SHAH ALAM, Nov 16 — Pakatan Harapan must be wary not to alienate conservatives in the country and create the environment for someone like “Red Shirts” leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos to become prime minister, said outgoing PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
Citing Donald Trump’s unlikely victory to succeed Barack Obama as US president, the Setiawangsa MP said such a right-wing swing could take place if the ruling coalition does not take steps to mollify the conservative section of Malaysia.
“We do not want Jamal to become a leader or head of the country but nothing is impossible if we are not careful,” said Nik Nazmi in his speech as the party Youth chief at the PKR Women and Youth wing congress here today.
“I am not saying that we have to stop the process of change or ignore it, but if we are too careful and shy away, the change — whether in terms of economy, administration, politics or social — will not take place and Malaysia will ‘die’ as we do not move forward. It is as simple as that.”
However, Nik Nazmi said the ruling coalition should be bold in repealing security laws that were previously used to suppress dissent.
“The Sedition Act, OSA, Sosma, Pota and other oppressive laws have to be abolished and replaced with laws that protect democracy and national security.
“There were many amongst us who previously experienced being behind bars because of this,” he said.
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration has made decisions that have been deemed liberal by political rivals such as Umno and PAS as well as more conservative sections of society.
Among recent examples of policy decisions that have been used to stoke fear among right-leaning audiences is the government’s intention to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) convention.
Detractors are using this to accuse the pact of working to dismantle the special privileges of the Bumiputra class that is the country’s dominant community.
Nik Nazmi’s warning appears to be based on the outcome of the 14th general election, which PH won without securing the majority of the Malay vote.