Hishammuddin cannot be more wrong when he claimed that Mahathir’s “harping” on Najib was irrelevant as PM not contesting in twin polls

The Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein cannot be more wrong when he dismissed former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s message as irrelevant to the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections because Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak isn’t contesting.

Hishammudin, who was reacting to Mahathir’s visit to Sungai Besar this morning to endorse Parti Amanah Negara’s candidate Azhar Abdul Shukur after the latter signed the Citizens’ Declaration petition calling for Najib’s ouster, said:

“What was raised by Mahathir in his ceramah in Sungai Besar is unrelated.

“I would like to remind that Najib is not contesting in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

“What does issues touching on Najib have to do with Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar?” Hishammuddin told a press conference in Kuala Kangsar earlier today.

I credit Hishammuddin with more intelligence than to believe what he had himself said – which is no more than his defence armour to avoid having to comment on the very relevant and pertinent criticisms by the nation’s longest-serving former Prime Minister against the incumbent Prime Minister.

Let me give an illustration to show the relevance of Mahathir’s message to the twin by-elections:

The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituencies are among the 10th most marginal and most unsafe seats won by UMNO in the 13th general elections although they had been traditional UMNO strongholds since Merdeka, never before lost by UMNO in the past six decades.

However, if on June 18, UMNO/BN loses Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar and they indicate a trend that there will be a 5% fall in voter support for UMNO/BN in the 14th General Election, it would mean that UMNO/BN would lose up to 52 seats, leaving the UMNO/BN coalition with only 81 out of 222 parliamentary seats – evicting UMNO/BN from Putrajaya for the first time in the nation’s history.

If this is the outcome of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-election polling results next Saturday, will the indication of a trend of a 5% voter swing against UMNO/BN in the 14 GE, which would translate into 52-seat loss to the BN coalition with UMNO parliamentary representation further reduced from the present 88 seats to 56 seats and the BN total falling from 133 to 81, be irrelevant to Najib’s future as Prime Minister of Malaysia?

I do not think so as what happened in the two by-elections will be relevant about the future of Najib, UMNO/Barisan Nasional as well as the people of Malaysia!

In fact, a stage may then be set for the toppling of Najib from inside UMNO to save UMNO from a disastrous electoral defeat in the 14th General Election!

How then can Hishammuddin say that the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections have nothing to do with Najib, when they will be intimately involved to the issue as to whether Najib should step down and resign as Prime Minister or to cling on to power in Putrajaya.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah