14 Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – My chances in Gelang Patah have risen as a result of use of Rocket symbol but still an adverse 45:55 in favour of Ghani

The 13GE has proved to be the most historic of all general elections in the nation's history, chalking up several new records on Nomination Day yesterday in including:

  • No parliamentary or state seat returned unopposed – first time in history;

  • A total of 1,900 candidates contesting parliamentary and state seats, highest ever;

  • 270 independents contesting, highest in history;

  • 132 parliamentary and 320 state seats see straight fights;

  • 90-multi-cornered fights for parliamentary seats and 185 for state seats;

  • A seven-cornered fight in a parliamentary and state state seat; and

  • There are 1,732 male and 168 female candidates contesting.

But the most historic dimension of the 13GE is that for the first time in the nation's 56-year history, there could be a democratic transition of power with the establishment of a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government in Putrajaya, ending the 56-year rule of Umno/BN with Datuk Sdri Najib Razak as the last Umno/BN Prime Minister as predicted by the RAHMAN prophecy.

The first day of the 13GE has also highlighted certain political realities in Malaysian politics of 2013:

  • Firstly, the unchecked rise and rise of Tun Mahathir in the UMNO/BN power structure as to assume the position of the de facto UMNO/BN supreme leader, even more powerful than the caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

  • When Mahathir expressed his desire that the Perkasa Chief Ibrahim Ali be made an UMNO candidate, on the ground that “the country would be saved if there were more people like Ibrahim Ali”, Najib dared not disregard Mahathir's writ and yet dared not officially endorse Ibrahim as an UMNO candidate.

  • Instead an unworthy and dishonourable stratagem was devised whereby the official UMNO candidate for Pasir Mas did not file his nomination papers, paving the way for a straight fight between Ibrahim and the PAS candidate – first time in UMNO history where the chosen UMNO candidate withdraws his candidacy on Nomination Day.

  • Equally shocking is the UMNO endorsement of Zulkifli Noordin as to name him an official BN candidate for Shah Alam, although Zulkifli is well-known as an unprincipled and unscrupulous politician who is the worst example of a gutter politician retailing lies and falsehoods to irresponsibly play the race and religion cards to incite communal distrust and hatred in the country.

  • Secondly, the total irrelevance of MCA and other component parties in BN, even worse than five years ago in 2008.

Dare the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek protest against the BN candidacy of Zulkifli Nordin as well as the dishonourable stratagem where BN's candidate for Pasir Mas did not file his nomination papers to allow Ibrahim Ali to have a one-to-one fight against Pakatan Rakyat?

Is Chua prepared to tell Mahathir that the former premier was very wrong to declare publicly that Malaysia would be saved if there were more people like Ibrahim Ali, when the opposite is true, i.e. if there were more people like Ibrahim Ali, this country is doomed!

The past week has furnished spectacular examples of the virtual irrelevance of MCA in Malaysian politics, failing both to defend the interests of the Chinese in Malaysia as well as that of all Malaysians, which is why the country is plagued with so many problems from corruption, cronyism, gross abuses of power, violation of democracy and human rights, shocking decline in educational standards and the country's international competitiveness, worsening racial and religious polarisation, etc.

The MCA surrender of its fortress, GelangPatah, to UMNO and the surrender of the ultimate right of the MCA President on who should be the MCA candidates in elections (succumbing to the new UMNO principle of “winnability” of a candidate even if it means the dropping of MCA President from the BN candidature list) is the last straw to break the camel's back as far as the final irrelevance of MCA in the UMNO/BN scheme of things is concerned.

Yesterday, Mahathir was on the campaign trail in Kedah as the No. 1 UMNO campaigner in Malaysia (relegating Najib to second place) purportedly urging the people of Kedah to “Return to BN” when in actual fact, what the former Prime Minister meant was “Return to Mahathir”!

The 13GE has shaped up as a double referendum on the 22 years of Mahathir premiership from 1981 – 2003 and Najib's four-year premiership on probation from 2009 – 2013.

The 13GE is a battle of the inclusive politics of the future based on Malaysian nationalism and patriotism for all Malaysians versus the communal politics of the past based on the British “divide and rule” formula, keeping the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans divided and separate, so that they are easy victims of the politics of lies, falsehoods and irresponsible playing of the race and religion cards. Pakatan Rakyat offers hope and the Malaysian Dream while Barisan Nasional stands for the politics of the past and “more of the same” of the rampant corruption, cronyism, uses of power, violation of human rights and lack of good governance.

Finally, my chances in Gelang Patah have risen as a result of use of Rocket symbol but it is still an adverse 45:55 in favour of Ghani.

Whether I can reverse the odds in the next 14 days of campaigning will only be known on Polling Day on May 5, but let me reiterate my invitation to Ghani to join me in making Gelang Patah an example for the whole country of clean, free and fair general elections in 13GE where there will be no lies and falsehoods, character-assassinations, money politics or playing of the race and religion cards to sow racial and religious distrust and hatred.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur