Call for new political culture of honest, moral and ethical politics in Malaysia – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies
Thaipusam in Malaysia is a symbol of Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity, which is Malaysia’s greatest asset although there are people who wrongly regard this factor as one of the national ills in the country.
Malaysia can only build a great future and great Malaysian civilization if all races, religions, languages and cultures fully participate and contribute to the Malaysian vision.
In this sense, no one can claim to be a truly Malaysian if he is anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh.
While a Malaysian is a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Dayak, no one can claim to be a Malaysian if he is anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh.
In my 51 years in Malaysian politics, I have never called anyone anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak, or anti-Muslim, anti-Buddhist, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh as I will in fact be challenging his or her very core existence as a Malaysian!
For this reason, on the occasion of 2017 Thaipusam, I call for a new political culture of honest, moral and ethical politics in Malaysia, involving three Noes – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies.
This year is likely to be the election year – which may be why there has recently been an upsurge and escalation of the politics of fear, politics of hatred and politics of lies.
The Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was guilty of breaching the Three Noes Rule, when he proposed making Penang a federal territory, ruled directly by Putrajaya.
Firstly, Adnan violated the No Politics of Fear, as his proposal was 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 State Assembly elections, a Penang Chief Minister and a State Executive Council.
Secondly, it ran 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 infringed the No Politics of Lies as the idea of making Penang as a Federal Territory is built on the lies that the DAP-led Penang State Government is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and oppressed Malays and Islam in the state.
In actual fact, it is UMNO and Barisan Nasional in Penang which are losing voter support, both Malay and non-Malay, as illustrated by the following 13th General Election results:
Three features stand out in these Penang results in the 2008 and 2013 general elections:
Firstly, all the Barisan Nasional parties of UMNO, Gerakan, MCA and MIC have been losing voter support, both Malay and non-Malay, for the two consecutive 12th and 13th General Elections in 2008 and 2013.
In the 2004 GE, for the Penang State Assembly elections, UMNO secured 22% of the votes cast, Gerakan 21.3%, MCA 16.3% and MIC 2.3%, bringingt BN’s total to 61.9% of the total State Assembly votes cast.
In the 2008 and 2013 General Elections, there has been an unchecked decline for Barisan Nasional, with UMNO’s percentage of voter support falling to 17% in 2008 GE to 16.7% in 2013 GE; Gerakan to 12.9% in 2009 and further to 8% in 2013; MCA to 9.1% in 2008 and further down to 6% in 2013; MIC to 1.3% in 2008 and further down to 1.0% in 2013.
Overall, BN’s percentage of voter support in Penang fell from 61.9% in the 2004 GE to 40.3% in 2008 GE to 31.7% in 2013 GE – or less than one third of the votes cast in 2013!
This means that from 2004 GE to 2013 GE, BN’s percentage of total votes cast in the Penang State Assembly elections have been halved, with Gerakan losing the most, forfeiting the support of over 62% of voter support in the 2013 GE as compared to 2004 GE.
In contrast, DAP’s votes cast in the Penang State Assembly elections had increased from 19.8% in 2004 GE to 31.7% in 2008 to 37.3% in 2013; while PKR had increased from 10.5% of the votes cast in 2004 GE to 20.1% in 2008 and 23.4% in 2013 GE. The Opposition’s percentage of the total votes cast increased from 36% in the 2004 GE to 58% in the 2008 GE to 66.6% in 2013 GE.
Secondly, 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.
Thirdly, in the 2013 GE State Assembly results in Penang, 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.
If this trend continues in the 14th General Election, UMNO will lose more state assembly seats and votes, and the question would be how many of the 10 UMNO State Assembly seats could be retained by UMNO in the next general election.
This is why UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers are escalating their triple politics of fear, politics of hatred and politics of lies against the DAP.
The voters in Penang, whether Malay or non-Malay voters, know better than UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers outside Penang that the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan State Government had done more for Malays and non-Malays, Islam and other religions in the state after the 12th General Elections in March 2008 than previous administrations.
We have now the ludicrous situation of a double-faced Barisan Nasional in Penang, where UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers are accusing the Penang-led Pakatan Harapan state government of oppressing the Malays, while Gerakan and MCA are making the very opposite accusation – falsely alleging that the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his Penang State Government are favouring the Malays against the non-Malays.
Only one of the allegations could be right - is it UMNO or MCA/Gerakan?
In actual fact, both allegations are wrong – for the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan State Government helped everyone, regardless of race – and this is why UMNO/BN are continuing to lose voter support in Penang state, from both Malays and non-Malays.
For the sake of multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, are Barisan Nasional leaders whether from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC or the BN component parties from Sabah and Sarawak prepared to agree to a new political culture of honest, moral and ethical politics of Three Noes – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies?
Let us see whether the UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and all Barisan Nasional party leaders dare to respond to this challenge or whether they will just dig deeper to hide their heads in the sand!