Congratulations for the launching of the Johor Parti Amanah Negara tonight are in order, for we are witnesses to history in the making.
The launch of Johor Parti Amanah tonight is a historic first step for Johor to be the engine head of the second phase of political change in Malaysia leading from the south to create an united and democratic Malaysia with good governance and socio-economic justice for all.
Just eight years ago, nobody would dare to think or dream that political change in Malaysia or Johor was possible.
In fact, the UMNO/BN leaders were so cocky and arrogant about the “untouchability” and “invincibility” of Johor as their “fixed deposit state” that their 2008 General Election campaign theme was to make Johor a “zero-Opposition” state.
The 12th and 13th General Elections in 2008 and 2013 have completely changed the picture and rewritten the electoral and political arithmetic in Johor and Malaysia, and the question is not “whether” but “when” the UMNO/BN coalition government will fall in Nusajaya and Putrajaya.
The first phase of political change in Malaysia had come from the north, from Penang, former PAS Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s Kelantan and Selangor.
In the second phase of political change, Johor must play the role of the engine head of political change spearheading the movement from the south and cross the sea to mobilise Sabah and Sarawak.
The unthinkable happened in Johor in the last general election – UMNO/BN losing 18 state assembly seats, one short of losing two-thirds majority in the Johor State Assembly, and losing an unprecedented five Parliamentary seats, four to DAP and one to PKR.
The precondition to winning Putrajaya to spearhead political change in Malaysia is to win Nusajaya.
For this reason, there is no reason to delay. We have already lost precious two years since the 13th General Election, and the Johor leaders of DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah must get down to brass tacks to immediately formulate and implement a “Win Johor to win Putrajaya” blueprint as the 14GE is only 48-56 months away.
A new Pakatan Rakyat or Pakatan Rayat 2.0 is struggling to be born. Let Johor set the pace and be the example as to how DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah can work together to lay the basis for an inclusive political coalition that can command the respect and confidence of Malaysians to replace the 58-year-old UMNO/BN coalition.
(Speech at the launch of the Johor Parti Amanah Negara in Johor Baru on Friday, 11th September 2015 at 11 pm)