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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pakatan Rakyat’s 3 state targets in next general elections

By Lim Kit Siang

Pakatan Rakyat has three targets for the states in the next general elections, viz:

1) To retain the four Pakatan Rakyat states of Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan;

2) To win back Perak state government which was illegally, unconstitutionally and undemocratically robbed from the people and the Pakatan Rakyat; and

3) To form the state government in the six states of Negri Sembilan, Johore, Malacca, Pahang, Terengganu and Perlis.

The forthcoming 13th General Election will be the battle of the century as at stake will not only be the state governments of all the 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia but federal power in Putrajaya as well.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is fully aware of the highest stakes involved in the next general elections, which is why he is so indecisive on the dates for the national polls, setting off repeated speculations as to when the next general elections would be held.

I think we can rule out the possibility of general elections in the third quarter of this year. The next general elections will be either at the end of this year or next year.

The 13th General Elections will be unprecedented, as it will be the first general election in the nation’s history where the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional under UMNO hegemony, will be facing a life-and-death battle.

In the last 12 general elections from 1959 to 2008, UMNO and the ruling coalition had gone into the hustings with supreme confidence, not only about retaining power but doing so with a great margin of victory.

In fact, there was not a single general election in the past five decades where UMNO had not contested with supreme confidence that it would be able to win power with comfortable two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Until the 308 “political tsunami” of the 2008 general elections when UMNO and Barisan Nasional suffered their worst electoral debacle, losing two-thirds parliamentary majority and clinging precariously to power thanks to the two “fixed deposit” states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Umno and BN will be fighting a “life-and-death” battle in the 13th General Election, not just about whether they can regain two-thirds parliamentary majority lost in 2008, but whether they could be returned to power or would have to occupy the Opposition benches for the first time in their experience.

This is why Najib reminded the Selayang UMNO division today that in a general election there is no such term as runner-up like in other contests, as either UMNO and BN retain power in Putrajaya or they are relegated to the Opposition benches.

This applies to the state elections and the state governments as well.

This is probably the reason why the UMNO and BN leaders are so panicky about the Bersih 2.0 peaceful rally on July 9 for fair, free and clean elections for they fear that Bersih 2.0 will be even more successful manifold than the first Bersih rally in 2007.

Najib is fully aware that a 5% swing in votes in the next general election as compared to the 2008 general election will see a Pakatan Rakyat government in Putrajaya and UMNO and Barisan Nasional taking their places in the parliamentary opposition benches. The same odds apply for the state elections as well.

However, Najib and his election strategists should realise that if the BN government decides to resort to high-handed, repressive and undemocratic measures to use the police to crack down on the peaceful Berish 2.0 rally for free, fair and clean general elections, they may be creating the very conditions which would ensure a 5% swing against UMNO and BN in the next general election – setting the stage for a change of federal power in Putrajaya for the first time in the nation’s history.

* Speech at the Teluk Intan DAP Anniversary Dinner held at San Min School hall, Teluk Intan on Saturday, June 25, 2011

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