#TMI Says* For Isma, it’s always about race, not principles

-A +A

IKATAN Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman believes that the 13 Selangor PAS assemblymen's refusal to endorse Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is a sign that the majority of Malays in the state do not support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He added that Dr Wan Azizah was not qualified to take over from incumbent MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the leadership crisis had proven that the PKR president was only capable of getting support from non-Malays.

That appears not only a leap of faith but also logic. And disingenuous.

PAS has already endorsed both Dr Wan Azizah and her deputy Azmin Ali but Pakatan Rakyat (PR) only wants to nominate one name. This remains an impasse as the Selangor palace has asked for more candidates.

Be that as it may, the 13 Selangor PAS lawmakers do not just represent Malays but other Malaysians as well. Or is the Isma president too blinkered to notice that?

He chooses to see the world in terms of race and religion unlike most Malaysians who see this as a rainbow nation although increasingly, there are those of Abdullah Zaik's ilk whose mindset will destroy the country's harmony.

But more importantly, it calls to question what people prefer – a politician who plays to the gallery or who is prepared to do what is right?

Should Anwar pander to the racists and misogynists in nominating his wife for the job?

Should his party and their allies follow what a section of people prefer or should they stick to their principles of choosing who they think is best for the job?

And what do the people say Isma should note that PR won more seats in the 2013 elections, taking 44 out of the 56 seats in the state legislature. They now have 43 after PKR sacked Khalid.

It is still a substantive majority, and made up of votes from many constituencies where voters of all races live and cast their ballots. No one party in PR won because of racial politics.

The Isma president should also remember one more fact. The 13 Selangor PAS lawmakers have refused to also endorse Azmin but have also followed party orders not to sign any statutory declarations.

Malaysian politics is moving beyond race and that has been a reality since 2008. The only way Isma can prove that Malays have deserted Anwar is through another general election.

But that is some time away. So all Isma can do is believe its own delusions.