THIS election was supposed to bring certainty back to government. Or so we thought.
But, as the days go by, political parties and coalitions are jostling once again for the media’s attention — not so much to assert what they stand for, but rather, what they won’t stand for. That being whatever it is that the other fellow is selling.
Having pitched their ideologies so divergently from each other during the elections, the bridges that have been burned make it rather difficult to cross over to any side — never mind that the nation’s ruler has implored them to find middle ground for the sake of the country and its people.
Meanwhile, one coalition is splintering in public. And still, the rumour mill continues to stir up uncertainty, blowing the wind this way and that.
And so, it is that we, the people, find ourselves tuning in to a soap opera that no one wants to watch — especially since there’s a new episode every few hours. No one has got that much time for that much of someone else’s drama in their lives.
The 15th general election (GE15) on Saturday (Nov 19) was supposed to have ended all that, wasn’t it?
Perhaps, the fault lies in how the concept of elections has been pitched to the masses: Come out and vote. Choose your leaders. And they lived happily ever after.
Thus, it is that the election results and the spectre of a hung Parliament come to life, has come as a rude shock to many — especially for first-time voters, young and old.
Malaysia is no longer a two-party system
Was it too naive to hope for a simple majority? Yes. Anyone who has observed Malaysian politics in action for the last three years should have known that Malaysia will never go back to the simpler times of a two-party system. Which is why the day after the elections, there wasn’t going to be an absolute government.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A unity government, the compromise suggested by the King, opens up the possibility of a government for all the people.
With a unity government, nobody gets everything they want. But, everyone gets something — a Malaysia that will work for everyone, more or less. And in a multicultural, multi-ideology country like Malaysia, that may have to be “good enough”.
Time needed to establish a strong government
It would be nice to think that this can happen overnight.
But, a quick solution may not be a permanent one.
An agreement hastily cobbled-together over a few days may fracture after just a few weeks or months, bringing us back to the uncertainty of the last few years.
Malaysia needs a stable government that will be in power for a reasonably long term.
So, let’s allow the coalitions to take as long as they have to. After all, the caretaker government is still in place. The civil service, the hospitals, and the security and defence forces are doing their jobs, regardless of whether the ministers are visiting them or not.
We can survive without a newer iteration of government. And we can survive if our favoured politicians don’t come to power. After all, their purpose is to serve us; not the other way around.
Don’t be angry if your vote didn’t give you what you wanted. The whole point was to be counted. Malaysia is still a country where people can speak up and be heard!
And don’t pick a fight with your fellow Malaysian. We are just the little people — trampling on each other doesn’t make any of us bigger.
Ignore the rabble-rousers that aim to make Malaysia only about them — instead of you, me and we.
Keep calm, and carry on!
Get our comprehensive GE15 coverage here.