Article by Chris Lee Chun Kit (MBPP Councillor/DAP) in George Town, Penang on Sunday, 4th March 2018 on multi-cornered battles in GE14
The coming 14th General Elections is gearing to be a battle royale of epic proportions with the Barisan Nasional facing their biggest challenge in the form of a strong united front called Pakatan Harapan. Even with the advantage of incumbency along with the might of the government machinery at their fingertips, they are still very concerned that PH might very well form the next federal government of Malaysia.
Since the day the results were announced at the 13th General Elections in 2013, the BN knew that their days in power were numbered. They had stolen the elections through gerrymandering even though they had lost the popular vote. Losing the popular vote was a strong indication that Malaysians of all ethnicities had chosen to reject the BN system. So in a logical person’s mind, the next step the BN should be taking would be reform and try to win back the people’s support right?
Wrong! BN leadership had no intentions whatsoever to change. They are too used to the luxury of continuously milking the country’s resources dry for their own benefit to even consider living more humbly. Even with the international headlines of the excesses of the 1MDB scandal staring them in their faces, they would rather grow thick skins in order to maintain their luxurious lifestyles.
Therefore, instead of reforming themselves, they went for the next best option which is to further divide Malaysians in order to stay in power. After GE13, all mentions and media promotion of the 1Malaysia campaign came to almost a complete halt. They knew that Malaysians as a united unit would rather kick them out of office than keep them in office. It was time to go back to the age old colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’.
First was pulling PAS out of the opposition coalition. Then using that to further highlight the differences in Malaysians. Then they went ahead to set up and fund new parties as well as to take over many minor existing parties in order to get them to contest the next elections. Curiously they claim these parties have nothing to do with the BN and are neutral yet their political attacks are constantly concentrated on PH exclusively. Curious as well that the sudden emergence of these parties are accompanied by the fact that they don’t seem to ever have to do any fundraisers even though established major parties in PH have to constantly have fundraisers despite being in power in Penang and Selangor. Where was their money coming from?
So with no need of fundraisers and seemingly already filled with resources, these small ‘spoiler’ parties will be forcing multi-cornered contests in many constituencies throughout the country. The gameplan? Simple, dilute opposition votes in order to allow the BN candidate to gain a majority and steal the seat. These small parties will go to town and claim to be the true “voice of the people” and say whatever needs to be said to steal votes from the PH coalition. Democracy? BN is about winning by hook … or by crook.
BN is terrified of a one on one fight knowing full well that Malaysians as a united front will reject them so they choose to divide Malaysians through as many petty differences as they can find to steal the elections. They also know full well that this ‘social engineering’ of dividing Malaysians will have consequences in nation building but what do they care? Between their wealth and their country, where do you think their priorities lie?
Therefore this elections, Malaysians must stand united behind Pakatan Harapan to unseat the Barisan Nasional not just to remove their leaders but to remove their system of governance. That is the only way to establish the long sought after two-party system that our country needs.
A multi-party system can only exist after a two-party system has been established. It is the natural evolution of politics. The current existence of these small ‘spoiler’ parties that only attack PH administrations are not to create a multi-party system but to return the country to a one-party authoritarian rule. That is the political reality and the reason that we have to stay focused.
‘Divide and rule’ has kept the BN in power since independence, and should they steal the coming elections, further divisions will occur. Kleptocrats will never change so long as the formula keeps them in power. And they will sit comfortably while our future is destroyed.
This elections, stand united with us, stay focused with us, be a part of this movement to save Malaysia. Remember the BN fears Malaysians standing as a united front, for they know that it would be the end of their kleptocratic rule.
Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Councillor with the City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) representing the DAP