Pusat KOMAS applauds the message of unity heralded by the incumbent Sabah state government, led by Dato Seri Shafie Apdal in the campaign trail of the Warisan plus coalition and other like-minded politicians. This step is indeed a way forward from a conservative political campaigning that often times, manipulates race and religion to win the hearts and minds of the voters.
Malaysian political arena has been performing under the imaginary clutches of the race-based political parties for decades. Most of these political parties are formed during the colonial era to protect the rights and welfare of their respective ethnic groups, however they soon attached themselves to ethno-religious identity as a fruitful vote-baiting method, despite its regressive tendencies in creating social cohesion and national unity.
As Pusat KOMAS has been consistently suggesting, Malaysian politics and political parties must allay themselves from race and religion based politics to needs based politics as they are distasteful legacies of divide et’ impera left by the colonial empire to keep the people from organizing themselves against the colonialists. People united is tantamount to strength, collectiveness and watchdogs.
Thus, we strongly urge the political parties participating in the Sabah state election to be a predecessor in having an election that is clean from racial, bigotry and xenophobic elements during the campaigning period. Instead, it must perform as a government that is constantly ready to serve all layers of the society.
The government of the day therefore shall be a force that caters the public in spite of their tangible differences. Such governance will be a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
21 September 2020.