Zaid Ibrahim accepts invitation to be PR adviser for Battle of Johor which is critical for PR to win Battle of Malaysia to replace BN in Putrajaya
I want to thank Datuk Zaid Ibrahim for speaking in support of my parliamentary candidature at the Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Taman Nusantara, Gelang Patah last night.
The Battle of Gelang Patah is a microcosm of the battle for the hearts and minds of Malaysian voters in the 13GE and a prelude to the Battle of Johor and Battle of Malaysia in the 13GE.
I call on the caretaker Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to lead a campaign throughout the country and all the states of Malaysia which is clean, fair and honest, not marred by the politics of money.
I can speak on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat that this the type of general elections Malaysians want and should have in the 13GE. It is not too late for Najib to send our a message loud and clear to let the 13GE the "most clean, free and fair" instead of being the most dirty, unfree and unfair in the nation's 56-year history.
Since the ending of the four-year wait by Malaysians for the 13th national polls on April 3, there is a new hope and a new expectation in the air for all Malaysians, regardless of whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans of a new political order - as summed up in the powerful catchphrase first coined in Sabah: "Ini Kali lah!"
The historic objective of Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE is to effect a peaceful and democratic change of government in Putrajaya - and this is why the PAS Vice President Sallehuddin Ayub and I have left comparatively safe seats in Perak and Kelantan respectively, together with Gen (rtd) Tan Sri Hashim of PKR, to return to Johore to lead the charge in the state to trigger a political tsunami emanating from the south reaching upwards to the north of the country, and to cross the South China Sea to Sabah and Sarawak to complete the partial political tsunami in the 2008 GE.
MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek said DAP leaders are only dreaming when talking about winning the strong constituencies of Barisan Nasional in Johore.
The difference between the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat on the one hand and MCA and Barisan Nasional on the other is that we in the former dare to dream Big Dreams for the people and country, while those in the latter are only obsessed about titles, money making or other advantages and benefits to be derived from their political involvements.
DAP and PR leaders Dare to Dream and to act to achieve our dreams.
Chua had made the ridiculous accusation that I am a "political fugitive" for leaving Ipoh Timor to come to Gelang Patah, the BN "fortress" which MCA had won with close to 9,000-vote majority in 2008 and with a monstrous majority of 31,666 votes in 2004.
But it is Chua who cut a most ridiculous figure when nobody in MCA (including him) dared to contest against me in Gelang Patah and instead, MCA had to "lend" the MCA fortress constituency of Gelang Patah to UMNO, with the four-term Johor Mentri Besar, Datuk Ghani Othman, ordered to be BN parliamentary candidate in Gelang Patah.
The UMNO mouthpiece, the New Straits Times, today carried a front-page report "Ghani a huge threat to DAP in Gelang Patah" alleging that I had attacked Ghani for being a "racist".
Ghani was quoted by NST as being "dismayed" by the attack, saying: "Honestly, I am sad. How can they be so cruel? I have served this state for 18 years as a mentri besar and, throughout those years, I have treated every Johorean I came across fairly, regardless of his ethnicity."
I am surprised by the NST report trying to conjure up a scenario presenting Ghani as being the victim of an unfair attack on him by me, when I never attacked Ghani as a "racist". In fact, knowing Ghani who was Deputy Minister of Posts, Energy and Telecommunications as well as for Finance, culminating in his appointment and Minister for Youth and Spofts before he came down to Johor Baru as Mentri Besar in 1995, I dare say that he is not a "racist".
Those who know the story of Ghani in the run-up to the 13GE know that he had been treated rather unkindly, but it is not me or DAP/PR leaders who had been "cruel" to him but certain UMNO leaders. If Ghani wants me to tell this story, I am prepared to do so.
I never challenged Ghani to contest against me in Gelang Patah. I concede that his candidature is indeed a "huge threat" to me, adding the pressure of a thousand tons on my shoulders.
Before his candidature, I rate my chances in the BN fortress in Gelang Patah as 50-50. With Ghani as candidate, my chances have dropped to 45-55.
But I had never any intention of withdrawing, even if the BN candidate is Ghani or even Tun Mahathir himself.
This is because the battle of Gelang Patah is not so much between Lim Kit Siang and Ghani or whether DAP and PR can get an extra parliamentary seat, but concerns the future of all Johoreans and Malaysians.
It is a symbol of a new Malaysia struggling to be born, a choice between the politics of the future as represented by DAP/Pakatan Rakyat and the politics of the past practised by UMNO/BN for more than five decade.
The Umno/BN politics of the past is an exclusive politics based on racial politics, accompanied by rampant corruption, gross abuses of power, massive violation of democratic and human rights of Malaysians, worsening polarisation of rce and relgiion resulting in Malaysia losing out to more and more countries even in the region.
The new politics of the future of DAP/PR is based on the patriotism and love of country of all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region to unite their energies and abilities to build a really united, harmonious, competitive, progressive and prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans.
If the Battle of Gelang Patah is just my personal battle on whether I can be re-elected to Parliament, I should stay back in Ipoh Timor which I had won with a majority of over 21,000 votes in the 2008 general elections, instead of going for a very high-risk contest in Gelang Patah which was won by the MCA/BN candidate with a majority of over 8,000 votes in 2008 and a humoungous majority of 31,666 votes in 2004.
I could very well lose but I am prepared to take the risk.
The Battle of Gelang Patah is about whether Johore can become a "kingmaker" in the 13GE, together with Sabah and Sarawak, to spark a political tsunami to effect the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat.
The First Objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah is in south Johore - to target the six Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in south Johore to pave the way for Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya in the 13th General Elections.
The Second Objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah is the challenge to Pakatan Rakyat on a state-wide basis in Johore in 13GE.
If we can create a political tsunami to set off from Johore, then Pakatan Rakyat should aim to target 19 Parliamentary seats and 30 State Assembly seats.
The future not only of Johore but also Malaysia is in the hands of the voters of Johore in the 13GE.
The Battle of Gelang Patah is a prelude to the Battle of Johor and the Battle of Malaysia to wn the hearts and minds of Malaysians to secure the mandate for a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government in Putrajaya.
I have invited Dato Zaid Ibrahim, the only Minister in the nation's 56- year history to reisgn from the Cabinet on a matter of principle - the gross abuses of executive powers in the arbitrary arrest of DAP MP/Selangor Exco Teresa Kok as well as others - to help in the Battle of Gelang Patah, the Battle of Johore and Battle of Malaysia as an adviser, and Zaid has graciously agreed.
On my return to Gelang Patah on Friday, I will discuss with Zaid the next strategy of the Battle of Johor to target 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johore in the May 5 general elections.