72-Day Countdown to 13GE – Clean Politics of Truth and Justice versus Dirty Politics of Lies and Falsehoods

The relentless day-by-day approach of the 13th general elections has injected not only increasing urgency but also sparked a growing sense of desperation among UMNO/BN propagandists because of the lack of credibility of their propaganda.

While government departments like Department of Special Affairs (Jasa) of the Ministry of Information are being roped in to pump the UMNO/BN propaganda line that UMNO/BN can win the 13GE with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, nobody – not even UMNO/BN leaders – really believe that such an outcome is on the cards in the 13GE.

Malaysian parliamentary democracy will be healthier and more mature if a two-thirds parliamentary majority becomes a virtually impossible goal for any coalition, for this will be the surest safeguard to ensure that there can be no repetition of the bane of UMNO political hegemony imposing the “Listen, listen, listen” political culture on the other political parties in the Barisan Nasional.

In fact, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the top UMNO/BN leadership provide the best proof that they have no confidence that they could improve on their performance in the 2008 general elections, or the 13GE would have long been held already.

Instead Najib has now gone into the history books for being the longest Prime Minister in Malaysia without an elected mandate of his own.

But Najib wants to avoid making another dubious history, of being the first Prime Minister to be voted out of office in the 13GE or even to be another Tun Abdullah of being forced out by Mahathir as Prime Minister after the 13GE because he could not improve on the UMNO/BN results in 2008 and regain two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The 13GE is going to be a toss up for the federal government in Putrajaya could be won either by Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, largely depending on what happens during the election campaign period.

The latest University of Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) polls conducted between Dec. 26 and Jan 11 is most interesting, as it shows that the difference between those who believe BN can beat PR in the 13GE has been slashed from 25% in Dec. 2011 to 5% in January 2013.

Respondents who believe that Pakatan Rakyat can take Putrajaya in the 13GE have steadily climbed from 18% in December 2011 to 21% in April 2012 to 30% in Sept. 2012 and 37% in Jan 2013.

In contrast, respondents who believe that Barisan Nasional can win the 13GE had fluctuated from 43% in Dec. 2011 to 49% in April 2012 to 44% in Sept. 2012 and 42% in Jan 2013.

Respondents undecided or unsure who could win the 13GE fell from 39% in Dec. 2011 to 30 per cent in April 2012 and 26% in Sept 2012 and 21% in Jan 2013.

On this Umcedel scenario, all that is needed for PR to beat BN in the race to Putrajaya in the 13GE is to win over more than five per cent of the undecided or unsure respondents, which stands at 21% in January 2013.

Although Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in Kuching yesterday that Barisan Nasional is confident of retaining “almost all” of the parliamentary seats in the 13GE, the fact is that Sarawak is one the three “deposit states” together with Sabah and Johore where BN could lose more than one-third of the parliamentary seats totaling 83 seats, i.e. PR winning at least 28 seats which would be the “magic number” to effect a change of Federal government in Putrajaya in the 13GE.

With the UMNO/BN leaders and propagandists more and more desperate in the run-up to the 13GE, they will increasingly resort to the politics of lies and falsehoods to incite distrust and hatred against the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat, turning the 13GE into a battle of Pakatan Rakyat’s Clean Politics of Truth and Justice versus UMNO/BN’s Dirty Politics of Lies and Falsehoods.

The recent instances of the politics of lies and falsehoods perpetrated by UMNO/BN propagandists in the social media of facebooks, twitter, blogs and news portals include the following:

  • the wicked lie and falsehood concocted from non-existent interviews/conversations alleging that Irene Chang, the wife of Sarawak DAP Chairman and MP for Sibu, Wong Ho Leng, had attacked the DAP leadership for being heartless over Ho Leng’s undergoing medical treatment for a brain tumour;

  • the lie that I had blamed the government for the tragic death of six-year-old William Yau, when I tweeted: “6yr William Yau’s tragic death – apart from UMNO/BN Ministers/leaders, Msia just not safe even 4children like William!”. I did not accuse anyone for William’s death but pointed out the deplorable fact highlighted by William’s case, that Malaysia has become increasingly unsafe for Malaysians, tourists and investors because of the spike in crime and fear of crime – where only UMNO/BN Ministers/leaders are safe because they have security protection.

  • The lie that I had uttered anti-Malay slogans in the streets in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 1969 causing the May 13 riots of 1969, when I had stated both in Parliament and outside that I was never in Kuala Lumpur whether on May 11, 12 or 13, 1969.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur