Why have Malaysian politics descended to the lowest level of “lies, lies, lies”?

While the 27,222 voters of in Sungai Limau state assembly seat in Kedah are casting their votes today to decide whether the PAS/Pakatan Rakyat candidate Mohd Azam Abdul Samat or the Umno/Barisan Nasional candidate Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim will be their State Assemblyman, one question that should worry all political parties and leaders is why Malaysian politics have descended to the lowest level of “lies, lies, lies”!

The UMNO/BN campaign in the Sungai Limau by-election started off with the lies that the DAP wants to form a Christian state, abolish the system of constitutional monarchy and that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

The MCA also contributed its lies when it claims that although more than 50% of the 1,842 Chinese voters are MCA members, only 10% of the Chinese electorate in the Sungai Limau constituency voted for the Barisan Nasional in the 13th general elections on May 5, 2013.

As I pointed out when I campaigned in Sungai Limau Dalam two days ago, about 1,400 out of 1,842 Chinese voters turned out to vote in the last general elections, of which PAS/PR secured some 800 votes and BN managed to obtain about 600 votes – i.e. some 55% to PAS/PR and 45% to UMNO/BN.

If PAS/PR could secure 90% of Chinese votes in a rural constituency like Sungai Limau, is MCA suggesting that the PR achieved the impossible of securing the support of some 150% of Chinese votes in the urban areas?

The 1842 Chinese voters in Sungai Limau are mostly focussed in five polling stations: Simpang Tiga (26% Chinese), Sungai Limau (19% Chinese), Kabu Sepuloh (10.2% Chinese), Batu Enam Belas (12.1% Chinese) and Kampung Titi Batu (13.4%).

The DAP analysis of the trend of the Chinese voters in Sungai Limau that I have received is as follows:

“Estimated Chinese support for PAS is at about 45% to 55% in these areas (assuming that Malay support for PAS in these areas is above 50% in these areas).

“The Chinese support for PAS from 2008 to 2013 seems to have increased. In Simpang Tiga, with 26% Chinese voters, PAS support increased by 9.7% from 2008 to 2013. Estimated PAS Chinese support in Sungai Limau in 2008 was at 40% to 45%. Hence, Chinese support for PAS from 2008 to 2013 increased by approximately 5% to 10%.”

Table 2: PAS 2008 and 2013 support in the 5 polling stations with the most Chinese

KOD AND DM Cina% PAS%2013 PAS%2008 2013-2008
SIMPANG TIGA 012/20/07 26.3% 47.2% 37.5% 9.7%
SUNGAI LIMAU 012/20/10 19.0% 49.4% 46.9% 2.5%
KABU SEPULOH 012/20/11 10.2% 50.7% 50.9% -0.2%
BATU ENAM BELAS 012/20/16 12.1% 58.1% 62.0% -3.9%
KAMPUNG TITI BATU 012/20/17 13.4% 59.2% 56.3% 2.9%

MCA is trying to create a scenario that they garnered only 10 per cent of Chinese voters in Sungai Limau in the last general elections so that when they get higher votes than 10% in the by-election today, they can claim that the Chinese have swung back to the Barisan Nasional.

There can however be no excuse or justification for the MCA to resort to lies and false statistics in the by-election.

If there is any truth or basis to the MCA claim, MCA would have rebutted my statement on Saturday itself. I am not surprised however that there has been no MCA rebuttal at all with facts and figures in the past two days for MCA had been caught red-handed passing off downright lies and falsehoods.

I am very shocked by the depth of lies and falsehoods disseminated during the Sungai Limau by-election, not only in the constituency but through the Internet.

For instance, one such dastardly falsehoods states:

“Malah bukan secara kebetulan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang sekarang adalah salah seorang ahli keluarga Illuminati .......Ada 13 keluarga yang membawa bloodline Illuminati , dan salah satu darinya ialah keluarga Li. Di Malaysia panggilan Li di tukar kepada Lim seperti Lim Kit Siang dan Lim Guan Eng dan di Singapura Lee. Ramai yang tak tahu Lee Kuan Yew serta Lim Kit Siang adalah sepupu.”

Not a single Chinese in Malaysia will believe such rubbish as above, suggesting that “Li” is interchangeable with “Lim” in Malaysia and “Lee” in Singapore, but there may be ignorant non-Chinese who may be misled. The “Illuminati” allegation is also down right baseless, mischievous and defamatory.

But what is most shocking of all is that MCA and Gerakan could be willing tool of such dastardly lies and falsehoods.

There are also many other lies and falsehoods, but the campaign of slander and defamation in the course of the Sungai Limau by-election is not directed just against DAP leaders but all PR leaders as PAS and PKR leaders are also targeted.

Are UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders prepared to join PR leaders to openly condemn such lies and falsehoods in election or by-election campaigns, just as Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP are prepared to join BN leaders to condemn all election campaign lies, falsehoods and character-assassination to introduce a new era of clean, honest and decent political electioneering?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah