In 1990, Barisan Nasional won 53% of the votes and 70% of the seats while the PAS-Semangat-DAP loose alliance won 40% of the votes and 20% of the seats. That was a wake-up call for both Umno and DAP and they realised that the Malays decide who forms the government. So, if Umno wants to continue to rule, it must continue to gain Malay support. And if DAP wants to form the government, it needs to do so through the Malays. DAP, on its own, without the Malays, cannot go anywhere. The Ali Baba Syndrome, which is part of Malaysia’s corporate culture, must now extend to politics as well.
Malaysia’s 14th General Election is going to be held on 9th May 2018. But this is actually Umno’s and PAS’s 15th election (plus for MCA and MIC as well). The first election was held on 27th July 1955 when Umno won 34 seats, MCA 15, MIC two and PAS (that time called PMIP) just one. Even then the Alliance Party of Umno, MCA and MIC won just 81% of the votes but almost 100% of the seats (or 51 seats out of 52).
Two days after the upcoming GE14 of 9th May 2018, which is 11th May, Umno will be celebrating the 72nd Anniversary of its founding on 11th May 1946.
The reality of Malaysian politics from the very beginning is it has always been the Umno-led coalition versus PAS. In 1959, the Alliance won 51% of the votes and 71% of the seats, versus PAS that won 21% of the votes and 12% of the seats.
In 1963, Malaysia was formed and in the 1964 General Election the Alliance won 58% of the votes and 85% of the seats while PAS won 15% of the votes and 9% of the seats. The Socialist Front did better than PAS with 16% of the votes but won just 2% of the seats.
Hence, in short, Malaysian politics has always been a ‘Malay game’ between an Umno-led coalition and PAS, with the other non-Malay parties merely playing a ‘supporting role’.
GE14 is basically between BN, PKR and PAS
It was not until Singapore separated from Malaysia on 9th August 1965 — and when Singapore was transformed into a Chinese-led Island State — that Malaysian politics began to change. Three months later, on 11th October 1965, the PAP government of Singapore formed DAP, with a view to turn the ‘Chinese states’ of Penang, Perak and Selangor, and maybe even Johor, into part of the ‘Chinese Sphere of Influence’.
PAP was not interested in the Malay heartland or what can be considered the ‘poor states’. Penang, Perak, Selangor and Johor controlled 90% of Malaysia’s economy. So, with Penang, Perak, Selangor and Johor as part of Singapore’s ‘Chinese Sphere of Influence’, that more or less gives the Chinese control of both Malaysia and Singapore.
However, before that can happen, they will need to demolish Malay political domination because the results of the previous elections have shown that whoever controls the Malay votes controls Malaysia.
Four years later, in the May 1969 general election, which was DAP’s first outing since it was formed in 1965, the ‘Chinese Sphere of Influence’ dream almost happened when the Alliance Party won only 44% of the votes and scraped through with just 51% of the seats.
1969 proved that you need to destroy Malay political domination if you want to rule Malaysia because even with less than 50% of the votes you can still form the government — as long as those votes are Malay votes from the Malay heartland.
In 1990, DAP ‘flirted’ with Semangat 46, which had an alliance with PAS, just to test the waters. By then it was no longer the Alliance Party but Barisan Nasional, which was formed in 1973. Barisan Nasional won 53% of the votes and 70% of the seats while the PAS-Semangat-DAP loose alliance won 40% of the votes and 20% of the seats.
That was a wake-up call for both Umno and DAP and they realised that the Malays decide who forms the government. So, if Umno wants to continue to rule, it must continue to gain Malay support. And if DAP wants to form the government, it needs to do so through the Malays. DAP, on its own, without the Malays, cannot go anywhere. The Ali Baba Syndrome, which is part of Malaysia’s corporate culture, must now extend to politics as well.
DAP’s use of the PKR Mata Lebam logo is to trick the Malays into voting for them because without a Malay Tsunami DAP can never get into power
And that is why GE14 is going to be the most important election in Malaysia’s 63 years history of elections. For the first time in history, the Chinese are united (according to DAP 90% of the Chinese are behind them) while the Malays are badly fragmented into Umno, PAS, PPBM, PKR, PAN and few other splinter parties.
If the Umno-led Barisan Nasional is ever going to be ousted it has to be now. If on 9th May 2018 it does not happen, then it is never going to happen for a long time to come. The 9th May General Election is not about Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s political survival, as some are saying. It is about Malay political survival. And this is what DAP does not want the Malays to realise.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is trying to give an impression that GE14 is a Mahathir-Najib contest. In reality it is an Umno-DAP contest. If Mahathir says it is about ousting Najib because of his criminality and to save Malaysia, it sounds noble and the Malays would buy into this. But if he says it is about ousting Umno to replace it with DAP, Mahathir will be faced with a Malay uprising.
Actually, Mahathir and Pakatan Harapan are telling Malaysians two different stories. To the Malays, they say it is about ousting Najib to save Umno. If Umno falls then Malay political power would end. So they need to save Umno — and for that to happen Najib must be ousted.
To the Chinese, they say for Malay political power to end, and for DAP to take over, they must oust Umno. And for that to happen they need to get the Malays to vote for Pakatan Harapan because political power rests in the hands of the Malays.
DAP has to hard-sell the PKR Mata Lebam logo to their Chinese supporters
And that is why DAP’s rocket must be laid to rest (dikuburkan) and not appear in GE14 because the rocket is associated and identified with PAP, Singapore, Chinese political domination, and so on. And to gain Malay support, the rocket is being replaced with the mata, PKR’s symbol of Anwar’s Mata Lebam or black-eye.
So that brings us to Nomination Day 16 days from now on 28th April 2018. DAP, PKR, PPBM and PAN will all be contesting under PKR’s Mata Lebam symbol (ironically, Mahathir included). For all the Barisan Nasional candidates, Najib will be signing the Surat Watikah. For the PKR candidates (meaning DAP, PPBM and PAN as well) Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will sign their Surat Watikah. And Abdul Hadi Awang will sign the Surat Watikah for the PAS candidates, of course.
While for Barisan Nasional and PAS it is pretty straightforward, for the ‘PKR’ candidates it becomes complicated. Wan Azizah is not Pakatan Harapan’s leader. She is PKR’s President. She is also not the Prime Minister-in-waiting or Calun PM. But the ‘power’ to nominate the candidates and to sign their Surat Watikah is in her hands.
Legally, all the candidates contesting the election under PKR’s symbol and with PKR’s Surat Watikah are PKR candidates. They are not Pakatan Harapan, DAP, PPBM or PAN candidates. In fact, Pakatan Harapan does not even legally exist. So, will it be Mahathir — who is not a member of any political party (since PPBM has been deregistered) and hence is a Calum Bebas (independent candidate) — who is going to be the Prime Minister if ‘PKR’ wins the most number of seats in Parliament?
Technically, it will be PKR’s President, Wan Azizah, who decides who becomes Prime Minister since her party won the most number of seats.
Can Pakatan Harapan protest? Pakatan does not exist. Can PPBM protest? PPBM no longer exists. Can DAP protest? DAP did not contest the general election. Can PAN protest? PAN will not be winning any seats so it will have no locus standi to protest. Only PKR’s Team B faction of Azmin Ali can protest if he and his people do not get wiped out in the general election like what Wan Azizah is planning to happen (yes, do not underestimate the Fan Lady).
As Wan Azizah confessed in August 2014, she does not mind being a puppet
This is a very risky arrangement for both DAP and PPBM. Their only hope is that Wan Azizah and/or PKR do not do a legal coup d’état. If DAP and PPBM protest and decide to ‘resign’ from PKR, PKR can still do a deal with the DAP, PPBM and PAN dissidents — and there will be many. At the end of the day the DAP, PPBM and PAN wakil rakyat will be asked to choose to remain in power or resign and get sent back to the opposition. Most would choose PKR to a dead-end career.
Alternatively, DAP can agree that Wan Azizah instead of Mahathir becomes Prime Minister. However, with the largest number of seats, it will be just like Perak in 2008 when DAP appointed the PAS Menteri Besar who serves DAP and answers to DAP. It will be back to an Ali Baba arrangement with DAP as the de facto Prime Minister and Wan Azizah as DAP’s puppet-on-a-string.
DAP knows Mahathir cannot become Prime Minister. The issue of the deregistration of PPBM and the negligible number of seats is one issue. More importantly is Mahathir’s physical and mental health. Mahathir was recently admitted into hospital — so that is 48 times in three years. On top of that Mahathir has a serious memory problem and is not able to focus. Some say Mahathir is inconsistent and keeps doing U-turns. The truth is he forgets what he said and did. And how can a Prime Minister be working 4-3 when other leaders work 24-7?