KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah decried those who champion identity as the bedrock of their politics, calling their political agenda “unhealthy.”
She said that issues like eradicating poverty and addressing existing class divisions within society should be a priority when it comes to policy making.
“... you want to support politics based on a clear-cut agenda, whether it is to uplift the bottom 40 per cent category, whether it’s to eradicate poverty or whether it is to address the existing class divide.
“I think those are the issues that matter right now for Malaysians especially in a pandemic… it’s not necessarily identity that separates us, it’s where we belong right now in the income bracket,” she told Malay Mail at her office in Bukit Damansara.
Nurul Izzah was referring to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Ahmad Kamal’s claim that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has failed to address the significance of identity politics while saying that ethnic Chinese voters voted for DAP because of communal interest.
She expressed disappointment with the younger generation of local politicians who still play on racial sentiment and take advantage of growing conservatism in the country instead of addressing more vital issues.
Nurul Izzah stressed that belonging to a more conservative group is not wrong as everyone’s voice should be heard, but extreme jingoism that further polarises the public should be avoided at all costs.
“The job of a politician, statesman or stateswoman is to bridge the existing divide, you don’t worsen it. Nobody denies it exists.
“But you don’t fan the flames, that’s not your job — especially in his ministry,” she added, in an obvious reference to Wan Ahmad Fayhsal who is also the deputy national unity minister.
She said that political leaders must lead the way by not sowing discord but thrive on building bridges and create a common understanding and acceptance with one another.
Aside from the Bersatu senator’s statement on identity politics, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang recently came out and accused war-torn Ukraine of being a Zionist country, and labelled the war between them and Russia as part of a ploy to force Jewish Ukrainians to seek refuge in Israel to strengthen the Jewish state.
The Islamist party leader, at the same time, accused Ukraine of hiding the official number of Jewish Ukrainians who he claims make up 40 per cent of its total population, and that the Zionists have successfully planted one of their own at the highest level of the Ukrainian government.