Let’s get real

I am not worried about the nasty things being said about me because that will not determine who gets to form the next federal government. I am pondering on how to get more than half the seats in East Malaysia and how to prevent the frog festival that will follow the next general election.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The only line of defiance and defence now seems to be the race card. Malays will be finished if UMNO is finished. The Malay Sultans are finished if UMNO is finished. UMNO doesn’t seem to get it – UMNO is no longer automatically associated with the protection of Malay interests.

It has lost the mandate to even represent the majority of Malays. I repeat this again. In the 2008 elections there 5.7 million Malay voters and UMNO candidates who must be Malay for sure, only secured 2.38 million votes. Those votes did not come solely from Malay voters, which meant maybe UMNO got only around 2 million votes. What did that show? It showed more Malays didn’t choose UMNO. So which group of Malays is UMNO representing? It represents the minority.


That was what Ariff Sabri, one-time Umno State Assemblyman in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s constituency, said.

By the way, when blogs run by Umno diehards such as Sakmongkol AK47, Big Dog, Another Brick in the Wall, etc., write critical articles about Umno, they are not accused of selling out, having been bought over, being Trojan horses, and whatnot. In fact, they are acclaimed as progressive Umno members, ‘Towering Malays’, and what have you — and we scream that Malaysia needs more Malays such as these.

Then the Prime Minister arranges meeting with these Umno Bloggers, even those critical of Umno. These Umno Bloggers, even those critical of Umno, are not shunned or shut out. They are not treated as lepers or pariahs like Pakatan Rakyat Bloggers who criticise the opposition.

What does that say about Umno compared to the opposition?

Yes, I have been updated about the nasty things being said about me by many of the top leaders of Pakatan Rakyat. I have come to the ‘crossroads’ of sorts and am beginning to wonder whether it is worthwhile to continue doing what I am doing? After all, most of what I say falls on deaf ears anyway. So certainly no good is coming out of all this.

Malaysia Today’s readers appear to have only one thing in mind. Never mind whether the opposition is not perfect. Let us still vote opposition. Never mind if the opposition fields monkeys and donkeys. As long as they stand on an opposition ticket we must vote them into office. Let’s avoid three-corner fights. We must ensure straight fights.

Okay, that is what we WANT. What we want is not crucial. What is crucial is how are we going to get what we want? I have heard a lot and read a lot of comments about what we WANT. But no one appears able to tell us how we should go about getting what we want.

Let’s get real. There will be quite a number of three-corner fights come next election. And many of these three-corner fights will be triggered by Pakatan Rakyat. And let me explain why.

There are 222 Parliament seats in total. 165 of these seats are in Peninsular Malaysia and 57 are in East Malaysia.

In the last general election, the opposition won 82 seats, plus another two during by-elections. And almost all these seats are from Peninsular Malaysia, not from East Malaysia (except two).

Let us assume that the opposition can maintain its half share of the 165 seats in Peninsular Malaysia — meaning about 82-83. This would mean Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional will share the Parliament seats in Peninsular Malaysia 50:50 (one gets 83 and the other 82).

So, whoever wants to form the federal government must win at least 30 of the 57 Parliament seats in East Malaysia. And the one who wins 30 seats will get 112 seats in total and the one left with 27 seats will get only 110 in total.

The bottom line is, it will be 112 Parliament seats versus 110 and the coalition with 112 seats gets to form the government. This will be a razor thin majority of two seats; what many would call a ‘hung parliament’.

Let us assume that it will be Pakatan Rakyat who wins the 112 Parliament seats against Barisan Nasional’s 110. Then what happens?

Then Umno offers RM25 million to each Pakatan Rakyat Member of Parliament who wants to cross over. Then four Pakatan Rakyat MPs cross over and it costs Najib a mere RM100 million to get back the government — a very cheap price indeed.

So, do you still think that ‘never mind if Pakatan Rakyat fields monkeys or donkeys as long as they stand on a Pakatan Rakyat ticket’? How many of these monkeys and donkeys can resist the lure of RM25 million in cash? And will these monkeys and donkeys transform into frogs once Najib announces a frog festival?

Okay, but I am getting ahead of myself here. Let us not talk yet about 30 seats versus 27 from East Malaysia or 112 versus 110 seats to form the federal government or the frog festival during the aftermath of the next general election. Let us talk about whether the opposition can, in the first place, win any of the 57 seats from East Malaysia, let alone the 30 it needs to form the federal government.

East Malaysians are very protective of their turf. They resent what they view as interference from Kuala Lumpur. Will they accept and support PKR, DAP and PAS?

Most likely they will not, at least the majority of East Malaysians. So the local political parties (and there are many, double that in Peninsular Malaysia) will contest the elections in East Malaysia. And if Pakatan Rakyat also contests in East Malaysia then they would be viewed as outsiders who are disturbing the local scene.

I suspect there will be many three-corner fights in East Malaysia come the next election and it will be Pakatan Rakyat who will be accused of triggering these three-corner fights — like what happened in the recent by-election in Sabah.

So what do we do? Do we have a solution?

How can we ensure that all 57 East Malaysian Parliament seats see straight fights (plus the more than 100 state seats as well, of course)? How can we ensure that those who win at least 30 of those 57 seats in East Malaysia will agree to an electoral pact and form a unity government with Pakatan Rakyat?

That is what concerns me. And that is what the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) must ponder on.

We must assume that Peninsular Malaysia will be split 50:50. We must assume that we need at least 30-35 of the East Malaysian seats to form the next government. We must assume that even if Pakatan Rakyat does win enough seats to form the federal government it will be a very narrow win and the frog festival that comes soon after will see a few crossovers — whereby Barisan Nasional will get to form the federal government.

That is what I am constantly pondering on. I am not worried about the nasty things being said about me because that will not determine who gets to form the next federal government. I am pondering on how to get more than half the seats in East Malaysia and how to prevent the frog festival that will follow the next general election.

Anyway, meanwhile read what Matthias Chang wrote below. Matthias is a Barisan Nasional diehard who also whacks the ruling party whenever they are deserving of a whacking. And that’s why I like the man.


Two-Third Majority – The Death Knell For All Future UMNO / Barisan Nasional Leaders

By Matthias Chang

The 2008 General Election was a watershed election in more ways than one. However, my focus in this analysis is the failure of the then Badawi-led administration to retain its two-third majority in Parliament and the strategic implications of that debacle. In addition, five state governments were captured by the Opposition coalition of PKR-PAS-DAP.

Losing state governments in the past was not fatal to the political future of an UMNO leader. Even if Badawi lost the five states in the 2008 General Election but retained the two-third majority in Parliament, it would have been more difficult to demand his ouster as leader of UMNO and the Barisan Nasional. The perception of unchallenged Federal Power was and is pivotal in Malaysian politics.

UMNO has been so dominant in government and past General Elections that commanding a two-third majority in Parliament was synonymous with UMNO’s unchallengeable power and authority. That is why till today, UMNO is shaken to its very core when it could not retain the two-third majority in Parliament in the 2008 General Election. The delineation of the parliamentary constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia is such that most of the constituencies have Malay / Bumiputera majority which in the past literally guaranteed its dominance and hence the ability to seize a two-third majority in Parliament.

Since independence, the Prime Minister must be the undisputed leader of UMNO who is also the leader of the governing coalition (first the Alliance which was subsequently succeeded by the Barisan Nasional). No UMNO politician can claim the coveted prize of Prime-Ministership unless he can establish that he commands the support of the Malay majority. And since UMNO in the past can lay claim to represent the Malay majority, no one in UMNO can challenge the right of the leader of UMNO to be the Prime Minister. To buttress the perceived “inalienable right”, the attainment of two-third majority in Parliament was paramount. Two-third majority = UMNO dominated coalition!

That fundamental equation can no longer be taken for granted post the 2008 General Election. This was the unpardonable sin committed by the Badawi-led administration when they failed to retain the two-third majority in Parliament. The Genie is out of the bottle, the Pandora Box has been opened!

This was a shattering blow to the confidence of the ruling coalition from which they have yet to recover fully.

To read more, please go to www.futurefastforward.com