I am awed by the 146-table dinner organized by Triang DAP Branch in conjunction with “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” nation-wide campaign tonight, which is not only the biggest-ever dinner organized by Triang DAP Branch but also the biggest-ever dinner in the history of Triang.
My six-month suspension from Parliament should be the cause of a new national awareness of the need to achieve two fundamental changes in Malaysia – the urgency to have a new Parliament where Members of Parliament are not prevented or persecuted for voicing out the innermost concerns of the people of Malaysia; and secondly, for an end to the rampant corruption, abuses of power and violation of the principles of accountability, transparency and good democratic governance illustrated by the growing list of political, economic, good governance and nation building scandals plaguing the country.
Public anger and protests against an irresponsible and unaccountable government resulting in scandals like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals are not just confined to Opposition ranks of DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara leaders, members and supporters.
I believe patriotic, right-thinking and justice-loving members of UMNO and Barisan Nasional parties, whether in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak or Sabah, also cannot agree, accept or tolerate Najib’s twin mega scandals or the host of economic, political, good governance and nation-building injustices surfacing in the country.
Najib can buy the support or silence of the leaders in UMNO and Barisan Nasional parties, but I have the gravest of doubts that he can buy the support or silence of the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, including the general membership of UMNO and Barisan Nasional parties.
This is the reason for two recent political phenomena in the country: firstly, public support for the Najib government is at an all-time low.
UMNO Deputy President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told 1,000 Barisan Nasional leaders in Pagoh on Sunday that Malay support for UMNO has dwindled to 30 per cent while 78 per cent of Malaysians are dissatisfied with how the government was handling the economy.
He said the level of Chinese support for the government has also dwindled, from 13 percent in the last general election to only five percent at present.
Muhyiddin blamed UMNO’s woes primarily on Najib’s twin mega scandals, warning that if the UMNO decline is not corrected within the next two years, UMNO may lose in the 14th General Election.
The second new political phenomenon in the country is that internal UMNO support for Najib as UMNO President and Prime Minister is also at an all-time low.
Najib is quite safe at the moment as Prime Minister as he had no problem getting his 2016 Budget passed in Parliament and Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah’s “no confidence” motion against him will not see the light of day in Parliament when adjourns tomorrow after a 25-day six-week budget parliamentary meeting.
I also do not see Najib will have any problem to sail through the UMNO General Assemblies on Dec. 8 to 10, but opposition to Najib’s position as UMNO President and Prime Minister inside UMNO itself is set to gain strength and momentum in the coming months, and the question whether Najib should be ditched to save UMNO in the 14 GE will become an ever bigger issue with passing months.
Earlier today, Muhyiddin joined the supporters of nine UMNO branch leaders who were hauled up by the UMNO disciplinary committee at UMNO Hqrs at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur for calling on Najib to resign as Prime Minister and UMNO President so as to save UMNO.
Najib is sure and certain of the loyalty of 300 UMNO chieftains, who dominate the UMNO Supreme Council and the various UMNO divisional leadership levels, but can he be assured of the blind loyalty of three million UMNO members and 21,000 UMNO branches, who have constantly to face public anger and outrage over the Najib’s twin mega scandals as well as his other policy disasters, like the Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
There is a group of UMNO branch leaders, calling itself “Gabungan Ketua Cawangan Malaysia” or “Coalition of Branch Chiefs Malaysia” (GKCM) who have made three demands for Najib’s resignation to resolve the party’s problems, viz:
*First, the Umno president must step down.
*Second, there should be no sacking of Umno members who criticise or condemn leaders to improve them.
*Third, the Umno elections must go on.
With UMNO, Barisan Nasional and even the entire government machinery facing an unprecedented crisis of fracture and fragmentation, what are the future political prospects of the country?
Does it mean that the Opposition is on the verge of achieving power in the country to effect the first change of Federal government in Putrajaya in the nation’s history?
We must not assume that this is definitely the case. We must never forget the saying, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip”.
The 13GE in May 2013 was the highest water-mark of hopes of Malaysians for political change and the end of UMNO rule since Merdeka in 1957 and the beginning of a new Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government with a new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Although Pakatan Rakyat comprising DAP, PKR and PAS won the majority of 53% of the popular votes, Najib continued as the first minority Prime Minister when the UMNO/BN coalition won 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats with only 47% of the popular votes.
The Pakatan Rakyat of DAP, PKR and PAS is now history because of the refusal of PAS after the 13th General Election to abide by the Pakatan Rakyat operational principle of consensus and the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework particularly on the hudud and local government election issues.
In fact, the PAS President even refused to endorse Sdr. Anwar Ibrahim as the PR candidate for Prime Minister of Malaysia and PKR President, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the Mentri Besar for Selangor.
The future rests with Pakatan Harapan, comprising DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara.
The formation of Parti Amanah Negara and establishment of Pakatan Harapan can save the political situation by filling the political vacuum and void caused by
of despair and seeming hopelessness caused by the split and demise of Pakatan Rakyat.
Malaysians can dare to hope again that the goal of political change in Putrajaya as well as the vision of Pakatan Harapan for a united, harmonious, inclusive, progressive and competitive Malaysia is still possible and achievable in the 14th General Election.
The immediate political challenge is for Pakatan Harapan to march forward confidently and purposefully to create a new Malaysia, by aggressively working on a plan and strategy to win the mandate to be the government in six states as well as the Federal government in Putrajaya in 14GE.
Heading these six states are Penang and Selangor, as we must ensure that there is no way UMNO/BN can win back these two states. Next, to win back Perak, regain Kedah and achieve the greatest political breakthrough of all by winning the Johore State Government.
What is the sixth state which should be the concentrated focus of Pakatan Harapan?
(Speech at the Triang DAP 146-Table “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” dinner in Triang on Wednesday, 2nd December 2015 at 8 pm)