"DAP and Pakatan Rakyat offer to co-operate and work closely with UMNO and Barisan Nasional to ensure that there will be no repeat of May 13 in the next general election, and Malaysians are entitled to ask how there could be a repeat of the May 13 tragedy if both political coalitions - Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat - sincerely pledge to work together in the national interest to prevent any such recurrence?" -- Lim Kit Siang
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Have you read these pieces yet?
Now read (below) what Lim Kit Siang said in his speech last night.
It is very interesting to note that these people are saying what I had been saying over the last four years since 2008. The only problem is I said all this BEFORE the fact. Hence not many people listened because most people are basically hard at hearing (hence the title of my article today). Others are now saying the same thing. But they are saying it AFTER the fact -- hindsight as opposed to foresight.
Furthermore, it all depends on who is saying it. If that person who says it is your friend or someone you can agree with then you will listen. If not you will reject what he or she says. You will regard is as mere speculation and rumour mongering.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says, “Melayu mudah lupa.” I say, “Malaysians, not just Melayu, mudah lupa.” Anyway, it does not matter. I also love to say, “I told you so.” And I have said before that it may take five years or more, but eventually what I say gets proven as fact. And today we are seeing that happen.
Okay, what was it that I said over the last four years since 2008?
First, I said that Dr Mahathir is the de facto Prime Minister and that he will be guiding the outcome of Malaysian politics. Hence if you want to strategise you must understand how Dr Mahathir thinks. Whatever you may think of Dr Mahathir, you must acknowledge one very basic fact, he is a very shrewd political strategist. And he has the ability to move things from behind the scenes without his hands being seen.
Pakatan Rakyat’s focus, however, is on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. That, to me, is the wrong target. Pakatan Rakyat is trying to outthink Najib. But it is not Najib who you must outthink. You have to outthink Dr Mahathir. And to outthink Dr Mahathir you must first of all know what is in his mind. And unless you ‘work’ with Dr Mahathir how in heaven’s name are you going to be able to outthink him?
And this is the bone of contention that Matthias Chang raised in the few articles that he wrote whacking me. I know many of you refuse to read what Matthias writes because you consider him a Dr Mahathir stooge. But if you do not read what he writes how would you know how he thinks?
Basically, what Matthias said was that it was dangerous for Ummo to trust me and that I am a Trojan horse. He did not mean I am an Umno Trojan horse in the opposition. He meant it the other way around. He also said that I am raising racial issues by talking about the ‘Three Rs’ -- race, religion and royalty. Matthias was quite pissed about that.
Last year I gave the members of Friends of Pakatan Rakyat in London a taklimat (briefing) at the home of one of the members. I laid out my strategy and explained what I am up to. Unfortunately they rejected what I said and declared me an enemy of Pakatan Rakyat.
I can understand they too would be hard at hearing because most of them are new kids on the block and became politically active only since 2007-2008. Hence they do not have a proper comprehension of politics like those of us who have been in the game from more than 35 years since the 1970s. So today I have no more links with Friends of Pakatan Rakyat, not that this was my choosing.
Anyway, back in 2008, I brought some non-Malay friends to attend a couple of Umno functions so that they can hear for themselves what was being discussed. At that time the Prime Minister was Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
At first these people did not want to go. They did not understand why I was inviting them to an Umno event. In the end they went and thereafter understood why I had wanted them to go.
Two very important points were raised amongst the many issues discussed. One was that the March 2008 General Election was a repeat of the May 1969 General Election. Hence they will need to apply the May 1969 ‘formula’ to solve the election ‘disaster’ of March 2008.
Now, what do you think this means? Then they explained how they addressed the May 1969 election disaster -- such as the strategies they adopted to get back Malay political power lost to the non-Malays.
Okay, one very important point of concern, at least to me although no one else shares these concerns, is that some of the people who spoke at these events are now in Pakatan Rakyat. My concern is that those who spoke and said they need a May 1969 ‘solution’ are now in the opposition. Are these people Trojan horses? Why is Anwar Ibrahim courting them and is trying to entice them into Pakatan Rakyat?
This I am very worried about.
Then Perkasa was created. Do you think Perkasa was an ‘independent exercise’ and has nothing to do with the May 1969 solution discussed in 2008? Do you think this is merely coincidental? Then you all go and whack Najib regarding Perkasa.
Do you really think Najib is behind Perkasa and that his ‘silence’ translates to evidence that he is either behind Perkasa or supports Perkasa? Or is Najib an ‘innocent bystander’ who has no power to do anything about it? In that case who then is the real power behind Perkasa?
Some of you imagine that I have now ‘swung’ to Najib. And you credit this to Najib buying me off and that I am now in Najib’s pocket. Well, that is how simple-minded people would think. That is a lazy person’s way of coming to a conclusion. You do not need to tax your brain in coming to that conclusion.
Maybe I have ‘swung’ to Najib, though not in the way you may think. But do you not all say that we must choose the lesser of the two evils? That is the political philosophy of most Pakatan Rakyat supporters -- choose the lesser of the two evils. Isn’t this your ‘guiding light’?
Well, I too believe in the lesser of the two evils. And the lesser of the two evils would be to vote for Pakatan Rakyat rather than Barisan Nasional. But what if Pakatan Rakyat cannot oust Barisan Nasional? What if Barisan Nasional still retains the federal government with Umno as the dominant partner in the ruling coalition? Which then would be the lesser of the two evils?
Yes, most of you confine your choice of the lesser of the two evils as between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional. That would be the simple-minded way of looking at things. But I think beyond that. I look at what if Barisan Nasional still retains the federal government. What then will be the lesser of the two evils?
We cannot just have Plan A. We also need Plan B. If Plan A fails then we must have a Plan B as an alternative. Most Pakatan Rakyat people just focus on Plan A without thinking whether there should be a Plan B in case Plan A fails.
And that’s what makes me a better political strategist than most of you. And I can’t help boasting about this because if you are good you are good, what more can I say? You all just have one plan, Plan A. I have Plan B, and plan B is who do you want as the Prime Minister, Najib or someone who upholds Malay Supremacy and the ‘ideals’ of May 13?
Of course, if Pakatan Rakyat takes over, then what I am saying becomes purely academic. But it will be extremely irresponsible and disastrous if we do not have a backup plan and then our Plan A fails.
I explained this to the members of Friends of Pakatan Rakyat in London but they all went away very confused. Being novices they could not grasp the need for a Plan B and how Plan B should be the lesser of the two evils. To them, the lesser of the two evils would be to choose Pakatan Rakyat. They could not see that the lesser of the two evils can also mean the liberal group in Umno as opposed to the radical group.
I always say that if we need to be colonised then it is better that we are colonised by the British rather than the French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. Now, I never said it is good to be colonised. Ideally, we should never be colonised. But if we can’t avoid being colonised then the British makes a better colonial master than the others. That is what I mean and what I say should never be interpreted in any other way.
In short, colonisation is evil and should be avoided, but if it cannot be avoided then the British are the lesser of the many evils. And we need to just compare post-independence Malaysia to post-independent Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. to see what I mean. Look at India and Hongkong as other examples. Of course, Burma is an exception to the rule.
Okay, so now the opposition is saying that Dr Mahathir is the de facto Prime Minister. And the opposition is also worried about all this talk regarding May 13. Now they are worried. But I warned them four years ago about this same point. And they were not worried then. In fact, they pooh-poohed what I said and said I am seeing ghosts in my own shadow. Do they still think that now?
I know my comrade Haris Ibrahim (Sam) felt the same way as Matthias Chang. Sam felt that I should no longer be talking about race and that Malaysians should be addressed as Malaysians and not as Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc. Ideally that is what should happen. But are we living in an ideal society or is race, religion and royalty still very potent political weapons?
I have been accused of being too idealistic in seeking a perfect government. No government is perfect, I am told. Granted, that is true. But I can be less idealistic and more practical when the situation demands it. Of course I am seeking a perfect government and I whack Pakatan Rakyat when they demonstrate less than perfect conduct. What is wrong with that?
Seeking perfection is not a crime. It is what I would like to see. But what I seek and what I apply as a political strategy are two different animals. While I may be seeking a perfect government, I can also be practical in the application of a political strategy. And this is what most of you cannot differentiate, the difference between an aspiration and the practicalities of war. And this is because you are political novices masquerading as experts.
I had decided more than a year ago that it is no longer productive in trying to work within the system and in trying to educate you in the matter of political strategy and about the realities of Malaysian politics. I did try the ‘backdoor’ approach back in 2010 by launching the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) in London.
I then received a phone call from one of the PAS leaders in charge of political strategy. I explained at great length what we were trying to do. He appeared to have understood what I had explained but then later when he met Sam he told Sam that ‘Raja Petra has to be written off’. Apparently he did not believe in what we were trying to do.
I then received a phone call from a DAP leader who told me that some people in DAP supported what we were trying to do but they had received instructions from their HQ telling them not to cooperate with MCLM.
Another PAS leader met me and said that his party is not able to work with MCLM unless Anwar Ibrahim endorses MCLM because they do not want to upset Anwar and it appears like Anwar is not supportive of MCLM.
One of the PKR leaders then told me that his party had been instructed to undermine MCLM and that a campaign had been launched to smear MCLM and insinuate that MCLM is an Umno ‘weapon’ to hurt the opposition so that Barisan Nasional can win the next general election.
From these various communications it was clear that Pakatan Rakyat had declared war on MCLM and that MCLM was being treated as the enemy. As much as I tried to explain, they still spun stories that MCLM’s agenda is to trigger three-corner contests to help Barisan Nasional win the election. The more we tried to explain the more they said MCLM is an Umno stooge
Okay, I thought, if this is the game they want to play then let us play that game. I can also play this game. In fact, I may even be better at it. A couple of months later I did my TV3 interview. A few months later, I did my second interview with the mainstream media. In fact, I requested the second interview, they did not approach me like the first time.
Then all hell broke loose. It appears Pakatan Rakyat can dish it out but they can’t take what they dish out. They decided to undermine MCLM. But when I hit back using the TV stations and mainstream media they can’t take it. What losers these Pakatan Rakyat are. They want to be free to hit you but they get very upset when you apply their same tactics to hit them back.
Hey, when you attack someone then you have to expect that person to counter-attack. And that is what I am doing. I am not attacking Pakatan Rakyat. I am counter-attacking. And that is the right of anyone who is under attack. That is called DEMOCRACY.
Of course, some of my ex-comrades such as Haris Ibrahim and Malik Imtiaz do not support what I am doing. So they have distanced themselves from me and have also been openly critical of what I am doing. Once upon a time we all shared the same ideals. Hence MCLM was launched.
People like Haris and Malik are aware of how MCLM was undermined. But they quietly backed off and ‘toed the party line’ while I chose to counter-attack. And the attacks are still coming, which you can read in the pro-PKR websites. They are saying some real nasty things about me. And as long as they continue to attack me I shall continue to counter-attack. And more shit regarding some people in Pakatan Rakyat are going to be revealed over the next few months. I shall not stop as they too have not stopped.
Nevertheless, the bigger agenda will not be forgotten. The bigger agenda, of course, is to see change. This can be achieved through a change in government. But if the government is not going to change, if we are going to see the same government take office come the next general election, then we need to focus on Plan B. And Plan B would be to make sure that this government is more liberal and not a government that will exploit race, religion and royalty and take Malaysia down that path of another ‘May 13’.
Certainly accountability, transparency, good governance, etc., are important and should be what we seek. But if we can’t have that then at least peace and stability and an avoidance of racial turmoil should be objectives as well.
There are certain forces in Umno who want to see Najib ousted. And just as May 13 in 1969 was used as the catalyst to oust Tunku Abdul Rahman, they hope that the ‘May 1969 solution’ can see history being repeated and used as the catalyst for Najib’s downfall.
Yes, I too want to see Najib ousted. But if he is ousted through a change of government that is well and fine. It would mean that Pakatan Rakyat would then be in power. But if Pakatan Rakyat fails to take power and they oust Najib, it would only mean we are going to see one Umno Prime Minister replaced with another Umno Prime Minister.
That is, of course, also well and fine with me. But if in ousting Najib they need to do a ‘May 13 Version 2’ and many Malaysians need to die and Malaysia would regress rather than progress, then that is not well and fine with me. In that case we will need to choose the lesser of the two evils, a Malaysia free of bloodshed.
I do not expect you to understand what I am saying. I do not even expect you to agree with what I am saying. All I hope is that I would not, some time in future, be writing another ‘I told you so’ article. If I do then it can only mean one thing: that is what I am saying must not happen has happened.
Challenge to Muhyiddin to prove he is responsible political leader and Malaysian nationalist when raising the spectre of May 13 wanting to prevent any recurrence and not indulging in irresponsible, unscrupulous and contemptible double politics of fear and race
Lim Kit Siang
I challenge the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to prove he is a responsible political leader and Malaysian nationalist when raising the spectre of May 13 wanting to prevent any recurrence and not indulging in the low- class, irresponsible, unscrupulous and contemptible double politics of fear and race to preserve UMNO/Barisan Nasional in power at all costs in the next general election.
It has been reported that at a national youth conference held in Parliament yesterday, Muhyiddin called on the young generation to be united in order to ensure the country remains stable and peaceful and to avoid a repeat of the May 13, 1969 tragedy.
Muhyiddin was quoted as declaring at the conference: "We don't want May 13 repeated."
On behalf of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat, let me officially respond by declaring that we in DAP and Pakatan Rakyat also do not want a repeat of the May 13 tragedy and we pledge to do all we can to prevent any such recurrence.
DAP and Pakatan Rakyat offer to co-operate and work closely with UMNO and Barisan Nasional to ensure that there will be no repeat of May 13 in the next general election, and Malaysians are entitled to ask how there could be a repeat of the May 13 tragedy if both political coalitions - Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat - sincerely pledge to work together in the national interest to prevent any such recurrence?
I confess I am concerned at the way Muhyiddin raised the spectre of May 13, which had been used in the past decades to create fear among voters as part of the scare tactics to force voters to vote for UMNO and BN, as it raises the question whether the DPM was giving an assurance that there would be no May 13 recurrence or he was subtly threatening that there could be another May 13 if UMNO loses power!
Could there be another May 13 in the next general election? My answer would be a strong NO.
Without going into the debate as to who should be held responsible for the May 13 tragedy in 1969 (and there are diametrically conflicting accounts and versions of who should be held responsible and this is why right from the beginning after the May 13 riots, DAP and I had called for an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry into its causes) the circumstances today are completely different from those prevailing 43 years ago in 1969.
The most important difference between 1969 and the 13th general election is the emergence of a multiracial multi-religious national coalition represented throughout the country to peacefully and democratically challenge UMNO/BN's hold to power in Putrajaya - as the Pakatan Rakyat coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP is a Malaysian coalition of all races, religions and regions in Malaysia!
Only the most irresponsible, anti-national and treacherous elements in our country can try to distort and misinterpret a Pakatan Rakyat victory in the 13th GE as a victory of one race against another, as to justify wild thoughts tinkering with the idea of anther May 13, when any victory for Pakatan Rakyat will be a Malaysian victory representing all races.
Is Muhyiddin sincere when he declared, "We don't want May 13 repeated"?
If so, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should break his silence and answer the question I had posed to him many times in the past three years - whether he would declare clearly and unequivocally that he would accept the verdict of the people in the 13GE, including the election of a Pakatan Rakyat government in Putrajaya to replace the Barisan Nasional and that he would personally ensure and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power for the first time in the nation's history, to tell the world that Malaysia has become a normal democracy and even en route to become, in Najib's own words, "the best democracy in the world"!