Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang at Shah Alam Courthouse on Monday, 26th April 2010 at 9 am:
Would MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers resign if Najib does not honour his Hulu Selangor by-election promise to issue RM3 million cheque today for building of new Rasa Chinese primary school?
The 1,725-vote majority victory of the Barisan Nasional in the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election yesterday is a pyrrhic victory for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – so devastatingly costly both in political and monetary terms that they lay the seeds for the forthcoming defeat of the Barisan Nasional.
The Barisan Nasional has a bill of over RM100 million for its Hulu Selangor by-election campaign – RM60 million for various infrastructure projects and easily more than RM40 million for the Barisan Nasional election campaigners and the many rent-a-crowd outings for the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers.
After such outpourings of money politics, the 1,725-vote majority is actually more a defeat than a victory for Najib and the Barisan Nasional.
The UMNO target was to win Hulu Selangor with at least 6,000-vote majority and the Umno leadership was so confident of this huge victory that the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin went public on this Umno objective mid-day during Hulu Selangor polling yesterday.
The Umno leadership thought that it should not have any big problem, with the RM100 million war chest and the big guns led by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and former Prime Minister, spearheading the charge in the campaign in Hulu Selangor.
Umno leaders regarded the PKR win of the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat in the 2008 general election as a fluke-shot, which was why Najib talked about the Hulu Selangor seat being on “loan” to PKR.
In 2008, the three Barisan Nasional candidates in the three constituent State Assembly seats of Hulu Bernam, Batang Kali and Kuala Kubu Baru had polled a total majority of 6,176 votes, but at the Hulu Selangor parliamentary level, the BN candidate G. Palanivel lost the seat to the PKR candidate Datuk Zainal Abidin in a wafer-thin majority of 198 votes.
Palanivel secured 22,979 votes for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat, which is 3,285 votes less than the total of 26,264 votes cast for the three BN state assembly seats in 2008.
Najib and Muhyiddin calculated that they should be able to restore this 6,176-vote majority BN won at the level of the three state assembly seats in 2008, but the Hulu Selangor by-election results proved them wrong.
In the event, BN’s P. Kamalanathan secured 24,997 votes which is 1,267 votes less than the total of 26,264 votes collectively polled by the three winning BN State Assembly candidates in 2008.
On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat’s Zaid Ibrahim polled 23,272 votes yesterday which is more than the vote polled by PKR parliamentary candidate in 2008, i.e. 23,177.
Despite all the odds, PR is making headway while BN is clearly losing ground. The future belongs to Pakatan Rakyat.
Najib said the Hulu Selangor by-election is a test for the MCA leadership, which clearly had failed the test as MCA is the biggest loser in the Barisan Nasional in the Hulu Selangor by-election.
In the 2008 “political tsunami”, MCA secured some 37% of the Chinese votes cast in Hulu Selangor but this has fallen to 25 – 28% in the by-election yesterday.
The immediate question facing the MCA is whether the MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers would resign if Najib does not honour his Hulu Selangor by-election promise to issue a RM3 million cheque today for the building of new Rasa Chinese primary school?
On the eve of the Hulu Selangor by-election, Najib made the campaign promise in Rasa on a RM3 million approval for rebuilding Rasa Chinese Primary School declaring:
“If we win this by-election, you can come to Kuala Lumpur the next day to look for me. I will write a personal letter to approve the money and it will be transferred to the school board’s account. If we lose, don’t have to come.”
I commend the voters of Rasa for turning in a 82.4% support for Zaid Ibrahim.
Malaysians are waiting to see whether Najib would honour his pledge to sign the RM3 million approval allocation to Rasa Chinese primary school today and if not, what would be the response of the MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor