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Some Merdeka advice for PM Anwar: Relax

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim responds to the prime minister's Merdeka message.

Zaid Ibrahim
2 minute read

After listening to the prime minister's Merdeka message, I have some simple suggestions for him. This is my Merdeka message.

Listen more, and do not be too quick to prejudge. Those you describe as "jumud" perkauman (outdated and racist) are not just from the north. Or Kelantan. Others do not vocalise their racist tendencies but do so through their actions.

Do not be angry all the time. You are the PM. No one is hassling or harassing you; they do not have the police, MCMC, MACC, or AGC to harass you. You have a substantial majority. Relax.

Loud noises from the opposition are to be expected. That is what happens in the UK. It does not look stable, but that is the parliamentary system. Look at Thailand; it is like that, too. If you want stability the old-fashioned way, let the military rule. Or the Malay rulers rule.

The way to deal with those who oppose you is to engage with them. As a well-read person who understands philosophy and Shakespeare, you will have no problem discussing the plight of the Malays with their leaders. Do not be condescending. Respect them as you respect the others. Relax.

Finally, as you have alluded to in your speech, Merdeka is the time to be brave and free-spirited. It is somewhat tricky to do so if the police and the social media clampdown continue. You cannot experience the Merdeka spirit if you are always fearful of others. Be brave and relax.


Zaid Ibrahim is a former law minister.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.