By Lim Kit Siang
Based on present redelineation, the Battle for Putrajaya in the 14GE will depend on the outcome in 80 marginal seats – 51 presently held by Barisan Nasional and 29 from Pakatan Rakyat.
Taking more than 55 per cent vote secured in the 13GE as a “safe” seat, BN has 82 safe seats while Pakatan Rakyat has 60 safe seats.
In the 13GE, Pakatan Rakyat won the popular vote but robbed of Putrajaya as Barisan Nasional is the federal government with the majority of seats – 89 for Pakatan Rakyat as against BN’s 133 seats.
If Pakatan Rakyat had won another 23 seats in the 13GE, PR would have the simple majority of 112 out of 222 seats.
In the 14GE, apart from retaining all our 89 parliamentary seats, Pakatan Rakyat should not just aim at winning 23 of the 51 BN marginal seats, but should aim to double this target to win over 46 out of the 51 BN marginal seats so that the Pakatan Rakyat can win a total of 135 out of 222 parliamentary seats with a parliamentary majority of 48 – with the seats evenly distributed among the three Pakatan Rakyat parties, i.e. PKR, PAS and DAP each having 45 parliamentary seats.
At present, DAP has 38, PKR 30 and PAS 21 MPs. This means DAP has to win another seven parliamentary seats, PKR another 15 and PAS another 24.
I do not think this is too tall an order, considering that PAS had won 27 parliamentary seats in 1999 general elections – when the Barisan Alternative was first formed – and PAS almost quadrupled its previous parliamentary score of seven MPs in the 1995 general elections.
PAS would not need to quadruple or increase four-fold its parliamentary numbers in the 14GE to increase from 21 parliamentary seats in the 13GE to 45 parliamentary seats in the 14GE.
The performance of the Pakatan Rakyat parties in the 2008 and 2013 GEs have shown that the three component parties have their basic strengths and if we are prepared to persevere in a common patriotic cause to save the country from corruption, cronyism, abuses of power and exploitation of the poor and the downtrodden regardless of race, religion or region, extremism and intolerance and put in place good governance, public integrity, accountability, respect for democracy and human rights, moderation and tolerance, we have no reason to be pessimistic about the future of the country or the outcome of the 14GE.
Last Thursday, the country’s former top diplomat Tan Sri Razali Ismail warned that Malaysia will lose its competitive economic edge if its politics continue to cater to racial and racial extremes, as his international friends have of late started to question the divisive goings-on in the country.
He cannot be more right and the rhetoric and politics of extremism and intolerance have never been so rancorous and polarising in the nation’s history than in the past six months after the 13GE despite the Prime Minister’s talk of national reconciliation and his promotion of the Global Movement of Moderates.
The battle for the 14GE has started and concerns have rightly been expressed that taxpayers money will be raided for the Umno/BN war chests to fund a cyberwar via the social media against the Pakatan Rakyat.
Even after the 13GE on May 5, the cyberwar against the Pakatan Rakyat parties have not abated. I was recently accused of being part of the “Illuminati”, the so-called secret global organisation of the most powerful and influential elite to exercise political and economic control of the world. After the allegation in the Umno cyberblogs, I have to search the Internet to learn about the so-called Illuminati conspiracy.
Recently, a Malay woman came up to me at a local airport when I waiting for my luggage, extending her apologies to me. I was taken by surprise and I asked her what it was all about. She said that for the first 18 years of her life, she hated me as a racist and an evil person as all that she had learnt about me was that I was anti-Malay and anti-Islam, but when she entered society and have access to information on the Internet, she found that what she had learnt about me were completely untrue.
This episode should be a source of inspiration for all of us, whether in DAP, PKR or PAS, who are targets of vicious lies and falsehoods seeking to divide and split the PR parties and leaders.
The information revolution will help Pakatan Rakyat to liberate minds which Umno/BN propagandists and cybertroopers are seeking to poison and imprison.
What is important is that Pakatan Rakyat parties must stay the political and electoral course until we succeed in bringing about political change for Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or class to achieve the common Malaysian Dream – a Malaysia for all Malaysians where there is democracy, good governance and socio-economic justice and where every Malaysian can achieve his or her fullest potential for the collective good and greatness of the nation.
(Speech at the Pakatan Rakyat fund-raising dinner at Empire Hotel Ballroom, Subang Jaya at 9.30 pm)