UMNO/BN may stay out of Chempaka by-election in Kelantan to create disunity and distrust among Pakatan Rakyat parties while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election

With the five-year jail sentence for Anwar Ibrahim upheld by the Federal Court on the day of infamy of February 10, 2015 (Tuesday), and the passing of Tok Guru Nik Aziz on Thursday night, two by-elections for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh and the Kelantan State Assembly seat of Chempaka are shaping up.

However, the UMNO leadership is already orchestrating a new plot to try to further undermine Pakatan Rakyat and foment disunity and distrust among the PR parties through the ploy of UMNO/BN staying out of the Chempaka by-election in Kelantan while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

UMNO leaders like the Umno Kelantan Chairman Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, the UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and even the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong have been given the “green light” to sound out in public the proposal that UMNO/BN should stay out of the Chempaka by-election, giving all sorts of grand-sounding reasons to camouflage the political design behind such a move.

As I said at the luncheon talk for Dr. Carl Vadivella Belle’s new book “Tragic Orphans – Indians in Malaysia” earlier today, there is an urgent need for a National Reconciliation process regardless of race, religion or political belief, to save Malaysia from becoming a “failed state”, and ensure that no Malaysian end up as a “tragic orphan” in Malaysia in order to counter the rise of extremism, bigotry and intolerance in our society.

Malaysia needs sincerity, honesty, moderation and commitment among our leaders to unite Malaysians in a common cause to develop Malaysia’s great potentials and human talents and not cheap political tricks trying to divide and destabilize Pakatan Rakyat like UMNO staying out of the Chempaka by-election while going all out in the Permatang Pauh by-election.

In the spirit of national reconciliation to pave the way for the coming together of all Malaysians for a common national cause, regardless of race, religion and politics, UMNO/BN should be consistent and stay out of both Chempaka state assembly by-election in Kelantan and the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

I have no doubt that UMNO/BN strategists are burning midnight oil to plan new plots to try to bring about the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat.

We cannot and should not hide the fact that PR is afflicted with our greatest crisis since our formation seven years ago, even more challenging than the first crisis PR faced in September 2011, which nearly led to the end of PR.

PR can only sustain and succeed if we adhere to the two fundamental principles which had been the secrets of the PR success in its first six years – strict adherence to the PR Common Policy Framework which had formed the bedrock common principles of the three component parties in the coalition, and the operational principle of consensus regarding the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council as the highest policy-making body for PR.

If we stay loyal to these two fundamental principles, PR will be able to grow from strength to strength to fulfill the hopes of generations of Malaysians for change and Malaysia’s rendezvous with greatness.

For this reason, when I was in Alor Star on Thursday morning, I proposed a eight-year commitment by the three PR component parties to continue to uphold these two fundamental principles of PR common policy framework and the operational consensus mechanism, and to put aside whatever differences we have for the next eight years, as we had done in the first six years – a Eight-Year Road Map for Pakatan Rakyat.

The eight years is derived from three years to the 14GE from now and the five years after the 14GE, as PR must make a commitment to Malaysians as to the policies we are committed to implement in the five years in government if PR achieve power in Putrajaya after the 14GE.

If the PR component parties of DAP, PKR and PAS are prepared to make this eight-year commitment to forge a common struggle, and to put aside all issues not in consonance with the PR Common Policy Framework and the consensus principle, we would have found the formula to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat is poised for a serious bid for Putrajaya to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of Malaysians for change for the better for the people and nation.

It is most regrettable that I did not have the opportunity to discuss this Eight-Year Pakatan Rakyat Road Map with Nik Aziz as he passed way the same night.

However, I have no doubt that Nik Aziz would not only have given his blessing but his full support, as he is undoubtedly one of the architects of Pakatan Rakyat, without whom Pakatan Rakyat would not have achieved the good results in the 2008 and 2013 General Elections.

It is now for all PR leaders to strive to save Pakatan Rakyat from disunity and disintegration, which will be the greatest tributes to both Anwar and Nik Aziz for their life-long struggle and commitment for justice, freedom, human dignity and national unity.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah