If by some miracle, it is possible to restitch back Pakatan Rakyat and get back together the three parties, DAP, PKR and PAS (plus a second miracle of re-uniting PAS and Parti Amanah Negara) under one roof for the 14th General Election, could the reconstituted Pakatan Rakyat defeat the UMNO/BN coalition by winning more parliamentary seats than the 13GE?
I don’t think so although UMNO in the 14th GE will be more fractured and weaker than in the 13GE with Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister haunted and hounded by so many political and economic scandals as compared to the general election two years ago.
This is because the reconstituted Pakatan Rakyat in the 14th General Election will be fighting a losing battle just to win back the same number of parliamentary and state assembly seats, for the most important element which led to the 53% popular support for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th General Election, resulting in 89 Parliamentary and 229 State Assembly seats (minus Sarawak) will be missing, i.e. absolute trust and confidence in the PR because of the people’s belief in the adherence and unswerving commitment of DAP, PKR and PAS to the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR consensus operational principle.
I am reminded of the nursery rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Like Humpty Dumpty after its “great fall”, it would not be possible to put Pakatan Rakyat together again.
What is needed is a new vehicle for political change, and this is why the formation of Parti Amanah Negara and the establishment of Pakatan Harapan are so significant and historic for they fill the political void and vacuum in the Malaysian political arena and embody the renewed hopes and bold vision of Malaysians to complete the unfinished business and struggle to bring about political change in Putrajaya and the state governments in Malaysia.
In last week’s UMNO General Assembly, the UMNO President extended two “olive branches” – one to his estranged Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the other to PAS.
An aide to Muhyiddin had commented that it was an “olive branch” without an olive, while it is still to be seen what “olive branch” Najib would be offering to PAS in exchange for support of the 14 PAS MPs to secure two-thirds parliamentary majority together with 134 UMNO/BN MPs to amend the Constitution for redelineation of parliamentary constituencies.
It is not a coincidence that immediately after the UMNO General Assembly, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, lamented that Barisan Nasional is “suffering” without its customary two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat and cannot amend the Federal Constitution to create new parliamentary constituencies and provide sufficient seats for its component parties.
The just-concluded UMNO General Assembly provides the strongest proof that UMNO is reduced to the last weapons of lies, fear and hatred in the politics of race and religion to maintain its hold on power in Putrajaya, completely ignoring the political and socio-economic crisis it had created as a result of its mismanagement and failure of governance.
Najib and the UMNO/BN government have created at least five major political and socio-economic crisis this year alone – Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega crisis; the undemocratic and unconstitutional National Security Council Bill which usurps the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and 13 State Governments; the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) adding to the hardships of low-income Malaysians, already sandwiched between rising costs of living and falling incomes; and the divisive, racist and even seditious UMNO-orchestrated Sept. 16 “Red Shirts” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Day itself.
These five political and socio-economic scandals, which have aggravated the protracted national and international crisis of confidence in the government, causing the plunge in the value of the Malaysian ringgit, the fall in the nation’s international reserves, the flight of foreign capital and foreign investors, a new brain drain, with the ill-repute having a Prime Minister who is separately investigated by at least seven foreign countries about money-laundering and corrupt practices, are powerful distress signals of the urgent need for political change to save the nation.
This is the single biggest issue confronting all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics – the need to save Malaysia from hurtling towards a failed and a rogue state where there is breakdown of the rule of law and respect for human rights; collapse of accountability, transparency and good governance; rampant corruption, abuses of power and widespread socio-economic injustices in the country; and increasing national division and discord with worsening racial and religious polarisation.
The challenge Malaysians must grasp today is not about how to save an individual, whether Najib or Hadi Awang; how to save a political party, whether UMNO or PAS; but how to save Malaysia so that the nation can return to the early promise to be a model to the world as a successful plural nation with diverse races, religions, languages and cultures with her people united in a common goal to achieve justice, freedom, development, progress and prosperity for all Malaysians.
Pakatan Harapan must dare to have bold vision for all Malaysians, to achieve the Malaysian Dream, and aim to win Putrajaya to form the Federal Government and win at least six State Governments in the 14th General Election, including Perak.
(Speech at the Pakatan Harapan ceramah in Taiping on Tuesday, 15th December 2015 at 10 pm)