The word pandemonium fittingly describes the situation at the recent Nothing To Hide 2.0 forum. It started out as a gathering for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) supporters but had quickly descended into a scene of chaos when unidentified individuals flung chairs, shoes and bottles towards the stage as well as set off flares. According to media reports, this untoward incident quickly escalated into a brawl between opposition supporters and the attackers. It remains unclear as to who the culprits were behind the incident. Authorities are looking into the matter. Nevertheless, PH leaders perturbed and angry over the disruption to their forum have swiftly hurled accusations toward Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and his so-called ‘agent provocateurs.’
With general elections just months away, emotions are running high in Malaysia. It is unfortunate it had happened as such childlike behavior mars Malaysia’s image and is an impediment to the country’s politic development. The Nothing To Hide event was scheduled for former Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to state his case against the prime minister and to address any questions regarding his tenure when he held the top post. Deep tensions are understandably rising to the surface. Some political observers viewed the attack against Tun Dr. Mahathir to mean that he is perceived as a political threat. On the other hand, it could simply be the case of a few bad apples acting on their own accord. Thus ruining the event and making it seem like a move by the powers that be attempting to sabotage the affair all together as speculated by the opposition. Given the lack of evidence pending police investigation it would be wise for opposition leaders including Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin bin Ali to refrain from blaming anyone.
Malaysia will be celebrating 60 years of independence at the end of this month. It is disheartening to see the state of political affairs deteriorating. Political maturity seems to have evaded the country. Malaysia once took pride of its political tolerance but is now struggling to politically integrate. Now official campaigning season has yet to commence. One shudders just thinking of the political mudslinging and outlandish behavior that is in store come election time. Why has it come to this?