The people of Perak have been denied twice to have a state government of the choice of the majority of voters – the first time in February 2009, when under the conspiracy of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the then Pakatan Rakyat Perak state government of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin was toppled by illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional means for enable UMNO/Barisan Nasional to recapture the Perak State Govenrment.
The second time was in the 2013 General Election, when Pakatan Rakyat won 55% of the electoral vote in Perak but was denied return to the Perak State Government because of an unfair and undemocratic electoral system, which allowed the Perak UMNO/BN to continue as a minority with 45% of the popular vote, but winning 31 of the state assembly seats as compared to 28 seats for Pakatan Rakyat.
UMNO/BN candidates won four seats with less than 500-vote majority, namely Lubok Mebau (53 votes), Manjoi (132), Manong (231) and Pasir Panjang (304) and another four seats with less than 1,000-vote majority.
Pakatan Harapan must immediately plan to win back the Perak State Government and to ensure that the people of Perak are not denied a third time to have a government of the choice of the majority of voters.
The 14th General Election which is likely to be held in two-and-a-half years in 2018 will be a watershed in Malaysian electoral history, determining whether Pakatan Harapan can recapture the Perak State Government and even go one step further, to win the Federal Government in Putrajaya.
Malaysians who had rooted for political change in the 13GE went into the deepest and darkest despair at the demise of Pakatan Rakyat, for they see the hopes of political change being destroyed completely, at a time when the UMNO/BN government has proved to be such a national liability and disaster.
The formation of Parti Amanah Negara and establishment of Pakatan Harapan comprising DAP, PKR and AMANAH have however saved the political situation, filling the political vacuum and void caused by despair and seeming hopelessness for political change, with the country inundated by so many political, economic, good governance and nation-building scandals under the Najib premiership.
However, the battle for political change in 2018 GE will not be easy or smooth one, as the Najib strategists are doing their utmost to present the 14th General Election as a battle for the survival of Malays and Islam, equating the survival of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister with the survival of the Malays and Islam in Malaysia.
The challenge of Pakatan Harapan in Perak and in Malaysia is how to debunk these lies and falsehoods, and the politics of fear and hatred, of Najib and his political propagandists.
(Speech at the DAP “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” kopitiam ceramah in Kg Baru Liman Kati on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 2 pm)