Firstly, let me congratulate Parti Amanah Negara for its launch in Johor, as part of the determined collective bid by Pakatan Harapan to make Johor the front-line state for political change in Malaysia in the run-up to the 14th General Election.
Parti Amanah Negara has made impressive political headway in less than three months of its launch, gaining some 35,000 members and Parti Amanah Negara Secretary-General Sdr. Anuar Tahir told me just now that he expects the party membership to reach 60,000 by the end of the year in about six weeks time.
This is a most impressive political progress for Parti Amanah Negara in such a short period of four months as DAP did not reach the membership of 35,000 in our first 15 years of political struggle, although we had contested in three general elections in 1969, 1974 and 1978 – winning 13 Parliamentary and 31 State Assembly seats in our first general election outing in 1969, when we secured 11.9 per cent of the popular vote.
Parti Amanah Negara is meeting a great political need in Malaysia, offering a political Islam which is open, tolerant, progressive and inclusive, which fully accepts the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution and is wholeheartedly committed to work with all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, to build a forward-looking, successful plural Malaysia where all Malaysians can hold their heads high as Malaysians and the country a showcase to the world not only in unity and harmony of a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation but a just, democratic, progressive and prosperous one as well.
Monday, 16th November, will be the first test of the unity, solidarity and purposiveness of Pakatan Harapan comprising DAP, PKR and AMANAH, as there is going to be vote in Parliament on the second reading of 2016 Budget presented by the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Pakatan Harapan have 72 Members of Parliament but there will only be 71 votes as I am suspended from Parliament for six months for questioning the way Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal was being handled by those in power.
As PAS has declared that its MPs will not support any vote to reject the 2016 Budget, is it likely that there will be some 40 UMNO/BN MPs who will cross the floor to support Pakatan Harapan’s call for the rejection of the 2016 Budget during the vote on the second reading of the budget bill in Parliament on Monday?
I do not see this happening, not because there are no UMNO/BN MPs who are dissatisfied with Najib’s 2016 Budget, in particular at Najib’s failure to give full and satisfactory accounting for the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals, but because the political conditions are not ripe for these UMNO/BN MPs to identity themselves as they are likely to be subject to immediate disciplinary action for their act of independence and defiance.
Things might be different if there is assurance that there is a group of some 40 UMNO/BN MPs who could act “in one go” to vote against the 2016 Budget leading to Najib’s immediate resignation as Prime Minister or if the voting in Parliament tomorrow is by secret ballot.
Nobody really believes that the Parliament Speaker, who is responsible for suspending me from Parliament for six months, would agree to any secret ballot for the voting by MPs whether to approve or reject the 2016 Budget.
Although the Pakatan Harapan’s effort to reject the 2016 Budget may not succeed, it is still necessary and important to put on record the voice and feelings of the overwhelmingmajority of Malaysians who reject Najib’s 2016 Budget because of its failure to grapple with the worst government crisis of confidence in the nation’s history, in particular with regard to the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals which had even caused the Malay Rulers to issue an extraordinary statement of concern on Oct. 6.
Johor is shaping up to be the most important state for Pakatan Harapan for it will be a test-case of transforming UMNO/Barisan Nasiona’s “fortress” state into a state won by the Pakatan Harapan in the 2018 General Election.
The three parties in Pakatan Harapan are united in our mission to make Malaysia a just, prosperous and successful nation where Malaysians live in unity, goodwill, harmony and understanding with a competent and efficient government based on the principles of accountability and good governance.
For more than three months, some half a million people in Johor Baru had been suffering from water shortage and rationing – which is unthinkable for two reasons: Firstly, if any country should be faced with water shortage problems, it should be Singapore and not Johor.
Secondly, clean water supply is one of the basic essentials of any human society and no government is entitled to continue in office when it fails to provide for such basic amenities to its people.
The water shortage and rationing problem in Johor Baru has gone on for too long, and I call on the Johor State Government to immediately liaise with the Federal Government in Putrajaya as well as the Singapore government to work out a solution to the water crisis in Johor Baru to end the sufferings and agonies of half a million people in Johor Baru.
(Speech at the launch of Johor Parti Amanah Negara in Johor Baru on Saturday, 14th November 2015 at 10 pm)