Political suicide or stroke of genius?

Written by Mohsin Abdullah of fz.com
The Edge Malaysia
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:56

PAKATAN’S move in putting Lim Kit Siang to contest Gelang Patah is obvious. Political analysts say it’s to win all Chinese majority seats in the state of Johor. Not only Gelang Patah. Using Lim’s “image” and “stature” to garner the votes.

Still, before that, the analysts as well as strategists within Pakatan itself agree that the major challenge now is to get the entire Pakatan fraternity, in particular the grassroots in Johor, to “see the big picture”.

The big picture, of course, is winning GE13 and forming the federal government. But isn’t that obvious? Why reiterate the need to see the big picture? If not for anything else, it’s to “pre-empt any chance” of an “implosion” arising from the move of bringing in Lim to Johor.

Pakatan strategists agree “there can be problems”, citing the recent PKR-DAP spat as an example. Other “potential time bombs” could be a PKR backlash as Gelang Patah has always been their’s to contest and MCA man turned PKR leader Datuk Chua Jui Meng’s “disappointment” of being overlooked after eying the Gelang Patah candidacy for some time. Enter the big picture.

“If they understand the bigger picture, no one needs to throw a tantrum,” said a DAP headquarters source. PAS GE13 director Dr Hatta Ramli agrees that Pakatan supporters should see the bigger picture but “at the same time leaders should appreciate the contribution and sacrifices of grassroots and local leaders”.

Lim’s Gelang Patah candidacy was announced by Opposition Leader cum PKR Ketua Umum Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim himself. “I believe Anwar speaks for his party and this is for the good of Pakatan,” said Hatta.

Already word has it that Chua will be given the relative safe seat of Bakri to contest. And said Hatta: “I’m not ruling out other compromises to sooth any ill feeling”.

According to a Chinese political affairs watcher, DAP is confident of winning in constituencies where PKR candidates had failed previously. And Gelang Patah is one of them. “So DAP managed to convince Anwar to give them the seats to contest.”

According to another political observer, Pakatan aims to win 15 parliamentary seats in Johor which will help in its quest of taking over the federal administration. “Pakatan feels winning the parliamentary seats in Johor is realistic. If they do win the state government, it will be a big bonus.”

The DAP source has this to say: “Johor is a front line state for DAP in GE13. And the best person to lead the attack is Lim Kit Siang. He is anak (a child of) Johor. Like the Malay saying “sirih pulang ke gagang (going back to his roots).”

And, said the political observer, Lim needs to win Gelang Patah as well as help the opposition pact win all Chinese majority seats. “With him leaving the safe seat of Ipoh Timur, it shows DAP is serious in Johor.”

The observer went on to say: “All the while the Chinese in the state have not been part of the political tsunami, but this time the DAP feels it’s going to be different.”

The Chinese political affairs watcher however said it’s not going to be easy for DAP, and in particular Lim, in Gelang Patah. But to the DAP source, Gelang Patah is tough “but winnable for Pakatan”.

Still the Chinese political affairs watcher said while “most Chinese voters are rumoured to have made up their minds to kick out BN out of Johor, we must not lose sight of the fact that the majority of Malay and Indian voters are likely to defend BN”. And he also pointed out there are no parliamentary seats in Johor which have more than 60% Chinese voters.

Yet a PAS activist has an interesting theory, something he has been saying for quite some time. And I’ve written about this last year. It’s worth repeating. He said that in the 1999 general election, Umno lost the Malay votes due to the sacking of Anwar by then PM Datuk Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad and what saved BN then was the Chinese votes as admitted by Dr Mahathir himself.

“So in 2003, a massive re-delineation exercise was held and as a result big numbers of Chinese were brought into Malay areas to dilute Malay voter strength. This was obvious in Johor and Kedah,” claimed the PAS activist.

In the general election the following year, said the PAS activist, even PAS leaders like Mohamad Sabu and Datuk Mahfuz Omar lost in Kuala Kedah and Pokok Sena, their strongholds.

To the PAS activist, that “tactic” deployed in 2003 will be Umno’s undoing as there are “not many Malay majority areas per se in Johor now”. That’s of course is his theory, of what he believes.

Anyway it is a fact that PAS and PKR will need to work extra hard in Johor if Pakatan’s ambiton is to be realised. PAS has named one of its formidable leaders, vice president Salahuddin Ayub, to contest in Johor, leaving the safe seat of Kubang Kerian in Kelantan.

“Pakatan targets 15 out of 26 parliamentary seats in Johor. If PAS and PKR can put in suitable candidates, of the same calibre as Salahuddin, to lead the PAS campaign, it is not an impossible task,” said the DAP source.

However, Umno remains a strong force in Johor. Pakatan inroads notwithstanding. According to the political observer, Umno “can and will exploit Pakatan’s decision to send Lim to the state”. Umno, he said, “will say the chauvinist DAP wants to control everything as PKR and PAS will bow to them. This can frighten Malay voters”.

Retorted Hatta: “Numbers wise, DAP is knocking down MCA so no extra Chinese dominance. I agree PAS and PKR must go all out to get the Malay wave”.

As for Lim, this will be his biggest challenge, as he himself admits. It is said that the move for him to contest Johor was discussed and decided by Lim and Anwar. Both knew of the risk. The deal between them can either pay off big time or can prove fatal. But politics is all about risks, strategies, manoeuvres. And of course smoke screen.

Many feel other big names will join in the fray in Johor. Expect more major announcements. Shocking it may be.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Its true the Malay votes need convincing. DAP should get the fluent Malay speakers such as Ng Suee Lin, Lim Guan Eng together with the likes of Mat Sabu and Khalid Samad to speak more in Johor..

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:22 pm

    Another thing, on the “Allah” issue, DAP stand should be that orang Melayu tidak patut di malukan dengan memerlukan orang politik untuk mempertahankan kegunaan perkataan “Allah”. Sepatutnya “Allah” menjadi exclusif orang Melayu kerana orang Melayu mempunyai wibawa dan semangat Islam yang dikagumi..

  3. #3 by lauksnatlks on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:25 pm

    Strategically a bold and calculated move to unseat BN. Things can’t get worse here since PR won only 1 seat here in Johor the last time. To get to Putrajaya, focus on Johor. This is where one of a few critical battle will be won or lost. Get about 15 seats and can certainly be the game changer. The Chinese in Johor must do their part and be part of history in he making… ABU ABU

  4. #4 by 1citizen on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:38 pm

    Hopefully, the choice of a frontal assault at the heartland do not compromise the safety of its home ground due to lack of defenses. A tactical gain can be a strategic failure – The Art of War.

  5. #5 by SENGLANG on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:47 pm

    The so call PAS activist interesting theory is very truth. The Malays feel very strongly against the sacking of Anwar but the Chinese are mainly do not border too much.
    I was another who did not border the sacking of Anwar and no much border the many other issues until 308, when many many have since change and make up their that Pakatan is an option and BN must go. The momentum will carry on to the coming GE. The feel on the ground is very strong. Many have come to a stage of hating BN now. The chance is too good for pakatan if not because of unfair treatment like tainted electorate, and one sided government agencies, like the police and etc.

    But the wing of change is remain and getting stronger by days. One thing for sure MCA will lose heavily in the next coming GE. MCA could not make any effective changes and they could not after such a long years of YESman politic to his big brother UMNO

  6. #6 by rahmanwang on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 12:55 pm

    MCA= Mau Cash Aje. What are they good for?
    Look at the train locomotive?
    Secondhand from China.PKFZ scandal……

  7. #7 by SENGLANG on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 1:06 pm

    YB Lim’s southern move is a wise and well read strategy. In any battle the General must lead and battle must fight and won at strategic arena. Johore state is one of the most crucial state in the coming GE, thus YB Lim move down south will boost up Pakatan morale.

    Gelang Patah “the Mountain that Boost the “Lim” will be arena for YB LIm’s vitory.

  8. #8 by Taikohtai on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 1:08 pm

    Sun Tzu couldn’t be more proud. LKS’s move was anticipated but when it actually happened, it still caught the imagination of all Malaysians and BN with its pants down. Keris can kiss his MB ambitions goodbye. May be he should settle down somewhere in Lahad Datu as another claimant to the disputed land.
    By vacating his safe seat in Perak, LKS has shown that he is a old warrior for the rakyat. This could well be his last hurrah: Putrajaya or Martyr.
    LKS, we tabek you and wish you all the very best. Its time Johor leads and be part of the real Merdeka celebrations.

  9. #9 by bruno on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 1:19 pm

    Kit Siang contesting in Gelang Petah is another seat less for Mca and BN.One seat less for BN is one seat more for PR.If the veterans of the PKR,DAP and PAS are willing to take the fight into Umno/BN territory,the chances of PR taking over Putrajaya is definitely better.This coming GE will be a very close race,therefore every seat counts.This is the right time for the veterans to go for broke.

  10. #10 by bruno on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 1:29 pm

    For many of the PR veterans,this will very likely be their last elections.They have nothing to lose but a lot to gain in getting the fight to BN’s front doorsteps.If they managed to pull it through,they will be able to witness the once in a lifeime of new tenants in Putrajaya.

  11. #11 by john on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 1:40 pm

    LKS has always been true about his political standing either in the ups or downs of his political career. Like, he fights for the rights of the Rakyat -be it, Malay,Chinese,Indian, etc. whenever he sees injustices. Or, to champion a political cause. Or, at the time when he faced MaMak Kutty steadfastly on the “hanky-panky, downright dubious” dirty tactics and underhanded manner the NS Hi-Way was to be awarded, then. As they say the rest is history (” this ONE MaMak played dirty ,abused ISA to shut LKS & Others in prison for years “).
    In short, LKS has impeccable political records to spearhead Pakatan’s cause in Bumno/bn stronghold in Johore.

  12. #12 by madguyho on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 3:17 pm

    LKS moving to Gelang Patah is a good move. This has caught BN off guard. All this while they are planting phantom voters in Ipoh aiming to take down LKS and this move has stranded the phantoms. I think on hearing LKS moves, BN is in panic mood now.

    Other matter which I wish to highlight is DAP’s ceramah at Chin Woo hall yesterday night (19/3/2013). It’s really a good move to introduce 3 retired army general to the mainly Chinese crowd. Everyone in Ipoh are talking about that this morning. DAP should keep this up because this will give some voters the assurance that nothing bad can happen if Pakatan take over.

  13. #13 by Sallang on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 7:53 pm

    “the majority of Malay and Indian voters are likely to defend BN”
    To the Indian voters who may be reading this blog, if you think you want to save one Indian leader, but sacrificed all the others by not voting for change,then your race deserved to be marginalized, looked down upon by UMNO, and by the other races.
    Cannot even get MyCard after living in Malaysia for over 40 years?

  14. #14 by SENGLANG on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 8:19 pm

    From many comments by the MCA leaders on YB Lim southern move it shows that MCA is very much concern on this tactical right move. The comments mainly argue on the ” Touch & Go ” abandon his Constituency. Any way as a parliamentarian the term is five years. What is the problem of moving from one constituency to the other, at the end of the days he is still an MP.

    Right move. MCA is feeling the shiver now.

  15. #15 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 8:58 pm

    before the last GE, I shocked my elderly JB friends at lunch when I declared that I was finally prepared to vote for PAS and they were baffled.
    “Yes”, I told them that the regime is not good for the nation’s future.
    For those who have not yet decided on the election issues, here is a link.


  16. #16 by Winston on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 9:34 pm

    One thing that PR must do is to get the votes no matter what shenanigans the crooks are up to.
    That’s means having not only winnable candidates but also a winning manifesto!!!

  17. #17 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 - 9:45 pm

    and my lunch friends also now believe that Malaysia needs a CHANGE, despite have some issues with the opposition.

  18. #18 by chengho on Thursday, 21 March 2013 - 4:18 am

    dear father, let the younger generation of Dapters leader move up the leader , a few LGE doesn’t hurt
    vote for MCA

  19. #19 by cseng on Thursday, 21 March 2013 - 10:44 am

    Tak payah cakap manyat la… ask CSL lawan sama LKS, that is BN constituency, if CSL takut, ask Najib mari …

  20. #20 by monsterball on Thursday, 21 March 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Who can write better than chengho?
    Start off with “dear father”…so special.
    It must be to his father…and not the almighty Father.
    What a filial son.

  21. #21 by tak tahan on Thursday, 21 March 2013 - 8:06 pm

    Nobody wants to own this son.Sampah masyarakat

You must be logged in to post a comment.