Current Affairs

Political momentum can be restored in Selangor from lessons learnt in MB crisis

By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah

lim kit siang pkr selangorThe latest University Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) polls on the rebound of public support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Selangor is confirmation that Pakatan Rakyat can restore political momentum provided it can learn the right lessons from the self-inflicted wounds in the eight-month-long Selangor Mentri Besar crisis.

The survey was conducted three days after Mohamed Azmin Ali was sworn in as the new Selangor Mentri Besar from Sept. 26 to 28, polling 1,165 respondents in all 22 Parliamentary constituencies in Selangor and covering all races.

It showed that PR’s support in Selangor had rebounded to 43%, after taking a beating five months ago when PR’s support in the state nosedived to 35% in a survey conducted from May 10 to 19 – a 15% fall from 50% recorded in September 2012 in an earlier UMcedel survey.

The rebound in public support for PR in Selangor to 43% would have been even more significant than just jumping eight percentage from 35% as public frustration and disillusionment with PR in Selangor would have plummeted to lower than the 35% registered in May, especially in the months from July to September which saw the greatest heights in public disenchantment with PR in Selangor until the resolution of the crisis.

Indisputably, the rebound in support for PR in Selangor would have gone through double-digit percentage points.

As I had said, the saving grace of the worst PR crisis and haemorrhage in its six-year existence – the PR Selangor crisis – is that the Selangor Barisan Nasional/UMNO was too weak to be able to exploit it to its advantage, as they have no confidence whatsoever that they stood any chance of winning back the Selangor state government if a Selangor state general election was held.

This is fully borne out by the two surveys of UMcedel in May and September, which showed BN support plunging from a lowly 25% in May to another drop of five percentage points in September.

The September UMcedel survey found that 28% were unsure about both coalitions.

It also revealed that 48% of those polled said they wanted PAS to remain in PR while only 19% wanted the Islamist party to break away and another 22% were unsure.

The two recent UMcedel surveys have confirmed the changed political landscape in the country where UMNO/BN represents the discredited politics of the past while Pakatan Rakyat stands for the new future politics of hope and justice struggling to be born.

Pakatan Rakyat will continue to be relevant to the hopes and expectations of Malaysians for a better tomorrow if PR component parties and leaders can regain their bearings and reaffirm the two basic principles of PR which had fired the imagination of 52% of the electorate transcending race, religion or region – the PR common policy framework and the operational principle of consensus among the three PR component parties.

The reaffirmation of these two basic principles of PR will take the coalition to greater heights while their denial will despatch PR to the dustbin of history.

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