UMNO leadership will be tempted by Malacca general election results to rush to hold the 15th General Election for the country as early as possible, even early 2022

The UMNO leadership will be tempted by the Malacca general election results to tear up the confidence-supply-reform (CSR) memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan to rush for the 15th General Election for the country to held as early as possible, even early 2022.

This is because based on the Malacca general election results, UMNO and BN will be able to take over the Federal government on its own, and may regain two-thirds majority in Parliament and even free the top UMNO leaders from corruption charges if the 15th General Elections is held in early 2022.

But this could be a fatal mistake.

It may be a serious misjudgement to expect a repeat of the Malacca General Election results, where Barisan Nasional coalition won big over the other two coalitions, Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional, in the 15th national general elections for a variety of reasons, including:

· The low voter turnout rate of 65.85%, lower than the Sabah general election turnout of 66.61% in September last year; and

· The slim majorities won by many of the Barisan Nasional candidates – 12 seats with majorities of less than 1,000 votes, seven against PH and five against PN – showed that 21 seats won by UMNO was not a foregone conclusion but the major role played by chance and confirmed doubts among the top UMNO leaders up to the last minute that a major electoral victory was awaiting them.

The RM100 million housing scandal of Najib Razak came too late to make any impact on the Malacca general election voting or it might have made a greater difference in the outcome if the expose had come a few days earlier.

There was growing realisation that a vote in the Malacca General Election was important and that the voter should not surrender to disappointment, despondency, hopelessness and desolation that more institutional reforms and changes were not accomplished in the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, but another week was needed to bring out another 10-15 per cent of the voting turnout.

The coming weeks and months will determine whether UMNO leaders have their way to have early 15th general election, which is a complex problem as there is no guarantee that Ismail Sabri will be the UMNO Prime Minister after the 15th General Election even if Barisan Nasional succeeds in winning the majority to form the Federal Government.

There is one silver lining in the black clouds of the Malacca general election results yesterday.

Malacca DAP State Chairman, Tey Kok Kiew, who lost in the Bemban constituency, was a great example of dedication of the Malaysian First cause of the DAP, as he could have remained State Assemblyman if he stayed behind in the relatively safe seat of Bandar Hilir instead of allocating it to his political secretary and DAP Deputy leader, Leng Chau Yeng, who won with a 7,778-vote majority yesterday.

What Kok Kiew had done was in the best DAP tradition.

In my 56 years of political life, I have tried eight times, whether in parliamentary or state assembly elections, to leave a safe seat to contest in a comparatively unsafe seat and I have succeeded and failed four times each.

The other DAP leader who was not afraid to lose to promote the DAP’s Malaysia First cause was Liew Chin Tong, who left the comparatively safe parliamentary seat of Bukit Bendera in Penang to contest in Kluang constituency in Johore in the 2013 general election, which he won, but he lost when he contested in Ayer Hitam parliamentary constituency in Johore in the 2018 general election.

Kok Kiew should be an example to be emulated by other DAP leaders.

During the Malacca general election campaign, I revisited Hang Tuah’s grave in Duyong. I wondered whether the curse of corruption which had caused the fall of the Malacca empire more than 500 years ago would also be the cause of downfall of Malacca and Malaysia in the 21st century.

But I am comforted by the thought that just as Malaccans and Malaysians have succeeded in the “Save Bukit China campaign” in 1984 to save the 450-year cemetery hill as a national heritage, it is not an impossible task for Malaysians to succeed in a new mission to save Malaysia so that we can become a world-class great nation before Malaysia’s Centennial in 2057.

But this is only possible if we can persuade the majority of Malaysians to be Malaysian First, to unite with other Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to uphold and promote the five nation-building principles of Rukun Negara.

The real battle is not yesterday, but in coming months, years and decades.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 21st November 2021)

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