Photo Credit: Malaysia Stylo
Nanyang Siang Pau, March, 16th 2017
Recently there’s rumour that the 14 th general election is around the corner and it is
spreading like wildfire. On the 11 th of March the Vice president of UMNO
Hishammuddin disclosed that the election would be held this year. He urged all
levels in UMNO to start the election machinery immediately.
To a veteran party like UMNO, activating the election machinery or operations room
is not a difficult task. Nevertheless whether all levels in UMNO will be united and in
full force supporting UMNO and Barisan Nasional is a question.
In the last 2 general elections the Chinese voters were supporting the Opposition
fully. They were united in the 308 general election; whereas in the 505 election they
believed without any doubts in the call from DAP: “505, change Government”.
However, both the proven facts are that Chinese votes could not be the king-maker.
Today the Chinese voters are beginning to feel disheartened. This phenomenon is a
threat to the Opposition. Thus, Opposition parties in Pakatan Harapan started to
promote the narrative that only if there’s a wind of change in the Malay society, then
there’s hope in toppling the Najib government.
This is the truth that cannot be denied in political reality. From the racial composition
of the voters, if the Malay voters continue to support Barisan Nasional and UMNO,
the change in government is a mission impossible.
On the 14 th of March Pribumi Chairman Dr. Mahathir after holding the Supreme
Council meeting of the party held a press conference. In the press conference he
suggested Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi set up a new organization and vote
under the same logo. Hopefully in doing so, a one to one fight will enable them to
topple Barisan Nasional.
As a fair remark, Mahathir’s suggestion is logical. If the Opposition can use the same
symbol to challenge Barisan Nasional, the chance of changing the government is not
something impossible. However in Mahathir’s speech he did not mention about the
stance of PAS which was still unknown and indecisive.
On 9 th March, Pribumi President Tan Sri Muhyiddin announced that PAS had already
agreed to sit down to discuss the allocation of seats with Pribumi; however Mahathir
did not mention anything about this on the 14 th of March. This shows that there are
still differences between Mahathir and Muhyiddin. It also proves that PAS is the
biggest stumbling block in forming the Opposition alliance.
Earlier PAS was very vocal in objecting working with DAP and Parti Amanah. Under
such scenario how can Pribumi alone discuss allocation of seats with PAS?
Moreover, before there’s any decision on allocation of seats with Pakatan Harapan,
is it appropriate for Pribumi to discuss with PAS on such issues?
Election is imminent but the Opposition still has many differences to be solved.
Earlier many believed that Mahathir would be the best person to negotiate and unite
them all. However, at present the Opposition has too many conflicts of interest and
the road to form a united front is facing a lot of obstacles.
On the other hand, Barisan Nasional is ready and prepared; they are playing a
waiting game. By the 5 th of May this year it will be four years after the 505 general
election. Hence to accuse Barisan Nasional of holding an early election just to
maintain its ruling power is not logical anymore.
For the past 13 general elections, the undivided support from the Malay voters for
Barisan Nasional and UMNO is a solid proof. Unless those Malay-based opposition
parties can organize a strong united alliance in a short time, it is very hard for one to
believe that the Malay voters would forsake their long time guardian of their rights
and interests which is Barisan Nasional and UMNO.