December 28, 2018
Malaysia: From Harapan ( Hope)- ( No Harapan), If UMNO-Centric Politics Only
INTERVIEW by Geraldine Tong | Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the government needs to focus on the rakyat’s well-being so that Malaysia does not follow the US in swinging to the other side in the next election.
He said this in response to a question on whether Bersatu would consider opening full membership to non-bumiputera.
“The most important thing now is for us to fight for the future of Malaysia and on issues close to the rakyat’s heart such as the cost of living, housing and others and to give them confidence that… we will defend the constitution.
“We do not want to become like the US, where they elected Barack Obama as President and in the next election, the pendulum swung the other way and they got Donald Trump (as their president),” Syed Saddiq said in a press interview at the Youth and Sports Ministry in Putrajaya.
Now that Pakatan Harapan has become the government, it is time for them to think like a government, he added, though he stressed they must still work hard like an opposition.
They still need to go down to the ground, he said, such as visiting food stalls, having dialogue sessions and having townhall sessions like they used to when they were the opposition.
That is why, he said, Bersatu Youth holds programmes every day, as he believes this is the best way to become closer to the rakyat.
“We cannot, now that we are the government, just go to official events, cut ribbons and hold meetings in our own office and call it a day.
“We have to ensure that we are working like the opposition,” Syed Saddiq said.
Integrity and trustworthy
The Youth and Sports Minister stressed that the Harapan government is dedicated to defending and upholding the Federal Constitution.
At the same time, they want to ensure that their leadership has integrity and is trustworthy, he said.
“We need to ensure that our leadership, which always defends the constitution, will not misuse their position and power when given them.
“It is no use for us to shout about defending the Federal Constitution but our hand is behind our backs stealing money (or) shouting ‘long live the Malays’ but our right hand is stealing money from Felda or Tabung Haji.
“I think what the rakyat wants, what the Malays want, is a line-up of Malay leaders who are trustworthy and have integrity, who can move towards Malaysia’s future together,” he said.
Bersatu, he said, needs to live up to these expectations, especially in the wake of the rally to protest the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).
Though Syed Saddiq dismissed the anti-Icerd rhetoric as a sign that the opposition has no other issues to bring up, he said it is still important for Bersatu to play its role in deflecting such negative perception.
“Bersatu needs to play the essential role in deflecting this negative perception and prove that the new Malaysian government will continue to uphold the Federal Constitution.
“(We need to focus on) core issues.
“Even there are pressures from UMNO and PAS to go to the extreme right, we should not go to the extreme right. We should not go to the extreme left. We must always be in the centre,” he said.
The three-day Bersatu general assembly will kick off tomorrow at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.