct membership can become a tool for ‘divide and rule’, a tactic which the British were fond of using and we are, in fact, still feeling the effects of ‘divide and rule’ used by the colonial British government.
So can the leaders of these smaller BN component parties do anything to object to this direct membership thing? I do not think so. If they cannot even fight to keep the BN chairpersonship in some of their own areas, how are they going to fight for issues in the interest of the rakyat?
If they cannot even do that, it is really time for them to take a look at themselves and stop believing that they can influence the ‘big brother to take the middle ground. Perhaps it is time for these parties to call a referendum for their grassroots to discuss their future (of lack of a future ) inside the coalition.
They should not harbour any hope that with their little strength, they can stop the ascendancy of right-wing politics within the coalition.