By Lim Kit Siang, DAP Gelang Patah MP and DAP Parliamentary Leader
Events are unfolding at rapid pace in UMNO over the ability of Najib Abdul Razak to survive as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister and UMNO President.
I have read the blog by former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim about a top secret meeting in Milan between Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and several UMNO bigwigs to discuss the former’s possible takeover as Prime Minister, but Zaid admitted that this information was unverified and he did not know how reliable was his source.
But what is certain is that Najib has declared war on former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who had asked Najib to resign as Prime Minister on the ground that UMNO/BN will lose the next polls under Najib, as the Prime Minister had for the first time made a fighting speech in Tawau in Sabah vis-à-vis Mahathir’s attacks on him.
All this raises the question, whether UMNO/BN could be toppled in the next 14th General Elections.
The answer is a categorical and a positive “Yes”, as the results of the 13th General elections in 2013 have not only showed that the Najib Federal Government is just a minority government with 47% of the national vote, but seven State Governments in Peninsular Malaysia, namely Terengganu, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang and Johor could change hands in the next general elections, as the UMNO/BN has secured less than 55% of the total state votes cast in the last general elections – Perak (45%), Kedah (50%), Terengganu (51%), Negri Sembilan (52%), Melaka (53%), Pahang (54%) and Johor (54%).
However, this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to topple UMNO/BN as Federal Government and seven State Governments in Terengganu, Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor could only be achieved if Pakatan Rakat (PR) can continue to grow from strength to strength with increasing and widening support and confidence from the voters in Malaysia.
But all these opportunities may be lost if Pakatan Rakyat cannot even survive next month!
I will not be able to answer the question whether there will be a Pakatan Rakyat a month from today – and this is an indication of the crisis Pakatan Rakyat is facing in its seven-year history after achieving the most astounding results in the 13th General Elections, denying the UMNO/BN coalition the majority vote the first time in Malaysian electoral history.
I am still hoping that Pakatan Rakyat can remain as a political force to be reckoned with provided all the Pakatan Rakyat component parties remain true, sincere and faithful to the PR Common Policy Framework as well as the PR consensus operational principle that no one political leader or single political party can make or veto any decision arrived collectively by consensus of all three PR parties.
The Pakatan Rakyat stalemate and crisis have arisen not because of hudud but because of PAS leadership’s failure to abide by the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR consensus operational principle, and unless both these principles can be restored, it is impossible for PR to continue to be a political alternative to Barisan Nasional and a political force to be reckoned with, as both the credibility and legitimacy of Pakatan Rakyat would have been severely damaged.
The greatest political challenge facing Malaysians today is whether we can build on the momentum created by Pakatan Rakyat in the past seven years, based on the PR Common Policy Framework, to continue to hold high an inclusive policy which is capable of uniting and mobilising Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region to achieve our Malaysian Dream of a united, free, just, harmonious and progressive society for all – starting with the toppling of the UMNO/BN Government in Putrajaya and in the seven states of Terengganu, Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor in the 14GE.
(This is an excerpt of Lim Kit Siang’s speech at the “Kukuhkan Pakatan, Hancurkan Barisan” ceramah perdana at Padang Perdana, Kota Bahru on Sunday, May 10. For his full speech, go here.)