41-Day Countdown to 13GE - Challenge to Najib to ensure 13GE is a contest which coalition can do more to serve the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans and Ibans

February 2013 has come and gone – a month which will probably go down in history as the most critical and crucial month of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s four-year premiership and 37-year political career as this is the month he abandoned his latest “final decision” to dissolve Parliament and to hold the 13th General Elections in March.

In early January, the sixth Malaysian Prime Minister who turns 60 in five months’ time on 23rd July, had been persuaded by his political strategists to make up his mind to end his two-year flip-flops and to dissolve Parliament in the last week of February to finally seek a mandate from the 13.3 million voters in the 13th General Elections, buoyed up by the knowledge that he had an armoury of “secret weapons” to woo or intimidate the voters, including:

  • The RM3.5 million invitation to South Korean K-Pop superstar Psy not only to perform Gangnam Style but to popularise Gangnam 1Malaysia Style starring Psy with Najib, Rosmah and Ng Yen Yen in Penang on the second day of the Chinese New Year;

  • The tendentious and divisive May 13 film, “Tanda Putra”, giving a totally divisive, distorted and untrue account of the causes of the May 13 riots in 1969 to inflame the sentiments of Malay voters on the one hand and to frighten the non-Malay voters on the other;

  • Promise of BRIM 3.0 if UMNO/BN is re-elected;

  • The Prime Minister’s signing of Transparency International’s Election Integrity Pledge to present Najib as a new convert to the battle against corruption and abuses of power;

  • The extension of Project IC to Peninsular Malaysia for the “citizenship-for-votes” scams in Sabah which have proved to be so successful in entrenching UMNO political power in the “Land below the Wind”’; and

  • An army of 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers to create havoc and mayhem on the social media with lies, falsehoods and incitement of hatred on race and religious issues.

But this was not to be as by mid-February, after the Psy and Gangnam Style initiative had degenerated into a political and public relations disaster of the first magnitude for the Prime Minister and UMNO/BN, with cries of “No, No, No” for Najib and BN daily reverberating throughout the land, Najib and his political strategists abandoned the earlier decision for a Parliament dissolution at the end of February and to drag out the Parliamentary term as long as possible as permitted by the Constitution before seeking a new mandate for the electorate – i.e. up till April 28, 2013!

Making a virtue out of necessary, Najib announced in Seremban on Sunday that the 13GE had not been announced yet because the government wants the national transformation policy to be truly proven successful and that the people fully benefit from it.

He said creative ideas, detailed planning and effective implementation were crucial in the government efforts to champion the cause of the people and bring development to the country.

Speaking at the launching of the Seremban Sentral 1Malaysia People's Housing (PR1MA) project, Najib said: "That is why we wait until we are exhausted to hold the general election, we wait because I want to prove that the national transformation policy can truly succeed."

Najib should not underestimate the intelligence of the people as to believe that they will buy his spin, for everybody knows what is haunting Najib is his fear that the 13GE will seal his fate as the sixth UMNO Prime Minister, whether UMNO/BN wins or loses in 13GE.

Nobody believes that Najib could prove that his four-year National Transformation Programme is a success in the additional 50 days he could gain from invoking the constitutional provision that the five-year term of the 12th Parliament is calculated from its first meeting ending automatically on April 27 and not on March 8, the fifth anniversary of the “political tsunami” of the 2008 general elections.

In fact, if Najib wants to wait until he could prove the success of his National Transformation Programme, then the 13GE would have to be put off indefinitely, and he might have to wait until 2020 to prove that his transformation policy could work.

Najib’s political strategists are now scouring for new “dirty tricks” to save the day, and there are signs that among these “dirty tricks” is the nefarious design to declare DAP as an illegal and unlawful organisation although this will be the height of abuse of power as there is no ground or basis for any action whether by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein or the Registrar of Societies.

Najib should realise that such unethical and unprincipled “secret weapons” and “dirty tricks” like the gross abuse of power to declare DAP illegal and unlawful, totally contemptuous of the rule of law and mala fide exercise of powers and responsibilities by both the Registrar of Societies and the Home Minister have a way to boomerang back and cause even greater damage on the perpetrators themselves than their targeted victims.

When Najib was in Seremban on Sunday, he declared that as the Prime Minister, he won’t promise what he can’t deliver and pledged that he would not sacrifice the people’s future or that of the country merely to fish for votes.

Unfortunately, Najib’s promise that he won’t promise what he can’t deliver has been observed more by their breach, and it will be very easy for anyone to produce a catalogue of promises which Najib could not deliver and yet he dared to promise.

The most glaring example of the promise he could not deliver is his signature 1Malaysia policy, which is not only publicly repudiated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, but was violated by Najib himself as he gets increasingly desperate about his 13GE prospects.

For example, in Kuala Teregganu last Saturday, Najib betrayed 1Malaysia principles when he pandered to religious incitements by declaring the lie and falsehood that “a vote for PAS would lead to discord among the Muslims and a vote for DAP is a vote for the oppression of Muslims”.

Is Najib prepared to retract his most dishonest, hypocritical and unprincipled allegation against the DAP, which is totally at variance with his 1Malaysia signature policy?

Najib said in Seremban: "We must have principles in our struggles. We must have principles in life. That's why the general election is not about who will win, but the destiny of our country... we will determine its future soon.”

Let me ask Najib: “Are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is make the 13GE as contest as to which coalition could do more to serve the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazan and Ibans instead of a contest of who could tell more lies and falsehoods or incite racial and religious hatred or resort to the politics of fear and intimidation?”

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur