IT WILL be a dark day for Malaysia when politicians are given a free hand to rule not serve the rakyat; the darkest day when we the rakyat are beholden to MPs and ADUNs for the crumbs they nonchalantly throw at us - benefits which are rightfully ours as taxpayers and the real movers and shakers of the country’s development.
It will be the darkest hour indeed when we continue to vote in representatives who do not deliver the promised change but instead rob us of the promised prosperity.
Painful as it is to watch the unfolding of events as one lot after another of political bargainings were traded to “buy” the relevance of the protagonists, it is heartening to see some goodwill and sense prevail as individuals and the groups they represent come to terms with their conscience and reason.
The political wisdom of some may rule the day after all, to supersede the self-serving interests of the many.
The new grouping of Perikatan Nasional comprising UMNO, MCA, MIC, PAS, GPS has withdrawn their earlier pledge to support the appointment of Tun Dr Mahathir as the Interim Prime Minister on condition DAP is not in the equation.
Their final stand is that it is also not acceptable for any newly appointed Prime Minister to forego the principle of party representation in determining the cabinet line-up of the envisaged unity government.
These are reasoned and reasonable argument in the light of the conventions Malaysia has determined and adopted for its democratic government.
Perikatan Nasional has called for the dissolution of Parliament and for a fresh election to return the mandate to the rakyat.
Any right-thinking politician or political grouping should be guided by this basic principle of a democratically elected government.
The rakyat who are expediently pledging loyalty to king and country should morally have this common sense on their conscience - this informed understanding of what our rights as citizens are.
While economic arguments have no doubt influenced the hasty decisions made over the last few days, there is no reason why wiser counsel should not surface in retrospect.
The fear is that the country’s economic indices such as the share market closings will sink lower with each day of political instability.
One argument is that this is normal share market movements that reflect trading sentiments in the short term, but long-term considerations will prevail for serious investors.
If the Prime Minister so advises the Yang Dipertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament to hold a snap election in the constitutionally stipulated period of two months, Malaysia’s democracy will appear to be a principled and procedurally correct one in the eyes of the world.
This will reaffirm the perception and belief that we are indeed a nation with integrity and trustworthiness.
Any short-term loss in economic gains will surely be compensated by the huge rise in investor confidence that will contribute to the shared prosperity.
What has blessedly emerged out of this political crisis is the outstanding role played by Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Not only is the Agong exercising his executive functions efficiently and fairly in giving an audience to politicians and their groupings, in appointing an interim Prime Minister, and in interviewing all 221 members of Parliament to determine their true affiliations, His Majesty has on his own reached out to the rakyat through endearing gestures such as distributing food to the media waiting outside the gates of Istana Negara to cover diverse and sometimes contradicting political narratives.
In the current political uncertainties His Majesty has emerged as the true harbinger of unity displaying an innate bond between the king and his rakyat.
The image of a smiling Agong eating a piece of french fries with journalists speaks a thousand words – more than the contrived behaviour of political leaders or their strategically crafted oratory.
Let this be an inspiration for our politicians in the moves they are planning every single day. Let it be known that their first concern is the rakyat whose interests and needs they serve – not their own political survival.
Let Malaysians especially youth be reminded that it is not “uncool” or unfashionable to uphold morality and ethic as the bedrock of human behaviour.
Let goodwill and kindness prevail even in the most trying of disagreement and conflict. Only then will Malaysia’s shared peace and prosperity have real meaning.
Datuk Halimah Mohd Said is the President of Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE).
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of Astro AWANI.