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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

STOP BETTING ONLY ON NAJIB’S FALL

Najib Razak
Soo Wern Jun, The Heat
The opposition should not put all their bets on the weakening of the PM as their ticket to Putrajaya, come next general election.
For Umno, for all its follies, may just survive the next GE.
If Umno survives in the next GE, it means Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may have stepped down and Umno may have realigned among themselves, says Political Studies for Change (KPRU) executive director Ooi Heng.
“If they are able to get certain Opposition parties leaders to join them, they will have bigger chances to stay in power.
“After the general election, they will be in an advantage to persuade more. They could either persuade other political parties or members of parliament to join them. That is why PH will have to understand this is what they (PH) will face if they fail to take Putrajaya,” say Ooi.
He explains that what PH it is facing now is very different from what Pakatan Rakyat faced years ago.
“They only have one chance and they have to make it a success and even if fails to do so, they must be able to perceive and strategise, and be able to deal with whatever new scenario that is going to take place,” he says.
This means that PH cannot just have the perception that Najib is weak and wait to see how Umno will deal with Najib while he remains in power during Umno’s weakest in history thinking that this their (PH) ticket to Putrajaya, says Ooi.
“That is not enough and they (PH) will be creating problems for themselves. They must be able to see that Umno is able to reform, reposition and realign themselves.
“Then a different scenario will take place before general election. It is not only a new Prime Minister you need to deal with, you are also dealing with a new scenario. How are you going to react. You also need to explain to voters, it will become complex and be full of unexpected events,” says Ooi.
Some may compare Myanmar’s political situation where the Opposition succeeded, but Ooi reminds that it is not the same in Malaysia where Najib is weak and that is the Opposition’s chance.
“But we are very different from them. What we need is a parliamentary reform.
“Many people have spoken about this from MPs to NGOs. By and large there is a kind of demand, they may not understand what is parliamentary reform is about, but they know and  will always think that there is some kind of institutional reform that can be done.
“This is among some institutional reforms that has a higher possibility of success now. I don’t think the opposition is able to push for electoral reform. That is not likely to happen now,” says Ooi.
He adds however, if the Opposition manages to push and make it a success, they have to make it happen next year.
“If it happens, that is an important achievement. They can use this to persuade voters. But of course this applies more for urban to semi-urban voters. PH still need to look out for different strategies for different segment of voters who have different demands.
“This is a significant segment of the society wanting some form of reform. I would propose that the opposition put in more effort,” he says.
Ooi also says that the Oposition should put forward more suggestions regarding what kind of parliamentary reform we can have in this country, so that more people can discuss and be more concerned about this.
“This is one way to get people to be more aware about this kind of institutional reform.
“This is also a way to raise hope among the younger voters. Many voters may know a little bit about what happened in the last few years, but they need to be kept informed and the Opposition needs to work harder in making this happen,” he says.

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