Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 13th July 2009:
Pas win with bigger majority in Manek Urai by-election will be a clear and unmistakable signal to Najib that his Hundred Day performance and goodies are just not good enough and people expect meaningful reforms in his next 100 Days
I just returned from Manek Urai in Kelantan where I attended the last Pakatan Rakyat ceramah at Kampong Perial last night, which saw a record ceramah crowd for the by-election campaign.
The prognosis is most favourable and a Pas win with bigger majority in Manek Urai by-election than the general elections last year will be a clear and unmistakable signal to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in two senses:
The voters of Manek Urai have a historic mission tomorrow. In the 1978 general elections, when PAS was nearly smashed to smithereens by Umno winning only two State Assembly seats in Kelantan after Pas was thrown out of Barisan Nasional and a period of emergency rule, Manek Urai was one of the two.
In 1978, the voters of Manek Urai were the “saviours” of PAS but tomorrow, the voters of Manek Urai have the mission to be the “saviours” of Malaysia in paving the way for another historic political tsunami in the next general elections for the ending of Umno political hegemony and Barisan Nasional rule at the national level.
Najib’s absence in the Manek Urai by-election is most significant for it is a barometer of Umno’s lack of confidence that it could win in Manek Urai despite the Umno and Barisan Nasional’s politics of 3M – money, mass media and (Federal government) machinery.
If Umno has the possibility of winning the Manek Urai by-election, Najib would have been in the forefront of the Umno by-election campaign in Manek Urai.
It is most regrettable that the Umno and Barisan Nasional by-election commander-in-chief Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had resorted to the old politics of money, inducements and ransom to win voters in Manek Urai when he should be spearheading the new politics of ideas.
As reported by the Star report “Golden offer to voters”, Muhyiddin offered “a new deal to turn Manek Urai into a new development area in Kelantan provided Barisan Nasional wins tomorrow’s by-election”.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the “offer” was not confined to physical development but would also encompass the social and economic well-being of the people.
Muhyiddin said a bridge, estimated to cost between RM7 mil and RM10 mil, would be built to connect the old and new sections of Kampung Manek Urai, which were separated by a river.
Muhyiddin said Manek Urai would be considered “a golden area” of choice by the Barisan Nasional federal government for development of commercial farming of oil palm, rubber, vegetables and other crops – on the condition that Barisan won the by-election.
If this is not the old corrupt politics of bribery and buy-and-sell votes, I do not know what is. It is most deplorable that in the new era of integrity, the new Deputy Prime Minister should resort to such disreputable methods of electioneering.
Muhyiddin should have set a good example of new politics by telling the voters of Manek Urai that regardless of whether Umno wins or loses in the by-election, the Barisan Nasional federal government would respect the right to development of the people in Manek Urai and would build a new bridge for the area.
Muhyiddin may have even violated the laws, both electoral and MACC – but nobody believes that we have the institutional independence in the country for impartial investigations and actions to be taken.
At the minimum, Muhyiddin should publicly apologise for resorting to such old politics of electoral corruption.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor