Call on DAP cadres to unite and rally behind the party for Pakatan Harapan to achieve a new high point for Malaysia in the 15th General Election as well as to safeguard the party against external forces which are trying to split and destroy it

I want to make a special call to DAP cadres at all levels and throughout the country to unite and rally behind the party for Pakatan Harapan to achieve a new high point in the 15th General Election as well as to safeguard the party against external forces which are trying to split and destroy it.

This call from Pekan Nenas is particularly meaningful because this “pineapple town” was one of the two state constituencies in Tanjong Piai, and at the end of 2019, the Pakatan Harapan candidate was given a thrashing in the Tanjong Piai by-election.

Pakatan Harapan was crushed in the Tanjong Piai by-election, with the Barisan Nasional candidate winning with a thumping majority of 15,086 votes. BN secured 25,466 votes, Pakatan Harapan 10,380 votes, while Gerakan and Berjasa candidates and another two independent candidates all forfeited their deposits as they failed to secure one-eighth of the total votes cast.

In the 14th General Election on May 9, 2019, the Pakatan Harapan candidate won win a slim majority of 524 votes.

If the trend in the Tanjong Piai by-election in November 2019 continues, DAP will also lose the Pekan Nenas state assembly seat, which DAP won in the 14th General Election with a 1,308-vote majority.

I was in Sekinchan last week. In June 2016, Sekinchan was part of the Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election which was being held simultaneously with the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-election.

In both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections on June 18, 2016, the Pakatan Harapan candidates did badly, and we lost even in the state constituency which the DAP through Ng Suee Lin had won in three terms since 2004.

Pakatan Harapan lost Sungai Besar by-election by 9,696 votes and lost Kuala Kangsar by-election by 6,969 votes.

In June 2006, there was “black despair” among Pakatan Harapan leaders, members and supporters about the 14th General Election as there appeared to be no way for the reversal of the political situation in the country.

But this “political miracle” was performed in less than two years in the 14th General Election, as we succeeded in turning around a seemingly hopeless political situation to effect what many thought to be an impossible and first peaceful and democratic transition of power in the country.

Can we will win back Pekan Nenas state constituency and Tanjong Piai parliamentary constituency in the 15 GE in the way we won back Sekinchan and Sungai Besar in the 14th General Election?

A week later after the Tanjong Piai by-election. I told a youth camp at Janda Baik that if the Tanjong Piai by-election was a harbinger of the 15th General Election, then the Pakatan Harapan government would be a one-term government and would be voted out of Putrajaya in the 15th general election.

But it was toppled less than three months later, lasting only for 22 months, and we have now a backdoor, incompetent, illegitimate and kakistocratic Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

I asked at the time: “But do Malaysians want a return of the politics of race and religion taking to their extremity with both the Malays and non-Malays in fear that their rights, position and future are under unprecedented threat by other communities making the topic of the youth camp, ‘Is the idea of a Malaysian an empty dream?’ a most prescient and relevant one!

“The past week has revealed more about the mendacity and immorality of the previous kleptocratic regime, how the 1MDB audit report prepared for the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee was tampered by the former Prime Minister with the deletion of important information about the 1MDB scandal, like the presence of Jho Low at a meeting of the 1MDB Board of Directors and the financial status of 1MDB or the revelation in the trial of the former Deputy Prime Minister for bribery, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering that not one cent of the RM31 million in a foundation to help the poor was used to help the poor.

“Is this global kleptocracy the type of governance Malaysians want to revert to or would Malaysia become ungovernable and the country’s fate is to be a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state?

“I do not believe so.”

I spoke of three recent events which gave me hope for this belief, that the mission to be a Malaysian and wanting Malaysia to be a better nation – for which I had dedicated over 50 years of my life – was not a lost cause, viz:

  1. The protest by University of Malaya undergraduate, Wong Yan Ker, at the risk of his engineering degree, at the university convocation to make the important point that Malaysia was a land for all Malaysians.
  2. The great selfless deed by National Audit Department officer Nor Salwani Muhammad who in 2016 helped to preserve evidence of tampering of the Auditor-General’s report in the 1MDB scandal.
  3. The 20th anniversary dinner of Malaysiakini celebrating the grit and gumption of a growing band of Malaysian journalists who spoke truth to power for two decades.

This is why Pakatan Harapan wants to win back Pekan Nenas state constituency, the Tanjong Piai parliamentary constituency, the Johore State Government and the Federal Government in Putrajaya in the 15th General Election so that we can fulfil the election pledges of the Pakatan Harapan in the 14th General Election.

I think there is still hope for Malaysian nation-building, to go beyond the toxic politics of race and religion, and the cause to make Malaysia a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity?

However, there is a need to review the modus operandi of Pakatan Harapan and the component parties.

The Pakatan Harapan parties and leaders must develop a Pakatan Harapan mindset and approach to the nation’s problems.

Pakatan Harapan achieved the impossible in carrying out a peaceful and democratic transition of power on May 9, 2018– the first time in six decades – because Pakatan Harapan avoided the extremes of hate and intolerance of the politics of race and religion and catered to the appeals of moderation, tolerance, harmony and Malaysian unity in the centre.

We were confident that those who preached hatred and intolerance belong to a minor fraction of the population while the middle ground of the rational, sane and moderate represent the overwhelming majority of Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

During the 22 months of Pakatan Harapan government, we deviated from the moderate centre, seeking to compete and better those who resort to hatred and intolerance in the politics of race and religion.

As a result, Pakatan Harapan has fallen between two stools – we lost the Malay and non-Malay ground for contradictory and opposite reasons.

Pakatan Harapan must return to the moderate centre and not compete with the advocates of hate and intolerance who are in the margins of society in the politics of race and religion.

We want Pakatan Harapan to succeed to bring to fruition the agenda for a New Malaysia and the fulfilment of the Malaysian Dream where every Malaysian, while retaining their separate multiple identities whether ethnic, religious or cultural, they have a common and overriding Malaysian national identity to build Malaysia into a world-class great nation.

I urge all DAP cadres to unite and rally behind the party for Malaysia to achieve a new high point in the 15th General Election as well as to safeguard the party against external forces which are trying to split and destroy the party.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri