I WOULD like to thank Senator Khairul Azwan Harun for his mature and level-headed take on our nation’s current political landscape, “Reach out and connect”, (The Star, August 2).
In a country where race and religion still define who we are, it seems that affiliations and professed allegiance to political parties have now become integral aspects of our identity, often with unpalatable consequences.
It has widened the social chasm between members of the community, often to the tune of “you are either for us or against us”. It is no laughing matter when even individuals of the same race and identical set of beliefs hurl hissy accusations at one another for being a traitor simply because of differences in their political preference.
Division has always been the name of the game in politics, where each party and its loyal band of supporters would go all out to rally others to their cause. This is understandable given the high stakes – the powerful mantle of ruling a nation, determining policies and pursuing agendas that are in line with the foundational values of the winning party. It is also true that there cannot be too many captains steering the ship as it may destabilise a country.
However, it is disheartening when the winner-takes-all mentality fosters such rabid hatred for one another that common sense and values disintegrate.
All across the political spectrum, members of various parties continually engage in a vain war of words over issues that reflect their childishness and immaturity.
These men and women should know better than try to goad one another with sensitive topics that do not benefit the progress of our country. Instead of having a sensible discussion over bread and butter issues, some prefer to incite fear, hatred and distrust among common folk who, in turn, ravenously lap up every sensationalised statement.
Resorting to underhanded tactics such as back-biting, surreptitious character assassinations and invoking so-called “tsunamis” of racial proportions are unbecoming cheap shots.
Is it too much to ask for a gallant leadership capable of sensible discourse and one willing to collaborate even with those of opposing political ideologies when the need arises for the common good of all instead of instinctively ripping apart efforts by the previous or incumbent administration?
Our politicians should also learn to sidestep the pitfalls of Hollywood-esque politics that thrive on dramatic pandering to the peanut gallery when there are more pressing socio-economic issues to be addressed. An unhealthy affinity for gutter politics only exposes the shameful lack of sound judgement and incapacitated reasoning.
Disagreements over various issues are bound to occur especially in a plural society such as ours but surely we are capable of seeing the bigger picture for the sake of our country. This is a clarion call for all to end this nonsensical and self-destructive behaviour because enough is enough.