Preliminary studies by Dr. Funston show that Malay support for UMNO was only about 5% higher than support for PH, and not 15% as earlier been estimated by Merdeka Centre

The Attorney-General Tommy Thomas in his first major interview in Malaysiakini today said that it may take as long as a decade to complete the mammoth task of wide-ranging law reforms in the country.

I think Thomas was being conservative in his estimate, as it may take a decade or two to complete the great task to build a New Malaysia.

After the great and historic result of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, when Malaysians returned to the great and noble task to build a world-class nation – not in the worst possible sense of being a global kleptocracy but, in the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman in the early years of nationhood, to be “ a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”, a New Malaysia is struggling to be born!

It is now more than five months after the great and historic result of May 9, 2018 when Malaysians, whether inside the country or in the worldwide diaspora, felt proud as Malaysians, unlike the previous few years when they were so ashamed about global kleptocracy and rogue democracy in Malaysia that they stopped identifying themselves as Malaysians to avoid embarrassing questions about the shenanigans of the Najib government.

It is not possible to build a New Malaysia in 100 days or in five months, but it is important that the Malaysian ship of state make a critical turn of direction from a trajectory of a failed, kleptocratic and kakistocratic state to a trajectory of greater national unity, integrity, democracy, rule of law and excellence, setting a new course in nation-building towards a New Malaysia especially in the direction of public integrity, rule of law, democracy, good governance, greater transparency and economic justice.

This is evident from the following developments:

Firstly, there is the restoration of the doctrine of separation of powers with a Parliament which is not a creature of the Executive and the Prime Minister to aid and abet the suppression of the 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal and Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy.

The new Speaker in the new Parliament had liberated Members of Parliament from the albatross of the former Speaker of the 13th Parliament who virtually banned the 1MDB scandal as a taboo subject in the previous Parliament; and there was the parliamentary motion directing the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct again a detailed investigation into the embezzlement and the corruption scandal with regard to 1MDB and its related companies in order to restore the dignity of the Dewan Rakyat and for all related information to be made public.

In the pipeline are unprecedented parliamentary reforms like the establishment of Select Committees for MPs to shadow separate Ministries or policy areas.

We have also made a start with the appointment of an Opposition MP to be chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

Secondly, there is the restoration of the doctrine of separation of powers with a Judiciary which is not a creature of the Executive and the Prime Minister, with the appointment of the new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, new Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop and new Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.

Thirdly, the transformation of Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity in the world, not only with comprehensive investigation into the 1MDB scandal but a clean-up of the corrupt system of governance in Malaysia. This is why former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is being charged in Kuala Lumpur now with another 25 counts of corruption and money-laundering in connection with the 1MDB scandal.

Fourthly, institutional and law reforms which Thomas spoke about in his interview with Malaysiakini, to repeal draconian, repressive and undemocratic laws and to restore the independence, impartiality and professionalism of important national institutions.

Fifthly, a more open society with vibrant civil society and freer press.

But there are danger signals – the resort to vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies by irresponsible political opportunists in the Opposition to engender distrust, enmity and dissension among races and religions in a “scorched earth” policy, as in the proposed UMNO-PAS alliance and the MCA/UMNO/PAS conspiracy to topple the Pakatan Harapan Government by before the 15th General Election in 2013 if not earlier, say within two years.

But a far-reaching implosion is now taking place in UMNO, with another two UMNO MPs, former UMNO Ministers Datuk Mustapha Mohamad and Anifah Aman, having resigned from UMNO to add to a total of five UMNO MPs who have left UMNO since the 14GE.

There is a list in circulation in social media of another 17 UMNO “big wig” MPs who will be resigning from UMNO – and only time will whether this is true or just fake news.

I have come across a significant finding about the 14GE.

Preliminary studies by Dr. John Funston of the Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific of Australian National University (ANU) show that Malay support for UMNO in the 14GE was only about 5% higher than support for Pakatan Harapan, and not 15% as had earlier been estimated by Merdeka Centre.

Polls analysis by Merdeka Centre have earlier estimated that some 95% of the Chinese and 70-75% of the Indian voters voted for Pakatan Harapan and a New Malaysia, while only 25 – 30% of the Malays voted for Pakatan Harapan and a New Malaysia.

Funston’s preliminary analysis is at variance with the earlier estimates that 35-40% of Malays voted for UMNO/BN, 30-33% voted for PAS and 25 – 30% voted for Pakatan Harapan in the 14GE.

This is Funston’s preliminary analysis:

Peninsular Electorate

Total Vote – 10,347,357
Total Malays 6,346,739 (61.34%)
UMNO Vote – 2,323,665 (36.6%)
PAS Vote – 2,012,381 (31.7%)
PH vote. 2,010,693 (31.7%)

Funston’s preliminary studies noted that Pakatan Harapan had more Malays elected on the peninsula than UMNO – 51 PH Malay MPs (PKR 26, PPBM 13, AMANAH 11, DAP 1) compared to the present total Malaysia-wide of 49 for UMNO (with five MPs having resigned from UMNO since May 9, 2018).

We will need more than one general election cycle to build a New Malaysia, and we want the New Malaysia agenda of Pakatan Harapan to remain the national agenda for the next two decades, for which we have to win the 15th, 16th and subsequent general elections.

I do not believe that, according to Funston’s preliminary studies, 36.6% of Malays who voted for Barisan Nasional and the 31.7% of Malay voters who supported PAS in the 14GE wanted to vote for kleptocracy, abuses and excesses of power and GST as well as the various forms of injustices and oppression under Najib’s premiership.

Furthermore I do not believe that the 31.7% of Malay voters who voted for PAS wanted a Islamic kleptocracy to replace Najib’s global kleptocracy.

Can we ensure that in future general elections, we can not only maintain the same level of support from the non-Malay voters, but after we have had the opportunity to tell the truth about 1MDB scandal and other mini-1MDB-like corruption in MARA, FELDA and other public bodies, and revelations about the RM2.1 billion estate of UMNO leaders, more and more Malay voters would support Pakatan Harapan to fight kleptocracy and to ensure that Malaysia stands for clean and honest government and not a corrupt and decadent government?

This is the national challenge of all Malaysians who want to see Malaysia to become a top world class nation and an example to the world of an united, harmonious, successful, democratic, progressive and prosperous nation.

(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at a Malaysia Institute talk, “Malaysia’s GE 14 A Gift of Hope?” at Western Theatre, JG Crawford Building, Australian National University, Canberra on Thursday, 20th September 2018 at 4.30 pm)

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 22 September 2018 - 9:10 am

    It’s a marginal point that PH got just as many Malay votes as UMNO or PAS. The Malays have been indoctrinated this is Malay country their majority opinion is superior and their entitlement.

    PH is led by a third of Malays but on the back of the goals of non-Malays. If either some non-Malays are dissatisfied or some Malays are dissatisfied, then PH can fall. Its only mitigated by fact UMNO-PAS continue to shrink, mostly UMNO because it has less and less to offer. PH survives on the misfortune or failure of UMNO, PAS non-future, and fear of PAS led opposition.

    The need to built is Urgent in PH. Its also urgent to make a permanent clear vision of Malay politics alternative to UMNO-PAS. Anwar role is not to built but rather the vision thing. The real risk is Anwar disappoints and fall shot of doing the most difficult that only he has the opportunity to do, no one else can, not even Mahathir

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