Open Letter to the Voters of Kajang on the Kajang by-election on Friday, 21st March 2014:
I had expressed two hopes in the Kajang by-election on Sunday.
Firstly, that the Kajang voters could perform the impossible to make the Barisan Nasional candidate lose the deposit on polling day on March 23.
But this is just an “impossibly tall order” which is unlikely to be achieved on Sunday, as we will then not be talking about the Pakatan Rakyat/PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail winning the Kajang by-election or securing a bigger majority than the 6,824 votes won by former PKR Assemblyman Lee Chin Chen in the 13 General Election last May, but a humongous, unprecedented and unimaginable majority of some 24,000 votes.
This is because if the BN candidate is to lose deposit in Sunday’s by-election, the BN must be denied one-eighth of the votes cast. Assuming a voter turn-out of 80% of the 40,000 voters in Kajang, this means that the BN must not win more than one-eighth of the votes cast or not more than 4,000 votes – which will give Azizah 28,000 votes and BN 4,000 votes from the 32,000 votes or a majority of some 24,000 votes!
In the 13GE in May last year, the PKR candidate won 80 per cent of the Chinese votes, 60% of the Indian votes and 35% of the Malay votes.
Is it possible in the Kajang by-election for Azizah and Pakatan Rakyat to better on last year’s performance, raising the result to support of 90% of Chinese votes, 70% of Indian votes and 75% of Malay votes?
I am told that BN candidate is sure of getting a “rock bottom” of 8,000 votes – a measure of how difficult and even impossible to get the BN candidate to lose deposit in the Kajang by-election.
I will be the most surprised person in Malaysia if my hope is realized and this miracle is achieved in the Kajang by-election on Sunday.
But there is no more appropriate occasion in the history of Malaysian elections for over half-a-century than in the Kajang by-election for voters to forfeit the election candidate of the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional.
This has nothing to do with Chew Mei Fun as the MCA/BN candidate but has everything to do with sending a clear and unmistakable message to the trio of personalities in Malaysia – the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali because they must be held collectively responsible for the multiple national crisis facing Malaysians – in particular the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s history undermining national unity and nation-building.
My second hope is that the 40,000 voters of Kajang by-election will perform the role of the legendary Justice Bao – nicknamed “Clear Sky Bao” (包青天) – by making Kajang the modern-day Kaifeng, the ancient Song Dynasty capital of China from where Justice Bao gained his reputation for uprightness, zero tolerance for injustice and corruption, to perform four noble objectives, viz:
* To save Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from the injustice of a five-year jail sentence which would also have disqualified him as Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh;
*To save DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh from the injustice of a RM4,000 fine for sedition which would have disqualified him as Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor when he should not have been charged in the first place, as he was offering his opinion as the leading constitutional lawyer in the country and senior political leader during the developments of the Perak political coup d’etat in February 2009;
*To save the Malaysian judiciary and system of justice from relapsing into the “Dark Age of Justice” in the late eighties and nineties, when there was complete lack of national and international confidence in a truly independent judiciary and a just rule of law in Malaysia; and
*As patriots, to save Malaysia from the sextuplet of national crisis confronting the Malaysian people and nation since the 13GE last May – nation-building, economic, educational, security, anti-corruption and the system of justice.
I do not think I can achieve my first hope that the Kajang voters make the Barisan Nasional lose the deposit on Sunday’s by-election, which I admit is an “impossibly tall order” but I have confidence that my second hope, that the voters of Kajang will represent the 30 million voters at this important juncture of the nation’s history and development to achieve the four-fold objective to save Anwar, save Karpal, save the judiciary and to save nation is eminently realizable.
With two days to go before the Kajang by-election, I wish to make a third call to the voters of Kajang – to unite solidly to vote for Wan Azizah on Sunday on behalf of 30 million Malaysians as a vote of confidence in her becoming the first woman Prime Minister in Malaysia.
If the Pakatan Rakyat succeeds in the 14th General Elections to capture Putrajaya by winning a majority of the parliamentary seats in Malaysia, the country may be seeing the first woman Prime Minister in Malaysia especially if Anwar Ibrahim is disqualified from standing as an MP in the next general elections because of the political and judicial shenanigans of UMNO/BN.
In Asia, we have seen woman Prime Ministers or Presidents like Indira Gandhi, who was Indian Prime Minister twice spanning 16 years; Pratibha Patil who was President of India for five years from 2007; Sirimavo Bandaranaike who was thrice Prime Minister of Sri Lanka spanning 17 years; Benazir Bhutto who was twice Prime Minister of Pakistan for more than four years; Bangaldadesh has produced two woman Prime Ministers, Khaleda Zia who was twice Prime Minister spanning more than 10 years and Sheikh Hasina Wajed also twice as Prime Minister also covering terms for over 10 years; Park Geun-hye the incumbent President of South Korea.
Closer home in ASEAN, we have Philippines producing two woman Presidents – Corazon Aquino, for over six years and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for over nine years; Megawati Sukarnoputri, President of Indonesia for over three years; and Yingluck Shinawatra the incumbent Prime Minister of Thailand since 2011.
Farther afield, we have incumbent woman Prime Ministers or Presidents like (1) Angela Markel, German Chancellor for over more than eight years; (2) Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark; (3) Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; (4) Alenka Bratusek, Prime Minister of Slovenia; (5) Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina for more than six years; (6) Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil since 2011; (7) Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo since 2011; (8) Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; (9) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia for more than eight years and (9) Joyce Banda, President of Malawi since 2012.
Women who have served as heads of governments or states include Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of United Kingdom for over 11 years; Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel for over five years; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway three times spanning over nine years; Mary Robinson, President for Iceland for more than six years; Tansu Ciller, Prime Minister of Turkey for over two years; Jenny Shipley and Helen Clarke who had served as Prime Ministers of New Zealand for two years for the former and nearly nine years for the latter; Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia for over three years; Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile for more than four years; Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania for more than four years and Roza Otunbayeva, President of Kyrgyzstan.
It is time Malaysia catches up with the rest of the world in terms of gender equality, starting with the first woman Prime Minister in the near future – and there cannot be a better candidate than Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah.
This will be a historic role for the people of Kajang to vote for Azizah as a first step to Putrajaya and the first woman Prime Minister in Malaysia.