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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pitfalls and danger await Guan Eng and Pakatan post GE-13


Pitfalls and danger await Guan Eng and Pakatan post GE-13
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) is on the right track in declaring that it intends to raise the number of candidates from Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia in a bid for more seats in Parliament.
This is an idea whose time has come nearly 50 years after the Peoples Action Party (PAP), its parent party, seized the reins of power down south across the causeway in Singapore. Even as the PAP’s fortunes are on the wane in the island republic, the DAP’s star is shining ever brightly than before in Malaysia across both sides of the South China Sea.
Spoilt for choice
Malays in their political maturity phase are now spoilt for choice after Umno which has consistently bludgeoned the Malay opposition into near extinction through defections, the Special Branch, the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Bankruptcy Act, the Income Tax Act and the like.
Initially, the Malays made for PAS over the years, and then entered the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after the sacking of then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim from the Umno Government. Visuals in 1998 of Anwar’s blue-and-black eye – now the party symbol – after a savage beating at the hands of then Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor, infuriated the masses like no other incident.
The Malays also realised that there was no more room for them in Umno, and with good reasons. The ruling party has since 1987 degenerated from a mass-based movement into a Holding Company of many ‘Sdn Bhd’ or branches virtually owned, managed and controlled by particular families of mini political dynasties – often the term warlord is used – and focused only on plundering the Public Treasury through opportunities created by the government and the system.
The Umno of today, in reality Mahathir’s Umno Baru from 1987 after the old Umno was declared unlawful and deregistered, is no longer in touch with the masses, Malay and non-Malay alike. This is a party of robber barons living it up as if there’s no tomorrow.
Witness Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Majid’s shopping sprees abroad. She continues to live in a state of denial, even when the foreign press have taken to dubbing her as the region’s new ‘Imelda Marcos’ in a reference to the former Philippine dictator’s wife famed for buying 3,000 pairs of shoes while the poor in the country lived near to starvation – and this is no exaggeration!
Why DAP but then again, why not DAP!
The question that arises within Umno circles is why any good Malay would be caught even dead in DAP when they can opt for the mass-based PAS or the PKR if unhappy with the ruling party? Umno no doubt still has pretensions of forming a Malay unity government - “let’s share the loot” -- with PAS and forcing PKR to merge - read Sodomy II - with it. These are strategies the party cannot pursue if the Malays are in the highly-disciplined DAP as well in substantial numbers.
The DAP foray, or intended in-roads into Malay areas, comes close on the realization within PAS and PKR that the former has just about reached its zenith and natural potential based on its main Islamic theme. PKR meanwhile is still work in progress in organising the Malay and other grassroots. Although there are many talented Malays and non-Malays wanting to join Anwar’s party, perhaps many folds more than PAS and DAP, PKR needs to work harder on its internal structures.
The DAP will not be eating into the Malay support behind PAS and PKR but will be seeking instead to woo the Malay fence-sitters in Umno areas. These prefer not to be with either PAS or PKR for reasons of their own.
Whatever the rationale, it is good to seen parties in the Pakatan – PKR and DAP at least – progressing beyond lip service in being multiracial parties.
PAS will get there soon, it is to be hoped, because race-based politics is something that will kill Malaysia sooner rather than later.
Assure the Malays of what is rightfully theirs
DAP will be able to woo Malays by pointing out the degeneration of Umno since 1987 and its continued degeneration under ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, its unofficial Advisor, and its linkage with Perkasa from the right-wing fringe.
However, the DAP would also need to re-assure the Malays that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the New Economic Policy (NEP) would be maintained, albeit as envisaged in letter and spirit.
The DAP would also need to point out to the Malay-speaking communities that it would be in their long-term interest that the power over Article 153 be restored back to the King and that the deviations and distortions in the said clause and the NEP be ended once and for all for the benefit of the malays themselves and the nation at large.
There are no other issues that prevent the Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia from flocking to the DAP or PKR and PAS in droves.
Malays should not put all their eggs in one basket
It would not be in the interest of the Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia to put all their political eggs in one basket i.e. the decadent and degenerate Umno under a super duper corrupt leadership at every level of the party.
The more number of Malays in DAP, the more multiracial the party would eventually become in Parliament.
Hence, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the number of Malay legislators in DAP, perhaps as many as 35 MPs eventually, equal that of the party’s non-Malay representatives in Parliament. This will reduce the number of Malays MPs from Umno to 35 including 13 from Sabah.
There are 10 Chinese MP seats for the DAP’s taking in East Malaysia - Sabah (3) and Sarawak (7). That assumes that the party, in a worse case scenario, will not able to pick up any Dayak MP seats in Sarawak through its Dayak Task Force. In Sabah, it’s unlikely that the DAP can pick up any Dusun – including Kadazan or urban Dusun and Murut – MP seats or any non-Dusun Muslim seats.
The DAP can pick up at least another 25 seats in Peninsular Malaysia from its Chinese and Indian candidates.
That is the best-case scenario that pundits are now calling. As we go closer to the 13th general election, this forecast can deteriorate or even improve. Whichever it is, Pakatan is expected to trounce BN.
DAP turncoat?
The greatest worry though is that DAP turns traitor! Yes, talk is growing Umno has begun negotiations with DAP for an alliance post GE-13, whether BN or Pakatan wins. If true, Lim Guan Eng, the DAP secretary-general, will be committing suicide for his party. His dad, Lim Kit Siang, and DAP chairman Karpal Singh are bound to resist such a move but these men cannot live forever – legends though they are!
Even if DAP declines crossing over, the new members it picks up from Umno might do what Zahrain Hashim, Zaid Ibrahim and gang did to PKR. This has been a sensitive topic of discussion amongst the top Pakatan leadership. It is a real worry because Umno has the big bucks. The party itself may have little money but the Umno elite feature among the richest people in the world! What is several billion to them when they can rape the country for hundreds more if they get to cling on!
But the wheels of time wait for no one and Malaysians must be brave in facing the future. Malaysians must learn from the horror rule of Umno and BN never to depend on anyone or any party solely. They must stand up for themselves, their rights and the way they wish to live and be governed by.
Otherwise, we would go mad from the all betrayals – past, present and future. So take heart Malaysians and face GE-13 bravely. First step, get rid of Umno-BN. Then insist Pakatan carries out reforms immediately to protect the people from any form of political hegemony ever again.
That is the first order of the day, the most important to prevent us from ever losing our freedom again. Malaysians must reclaim their own rights before they can reclaim their nation.
Malaysia Chronicle

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