Amanah today defended its political approach despite losing the by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar yesterday, saying the new party must stay above narrow racial and religious sentiments which have been the hallmark of Malaysian politics.
Amanah vice-president Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the party should not be apologetic and succumb to prevailing political realities.
“Amanah must continue building the new political agenda and work hard for its birth.”
He added that Amanah should stay true to its slogan of “progressive and caring”, without having to outdo PAS or Umno by becoming more Islamic or more Malay.
“Amanah only needs to be inclusive and champion the concept of mercy for all,” said the Parit Buntar MP.
The by-elections in Sungai Besar yesterday saw Barisan Nasional (BN) returning to a bigger majority, while Amanah came in second followed by PAS.
In Kuala Kangsar, BN swept to victory with a big majority, with PAS coming in second, followed closely by Amanah.
Mujahid instead urged for a three-pronged approach he called “3A” in order to usher in a new political culture.
“Malaysian politics need to change from narrow racial mindset, religious dogmatism and party obsession to the politics of policy advocation and nation-building participation,” he said.
“In other words, political parties need to move to the 3A method: Address issues, Advocate policies and Apply commitment.”
Mujahid said the “3A” approach was needed to counter the age-old method of “3M” used in every election: Money, Machinery and Media, which he said led to voters succumbing to short-term benefits.
He also urged opposition parties to work hard towards realising a two-party system.
“The rebranding of the opposition pact as an alternative to the government pact must be accelerated.
“Any opposition party going it alone would only undermine this two-party system.”