For the first time in the nation’s history, voters in Sabah and Malaysia have become very impatient of waiting for the general elections as they have been waiting for more than two years for the most crucial and critical 13th General Elections.
Everywhere throughout Malaysia, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or the peninsular states, whether at ceramahs, dialogues or walkabouts, the question most frequently asked is: “When is the general elections?”
Although it has become the national guessing game for more than two years, only one man in the country has the answer – the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
But the greatest irony is that even Najib does not have the answer as he agonises for over two years on when to call for the 13th General Elections – not because of any high national consideration or reason of state but purely from the selfish standpoint of his own personal political survival.
The one and only sole consideration for Najib in deciding when to go for polls is not what is the best timing for Umno and the Barisan Nasional component parties whether MCA, MIC, Gerakan or the Sabah and Sarawak BN component parties, but how to ensure that he could not only secure his own mandate as Prime Minister but would not suffer the fate of his predecessor Tun Abdullah of being toppled in an Umno coup d’etat post-GE.
To ensure this, Najib must do better than Abdullah in the 2008 general elections by winning more than 140 parliamentary seats. It will be added bonus for Najib if he can regain two -thirds parliamentary majority for BN, which means winning at least 149 parliamentary seats, or to recapture the Selangor state government from Pakatan Rakyat.
But nobody, including Najib and the Umno leaders, really believe that there is any real possibility that Umno/BN could regain two- thirds parliamentary majority or win back the Selangor state gocernment.
The real issue is whether Umno/BN can win a parliamentary majority as the estimates by the psephologists for the 13GE range from a 20-seat majority for BN or PR either way.
In other words, the outcome for the 13GE is a toss-up – it could go either way with BN returned to Federal power or Pakatan Rakyat replacing BN to break Umno hegemony to form the central government in Putrajaya.
This unprecedented politicall scenario has put the two competing political coalitions to a supreme test – whether in the final analysis, which political coalition is prepared to put national interest above all other interests.
For instance, Pakatan Rakyat’s 13GE call and objective is the positive and constructive theme of “Unite and Rule” unifying all races, religions and states while Umno and Barisan Nasional, in their desperate bid to hold on to power is resorting to the traditional but divisive “Divide and Rule” tactics polarising the races, religions and even the states.
PR has passed this national test while Umno and BN have failed dismally in the latter’s unscrupulous exploitation of the politics of hate,lies and falsehoods to pit the different races and religions against each other.
[Speech by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang at DAP UBAH ceramah in Inanam, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday 10th November 2012 at 9pm]