Tun lamented in his blog that "A Weak Government is not good for Multi-racial Malaysia" . This is such an obvious notion that it is embarassing to me that he needs to remind us.
Lets not ponder on old examples like Indonesia in the late 90's, South Africa during Apartheid or indeed Europe over the period of the 'War on Terror'. One only needs to reflect upon what has been happening in Malaysia over the past month to see.
The government of Malaysia is so weak that it is finding difficult decisions impossible to take. The on-going issue of food shortages, which could have been addressed by the tweaking the subsidies system, continues to remain unsettled in the mind of the masses and in the physical absence of goods, real and contrived, across the nation. This is a basic problem which a functioning government would be able to address, so why the inability to tackle this?
It is because the government is too busy strengthening itself against all challengers such that their real job is being neglected. And in a multi-racial country, when a government is weak, 'all-comers' would include all the more negative or extreme elements endemic in a country where race-based politics is still at play, whatever the opposition propaganda likes to say. Indeed we cannot avoid it as a multi-racial country, so we'd better not hide from or denounce it, but address it.
I was informed last night that in a packed stadium in Perak recently, a senior DAP leader, one without Lim as a surname (there are a few about), declared that 'Ketuanan Melayu Sudah Tiada Lagi, UMNO Sudah Masuk Kubur'. This is not just political speak, this is hate-mongering.
That the audience was majority Malay (of the PAS and PKR variety - yes, there are still some Malays in PKR) that responded with cheers and applause is irreleant. These Malays applauded UMNO's recent problems, but in the face of incessant counter-propaganda showing what this DAP leader said for what it really means, that one race, Malays, have lost power, and that that is cause for another race, the Chinese, to celebrate, is dangerous.
What is a concern also is that the above is an escalation from early symptoms of racial show-boating since the March elections. Whilst DAP leaders were wise enough to send smses asking their Chinese supporters not to celebrate their wins too raucusly, it is widely known that Chinese butchers began openly selling pork, ham and other pig products, in open markets in majority Malay areas in Penang the day after elections. Somewhat more subtle that events leading up to May 13, but indicative of a simmering pot.
A strong government would be able to curtail such behaviour without needing to knock any heads or utilising the ISA. Leaders of a strong government would just voice out against such negative racial attitudes in the public arena with moral leadership and bring the nation's attention to more important things to be addressed in this increasingly difficult world Malaysian face.
But a weak government, with as weak a leader as Pak Lah the way he is now... it is a recipe for disaster... Do we really need Tun Dr M to tell us what should be obvious?