This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.
I will give three examples post twin by-elections:
Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.
He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.
Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:
“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?
“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”
Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power.
The demographic reality is the surest guarantee that the Malays will not lose political power whatever happens to Najib or to UMNO in the next general elections.
In 1970 Malaysia’s population comprised 44.32% Malays, 34.34% Chinese, 8.99% Indians, 11.89% non-Malay Bumiputeras, 0.67% others.
In 2010, the percentage of Malays in the Malaysian population increased to 55.07%, Chinese reduced to 24.34%, Indians dropped to 7.35%, non-Malay Bumiputeras maintained at 11.94% and 1.3% others.
During the 13th general election, 52.63% of the voters were Malays, 29.68% Chinese, 7.31% Indians, 8.96% non-Malay Bumiputeras and 1.43% others.
Out of the 165 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 114 are Malay majority seats representing some 70%, 22 Chinese majority seats (13%) and 29 mixed seats. There is not a single Indian majority seat.
With the triple factors establishing overwhelming Malay predominance in the Malaysian political scene – the demographic make-up of the general population, the electorate and the parliamentary constituencies – can Tun Abdul Hamid explain how the Malays will lose political power, whatever the scenario in the 14GE?
How Malays who dominate in 70% of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia will lose political power to the Chinese, who are in the majority in only 13% of the parliamentary seats?
Surely Tun Hamid is not insinuating that the Malays in the country are simpletons, who have no intelligence or capability, that despite comprising some 60% of the population in Malaysia and being the majority voters in 70 per cent of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia as compared to 13% of the seats where there are Chinese voter-majorities, the Malays can lose political power to the Chinese – especially with a decreasing Chinese population as compared to the Malays?
The stark facts are for all to see – political power in Malaysia is not going to fall out of Malay hands, whether to the Chinese or any other ethnic community, whether Najib or UMNO is toppled in the 14GE or not.
The 14GE is not a battle between UMNO and DAP; it is not a showdown between the Malays and Chinese and other communities, but between the Barisan Nasional coalition versus the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Secondly, there is a concerted attempt by the UMNO/BN owned and controlled media to paint me as anti-Islam by distorting my comment on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s by-election victory statement last Saturday as anti-Islam.
Only those with twisted minds like some UMNO Ministers and propagandists could distort my criticism of Najib as mocking Islam – and worse, extrapolating it to mean that I have no respect or regard for all religions.
For the information of these twisted minds and perverted politicians, I have full respect and regard for Islam and all religions, as I fully agree and accept the fundamental Constitutional provisions on Islam as the official religion and freedom of religion entrenched in the Constitution. I fully believe that Malaysia’s religious diversity is an asset and strength for Malaysia and 30 million Malaysians and not a liability or weakness.
I believe that all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or political affiliation, should be able to pray together for national unity and harmony, good governance, democracy, save Malaysia from the national trajectories towards a failed and rogue state, and liberate the country and Malaysians from the rampant corruption, abuses of power, widespread socio-economic policies and nation-building failures presently plaguing the country.
Will any Minister propose at the Cabinet that such inter-religious prayers be held all over the country for Malaysians, regardless of their faith, to come together in unison to pray for these common Malaysian goals?
I will fully participate in such prayer sessions.
Will all Barisan Nasional Ministers and top UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders make a commitment to take part in such National Inter-Religious Prayers sessions throughout Malaysia for national unity, democracy, good governance and social-economic justice in Malaysia?
Thirdly, there is even an attempt post twin by-elections to picture me as anti-Chinese and having betrayed the Chinese community, like the lie and falsehood presently spread by the Deputy Education Minister and MCA Youth leader, Chong Sin Woon that I have invited PAS to rejoin Pakatan Harapan after the two by-elections.
Pakatan Harapan have suffered setbacks in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections but this must be taken as part of the ups and downs of a political struggle and can be no excuse for opportunism or unprincipled short-cut to the chimerical objective of victory for victory’s sake.