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A heavy heart

In this Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, photo, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, gesture as he speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has tendered his resignation to the king, his office reported Monday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Saturday, 29th February 2020

My heart is heavy this morning. After almost a week of emotion, anger and frustration, it now looks possible that the very people we voted out of office after an epic struggle could return to power. Many of the people who right now stand accused of corruption and abuse of power will once again walk the corridors of power. The reform movement will die along with the hope for freedom and democracy. Corruption will once again soar. 

People will say, of course, that all this is a worst case scenario. Actually, it could be a case of history repeating itself. We’ve been there before, remember?

Muhyiddin might think he’s in charge but sooner or later UMNO-PAS will swallow them all up. And once they are in control, they will make sure they never lose power again.

How will Malaysians react? Will we just shrugged our shoulders and move on? With Malays conditioned to fear the Chinese and vice-versa , Muslims conditioned to think that Islam is being challenged, ordinary Malaysians worried about the rising cost of living and business elites looking to thrive in a culture of corruption, many might cheer the return of UMNO in the belief that it will be good for the country.

And who can blame them. PH and the reformists had their moment in the sun and they blew it spectacularly.

In my heart I’m still hoping for a miracle, that somehow, at the very last minute, saner minds will prevail and we will yet again witness the kind of miracle we saw on that May night in 2018.

Strangely, I find myself also hoping that somehow Mahathir himself – despite all he has done – will find a way to break the impasse and save the nation from UMNO-PAS.


Published by Dennis Ignatius

Passionate Malaysian | Former Ambassador and career diplomat | Political affairs columnist | Human rights and international affairs commentator

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