Selangor Leaves Behind Racial and Gender Politics


REVIEW: I feel tempted to write something today. It has been a long time since I expressed myself, perhaps because I had to refrain from doing so because there have been more important tasks to be settled without giving any party a chance to negatively study them. Everything has been settled today thus while sitting at home, I thought it would be nice to write something to provide enlightenment.

Many view the agenda of appointing the Selangor Chief Minister and the Exco line-up with near-sighted lenses. Many probably want to give their views even when a lot of times they do not have any accurate information to make a comment.

It has triggered a series of heated discussions, among them being the intervention of the Palace in the selection of the Exco line-up, ancient politics cantered on race, the old political order which is not gender sensitive and many more.

When there were rumours that the palace or more specifically, DYMM the Sultan, tried to give advice and views on the appointment of the Exco, there were immediate conclusions that His Royal Highness wanted to intervene in the administration of the state, that he is racist and only sides with the Malay community.

It was not a small number of people who expressed anger and hurt, as well as sadness towards the news. Many of us forget that the Pakatan Rakyat politics which we are championing is a new form of politics with the spirit of inclusive politics, confidence in a space for expression and to provide widely open views to all and I am of the opinion that the palace is not immune.

More unfortunate was when stories that the palace wanted the 6:4 formula (Malay:non-Malays) to be used and the issue of race continues to be played without trying to see if there are more positive and constructive angles from which it can be looked at. When we look at the 15:15:14 PAS, DAP and PKR results, this shows that the results has propelled the PAS seats from the previous eight seats to 15 seats.

Consciously or unconsciously, the surge has thus embedded accusations by Umno-Najib that the GE-13 is a Chinese Tsunami so much so that it led to extreme outspokenness when they said “What More Do The Chinese Want”. Malay majorities in Sepang and Sabak won by PAS destroyed Najib’s ego and his main sidekick, Md Zin.

Thus, by gaining 15 seats, it is appropriate that PAS is honoured because not only did they boost the number of Pakatan Rakyat seats by acquiring a 3/4 majority in the House, but they also denied the prodding of the Chinese Tsunami which was tried to be played by Umno. As I see it, this foiled Umno’s attempt to embarrass the Malay community in Selangor thus creating racial tension.

I am of the opinion that this is what being tried to be envisioned by His Roya Highness when he made the decision to give his opinion to the CM at the last minute in order to give 4 Exco seats to DAP. However, it is true that the public opinion that politics is read on perception rather than true intention. Therefore, perception shows His Royal Highness as anti-Chinese and only placing importance on Malay politics.

What about today? After seeing the Selangor PR administration which boldly made history by appointing the Honourable Ms. Hannah Yeoh as the Speaker, thus becoming the first (Chinese) Woman to occupy the position, is the aforementioned perception still applicable? It is proven today that the Selangor politics has moved out in front – leaving racial and gender politics behind. Do you not that that DYMM His Royal Highness also played a large role in this history created?

Professional Exco Line-up Defends the People

History can be made in Selangor following the consultation, bargaining and arguing process thus establishing close cooperation, and the intelligence of the Chief Minister, Pakatan Rakyat leaders assent by DYMM His Royal Highness himself.

Actually, I was not present at the swearing-in ceremony of the Exco which was filled with tradition and is historical because of a cough I have been down with since the recent General Election which would disrupt the harmony of the ceremony. Although I was personally invited by the Dato Pengelola Istana, I had to refuse with a heavy heart.

Let the glorious event be held outstandingly without any noise or rasping-voices polluting the event. Just readying the worship speech text for the Chief Minister to His Royal Highness made it seem like I was there celebrating the happy day for the people of Selangor.

Since I was free at home, I took the opportunity to write this post with the intention of wanting to balance my passion in providing opinions with hopes of achieving a political ideal. Excited to highlight hopes that there is no palace intervention in the state administration.

Hope that politics is not measured by race and ethnicity. Hope that our politics come out of the constraints of gender. I admit that all those hopes are good and ideal; I would not be exaggerating if I say that this is the political atmosphere coveted by most Malaysians.

However, in my opinion, what is more important is the outcome and result of the process we use in politics. What I mean is what we see at the Balairong Seri, Alam Shah Palace, Klang. The Selangor administration lined up an Exco that has enough representation from Malays, Chinese and Indians. Selangor is complete with the representative of Women in this Exco which is 40 percent.

Selangor made history when for the first time, a Chinese woman was appointed as the Speaker as well as the youngest deputy speaker in the country’s political history. The Selangor Pakatan Rakyat successfully provided an Exco lineup which is professional in various fields and majors; Lawyers, doctors, an architect, dentist and even a religious scholar such as Ustaz Solehin Muhyi.

The people of Selangor are all proud to be citizens of Selangor, which chose their leaders from various fields. I just want to point out one thing, despite the joy and pride that we all feel right now, we should also not that it did not come on its own.

Also not with the intervention of any party. It is a result of the process of arguing, consultations, discussions and bargaining made by all parties; political parties, executive officers at the Chief Minister’s office and officers at the palace.

It was even greater when DYMM His Royal Highness himself who was present during the series of producing the Exco line-up and the Speaker. To me, the history of this day was all created by good people, be it from the royal family to the proletariat people and the errand boy at the offices as well as all court heralds.

Congratulations the people of Selangor and congratulations to the leaders elected to lead the state administration. Best wishes in carrying out your jobs – to work for the people without favouring anyone and without fear of humans. Indeed, the people are the justice of the country and Allah is the owner of the world.


(The writer is a political secretary to the Chief Minister of Selangor)

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