Call for a new moral and ethical political culture involving Three Noes – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies

I said earlier today at the Penang DAP Chinese New Year Open House that in my 51 years in politics, I have not called anyone anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak, anti-Buddhist, anti-Christian or anti-Hindu as we cannot raise the quality or standards of Malaysian politics by indulging in the triple politics of hatred, fear and lies, as by hurling epithets and falsely attacking opponent of being “anti-Malay” or “anti-non-Malay”, “anti-Muslim” or “anti-non-Muslim”.

For this reason, I call for a new moral and ethical political culture involving Three Noes – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies.

The Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s proposal to make Penang a federal territory violates the “Three Noes” Rule.

Firslty, it violates the No Politics of Fear, as it is designed to create fear that if the people of Penang freely exercises their democratic right to choose the state government they want, they will lose the Penang state as one of the 13 states as provided in Article 1(2) of the Malaysian Constitution, losing the rights to free State Assembly elections, a Penang Chief Minister and a State Executive Council.

Secondly, it runs afoul of the No Politics of Hatred, as it is based on promoting animosities and distrust among the Malay and non-Malay voters in Penang.

Thirdly, it infringes the No Politics of Lies as the idea of making Penang as a Federal Territory is built on the notion that the DAP-led Penang State Government is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and oppresses Malay and Islam in the state.

In actual fact, the 13th General Election results have shown that it is UMNO and Barisan Nasional which is losing out in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Malay voters in Penang; and that in the 14th General Election, the chances of UMNO/BN strengthening their support from Malay voters, not to mention non-Malay voters, are not bright at all.

This is because the Malay voters in Penang know better that UMNO propangandists and cybertroopers outside Penang that the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan State Government has done more for Malays and Islam than previosu adminstrations after the 12th General Elections in March 2008.

This borne out by the following two tables:

Parliament results for Penang

State Assembly results for Penang

In the 2013 General Election, the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat won 30 state assembly seats as compared to 29 seats in the 2008 general election.

DAP not only won all the 19 seats it won in the 2008 general elections, but with a bigger majority in everyone of the 19 seats, with majorities as big as more than 300 per cent as in the case of Chong Eng in the Padang Lalang seat where she won with a 14,930- vote majority as compared to the 4,242-vote DAP majority in 2008 general election; and of over 400% increase as in Padang Kota where Chow Kong Yeow won with 7,196-vote majority as compared to 1,661-vote majority in 2008; in Pulau Tikus where Yap Soo Huey won with a 8,220-vote majority as compared to 1,714-vote majority in 2008 and in Seri Delima where RSN Rayer won with 9,227-vote majority as compared to 2,128-vote majority in 2008.

Equally interesting, UMNO suffered a loss of Malay votes to DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat in Penang, with UMNO losing one seat (Seberang Jaya) where former UMNO Assemblyman Arif Shah Omar Shah who had won the constituency with a majority of 533 votes in 2008 lost to Afif Bahardin (PKR) who won with a thumping majority of 2,459 votes.

Five of the 10 UMNO Penang Assemblymen had the 2008 UMNO majorities slashed, and these five state assembly seats are Sungai Dua, Telok Ayer Tawar, Permatang Berangan, Pinang Tunggal and Bertam. Four other seats were won by UMNO with only three-figure majorities of less than a thousand, namely Teluk Bahang, Pulau Betong, Bayan Lepas and Sungai Acheh.

Will UMNO be able to win all these nine marginal UMNO incumbent seats in the next general elections? This will be known in the 14GE.

Parliament is scheduled to meet thrice this year – the first meeting which will be opened by the new Yang di Pertuan Agong and last for 20 days from 6th March to 6th April; second meeting for 12 days from 24th July to 10th August; and the 2018 budget meeting for 25 days from 23rd October to 30th November 2017.

I expect the March meeting of Parliament to be held, but it is anybody’s guess whether the July meeting and the budget meeting of Parliament in October will be held or whether the 14th General Elections will intervene first.

Recently, a PAS leader accused the DAP of confusing the “consensus” principle with the “majority rule” principle, leading to the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat.

This PAS leader did not appear to know what he is talking about and the DAP National Vice Chairman Teresa Kok had given a powerful rebuttal to which there had been no answer.

Teresa Kok made the very pertinent point that as far as the DAP is concerned, our word is our bond as we stick by our commitments and undertakings.

Unfortunately, this was not the case with PAS under the leadership of its President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang.

The 13th General Election was meant to be a one-to-one fight between the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional.

But this was not the case in five state assembly constituencies, three in Terengganu – Bukit Besi, Seberang Takir and Kota Putera; one in Selangor (Kota Damansara) and one in Penang (Sungai Acheh). There was at least three-cornered fights in these five constituencies, involving both PAS and PKR candidates as the PAS leadership under Hadi reneged on its commitment that these five constituencies should be contested by PKR candidates and not from PAS.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah