Zahid is an incapable opposition leader


Zahid is an incapable opposition leader
By Zan Azlee

Look, I think it is good time that Malaysia starts to move away from the feeling of euphoria that the authoritarian Barisan Nasional government was voted out.

Almost half-a-year has gone by and Pakatan Harapan needs to make sure that they make good on all their promises.

Of course, the Harapan government has been doing a lot of the right things and much improvements have been made in the country. But there are also many other things that they aren’t doing properly, or just not doing at all.

We, as members of the public, need to keep a detailed watch on them and hold them accountable whenever they do something wrong. For the most parts, this is happening. The public is criticising and so are many journalists.

But public and media criticism can only go so far. What is really needed to complete the democratic process is a very strong opposition. And I have said this before, and many times, ever since the May 9 general election.

After that election, the opposition (BN, that is) was almost destroyed and struggled for months to get back on its feet. I had called the BN to come back strong and be relevant so that there can be check and balance.

The opposition, which is essentially led by Umno, needed to revamp and flush out the party. The members tried to do that in their party election, but it didn’t work. The old warlords still held on to power, maybe because they just didn’t know how to change anymore.

Unfortunately, this is just more proof that the opposition is too much in tatters. They will still keep all the old farts who continue to harp on about race and religion. Even worse, their leader, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is now spewing ridiculousness out of his mouth.

Zahid, as opposition leader, made a statement in his speech in Parliament that the earthquake and tsunami that hit Palu, Indonesia, recently was caused by LGBT activities. He must think that, despite the election results, Malaysians are still extremely ignorant.

Why couldn’t he have, instead, made a statement saying that these wraths of God (earthquakes and tsunamis) were due to so many leaders being corrupt and stealing the money of the very people who had entrusted them to govern the country?

Why isn’t Zahid saying anything of substance?

What is the use of an opposition leader who is incapable of debating and arguing about the things that actually matter to the country and the people, instead of making stupid remarks that contribute nothing to anything?

Why isn’t he calling the government out for not having fair representation for women in the cabinet, as promised in their manifesto?

Why isn’t he calling the government out for not rushing in addressing the child marriage issue?

Why isn’t he calling the government out for now suddenly staying silent about the EPF scheme for housewives, after creating so much hype about it before this?

Why isn’t he calling the government out for not doing anything to resolve the Rohingya crisis?

Why isn’t he calling the government out for not finding a way to settle the lack of revenue due to the abolishment of the GST?

Why isn’t Zahid saying anything of substance at all as the opposition leader? Why isn’t he doing his job properly?

How long are we going to have to wait for the opposition to get its act together? If they feel like they can’t do a good job, or at least if the opposition leader feels like he can’t get his act together (or even if his party doesn’t feel he can do it), then why doesn’t he resign?

Malaysians have shown that they have matured enough to at least want the country to progress. They have voted in a government that pledged decent plans for this progression. But, as well all know, they aren’t perfect and that’s why we need that check and balance.

The bottom line is that we need a strong opposition to debate with a strong government. Times have changed and we cannot afford to have a lame one led by a lame leader. Zahid should not be opposition leader. He should not even be in politics anymore.

The opposition needs to fire Zahid as its leader. He has no place in Malaysian politics anymore.

[This article was originally written for and published at Malaysiakini.com]

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