Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 12th October 2009:
PR rout in Bagan Pinang by-election – PR must go back to drawing board
Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad’s victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election was not unexpected, as in the by-election, Isa the candidate bulked larger than Barisan Nasional the party.
This is the cause for the comment that BN can win the battle in Bagan Pinang by-election but will lose the war in the country in the next general elections, for Isa’s victory despite his record of Umno money politics would be a clear and unmistakable message that Umno/BN could not be redeemed or reformed to play any meaningful role to cleanse the country of deep-rooted corruption.
What was unexpected was Isa’s 8,013-vote and thumping majority of 5,435 votes sweeping all the eight voting streams - the result of gross abuses of power, money politics as well as the postal ballot chicanery.
The rout suffered by Pakatan Rakyat in Bagan Pinang by-election should destroy the myth entertained by any quarter that Pakatan Rakyat is embarked on a invincible path to victory in the next general elections whether national or state.
With the rout in Bagan Pinang, Pakatan Rakyat must go back to the drawing board and address the many issues bedeviling the coalition but which had been swept under the carpet, aggravating public concerns about its unity, discipline, cohesion, viability and sustainability as the alternative of the Barisan Nasional for federal power in Putrajaya.
For a start, Pakatan Rakyat leaders must stop being shy about the need to demonstrate discipline and common sense of purpose at all levels of Pakatan Rakyat as well as have the courage to admit and to resolve any crisis of confidence undermining public support for the coalition.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor