Thanks Dave, always good to feel less lonely in quest for the Malaysian Dream
It is always good to feel less lonely in the quest for the Malaysian Dream where Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, unite in a common national vision and destiny to build a more united, democratic, free, just, competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.
I refer to Save Anthony’s Open Letter to me which ended thus: “Saudara Kit Siang, yours may be the lone voice even in the DAP. Never mind, you too step forward and please let your voice ring loud and clear to reach the ears of all Malaysians. You have thrown us a life-line, and I am sure enough of us will take it. Malaysia desperately needs a leader like you.”
Thanks Dave, for throwing me a life-line!
True, what I had raised in the past week represent my personal views and not the official position of the DAP, as it has not been discussed at the various DAP decision-making councils.
For the past week, since the DAP Bukit Bintang anniversary dinner, I have broached the proposition that as Malaysian politics is in “no man’s land”, that may be it is time for a new “Save Malaysia” coalition federal government comprising MPs from both sides of the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat divide who are prepared to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law.
This is because the two political coalitions in the country, the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, suffered grave and unprecedented damage this month because of the UMNO political manoevres and games like the one started by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom in Parliament on March 27, 2014 that the Federal Government was ready to work with PAS Kelantan State Government to implement hudud in Kelantan.
The result is the serious and possibly irreparable damage to both coalitions:
- Pakatan Rakyat, when in violation of the PR Common Policy Framework and PR consensus operational principle that no one party or leader has veto powers in the three-party coalition, the Kelantan PAS went ahead to re-enact the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code with amendments on March 19 (with the support of UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen) and the March 18 private member’s bill by PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, on hudud implementation. Up to now, DAP and PKR MPs have not seen Hadi’s private member’s bill although Hadi and PAS agreed at the PR Leadership Council on Feb. 8, 2015 that the proposed amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code and any private member’s bill will be presented to the PR Leadership Council first for discussion.
- Barisan Nasional, with the Prime Minister and UMNO/BN President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak continuing to suffer “labour pains” for the 11th day, unable to fulfill the undertaking to issue a statement on 20th March 2015 - when the first five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah would have no hesitation in reiterating and reaffirming the core nation-building principle of BN and previously Alliance that hudud laws are against the Malaysian Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and not suitable for a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation like Malaysia.
Najib’s 11-day “labour pains”, unable to issue a clear and unequivocal statement reaffirming and reiterating what had always been the core nation-building principle of BN and previously Alliance, is a tectonic shift of Malaysia’s nation-building policy to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law.
In these circumstances, I had urged Malaysians to think the unthinkable and to begin to envisage a political landscape which is both post-BN and post-PR, if it is not possible to salvage the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat coalitions.
Is it possible for BN to salvage its integrity, credibility and legitimacy? Yes, if Najib can overcome his prolonged “labour pains” and stop procrastinating with a clear-cut and unequivocal statement reiterating and reaffirming the core nation-building principles of BN and previously Alliance that hudud laws are against the Malaysian Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and not suitable for a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation like Malaysia.
Is it possible for PR to salvage its integrity, credibility and legitimacy? Yes, if all the PR component parties recommit themselves to the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR consensus operational principle that no single party or leader can exercise a veto power over the PR, and that the “agreed to disagree” reference in the PR Leadership Council Joint Statement on Sept. 28, 2011 on hudud referred to the past, viz DAP’s differences with PAS on the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1993 and Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment 2003 and not a blank cheque for the future to authorize PAS to act unilaterally without the agreement of all three component parties in Pakatan Rakyat, on whatever issue.
If the answers to the above two questions are in the negative, then Malaysians must seriously think of a new political landscape about a new Federal government coalition which is post-BN and post-PR before the 14th General Elections whose top priority is to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law.
If such a new coalition gets the support of the majority of the 222 Members of Parliament, then there will be a new Prime Minister, who can be from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak or Sabah, and can be a man or a woman.
The names I mentioned in Kota Kinabalu were Anifah Musa (Foreign Minister), Rosnah Rashid Shirlin (Deputy Works Minister), Abdul Ghapur Salleh (MP Kalabakan) from Sabah and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf (Works Minister), Datuk Nancy Shukri (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) and Rohaini Abdul Karim (Minister for Women, Family and Community Development) from Sarawak.
These names created quite a storm. One comment on my facebook said: “I prefer the present Sarawak CM ( Adenan Satem).”
I do not disagree, but we are talking about the present batch of MPs elected in the 13th GE - before the 14th General Elections - as Adenan Satem is presently not a MP. It is a different ball-game if Parliament is dissolved and new general election held.
I apologise to Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, for not including him in the list as he had supported Najib’s foot-dragging in issuing a forthright statement to reiterate and reaffirm the 58-year-old Barisan Nasional/Alliance stand to defend the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963.
I understand and forgive him for the bitter statement he had issued for being omitted from the list.
Abdul Rahman tried to make capital from my earlier statement in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday that a new post-BN, post-PR political scenario in Sabah could mean a new Chief Minister for Sabah – with Joseph Pairin Kitingan or Salleh Keruak back as CM or Hajiji Noor (Minister for Local Government and Housing) or Masidi Manjum (Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment) as new CM.
Abdul Rahman accused me of being “delusional” and giving PR Sabah leaders “a huge slap” in selecting BN law-makers instead of PR Sabah leaders for the position of Chief Minister in the state, declaring:
“I never thought this statement would come from Lim as it shows that he has no confidence for Pakatan Rakyat in Sabah. Unwittingly, Lim has made a blunder and Pakatan should close shop as it has no more dignity in the state.”
It’s a pity that Abdul Rahman is so incensed at being left out that he did not read what I said at the Kota Kinabalu news conference on the issue yesterday morning about not naming the PKR Sabah leader, Datuk Lam Ukin.
This is what I said:
“Immediately, I was queried why I did not name PKR Sabah leader Datuk Lajim Ukin. It is not because I think Lajim is not qualified to be Sabah Chief Minister, but going by the present configuration in the Sabah State Assembly, it is clearly unlikely that it would be possible to get support for a nominee from PR. If if we go by the results of the 14th GE, then it is a different proposition altogether.”
The scenario will be different at the federal government about a new post-BN, post-PR federal coalition government with the top priority to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law.
This is because the present Barisan Nasional government in Putrajaya is actually a minority government as it is Pakatan Rakyat which has the support of 53% of the national electorate in the 13th General Elections in May 2013.
This is why I said that a new post-BN, post-PR coalition federal government with the top priority to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law can have a Prime Minister from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, can be a man or a woman, and an MP who is presently in BN or PR.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had been the Pakatan Rakyat choice as the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia if PR had succeeded in winning not only a majority of the votes but also a majority of the parliamentary seats.
A new situation will arise if reports are true that the Pardons Board has rejected the pardon petition for Anwar Ibrahim – for it will mean not only a by-election in Permatang Pauh but ruling out Anwar as an immediate Prime Ministerial candidate until he is pardoned.
In such circumstances, who are the Prime Ministerial possibilities in Peninsular Malaysia, bearing in mind that he or she must be one who is committed to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law.
For Umno, the names I can think of include Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad.
From PKR, the Prime Ministerial possibilities from the present batch of MPs will be Nurul Izzah Anwar, Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli.
A post-BN, post-PR new coalition Federal Government must not only defend constitutionalism and the rule of law, it must also foster understanding and unity among the people based on the principle of preserving our common interests.
National unity must reflect a genuine solidarity, understanding and togetherness between the races, cultures and religions. It must promise to rebuild a united multiracial society, where different races can live in peace and harmony.
It would have seven immediate tasks, viz:
i. Focus on efforts to mend the deteriorated relationships between the races and religions.
ii. Consolidate the efforts of all stakeholders in order to restore the good will, mutual respect and trust which have long been practiced by the multi-racial and multi-religious people of Malaysia.
iii. Enact a Race Relations Act to safeguard unity and harmony of the people and to eliminate discrimination between the races.
iv. Generate support from every level of the society so that it can hold fast to all the principles and norms that should be upheld by an open society.
v. Strive to eliminate the practice of racial politics through various means including education, mass media, dialogues and consultations.
vi. Cultivate a Malaysian culture based on moral values and excellence that is accepted by all races. This will require an open attitude towards cultural diversity that is practiced by the various races and ethnic groups in Malaysia. This objective to be achieved whilst taking into consideration the country’s history and evolution.
vii.Improve the welfare of Orang Asli, Orang Asal and other minority groups in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak besides defending their fundamental, economic and social rights.