In the Chinese Press: BN and Pakatan deviate from pre-election course


Chan Wei See,

A year after the 13th general election (GE13), political scientists have observed that both the ruling and opposition coalitions have deviated from their pre-election course.
Political scientist Dr Phoon Wing Keong stated that the country was moving backward as Umno had retreated into its conservative shell and lost its direction in its administration.
Pointing out that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not have a strong advocation or idea what he would hold on to, Phoon said the Umno president would swing once he found the situation was unfavourable to him.
“The results of GE13 have shown that Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and various transformation programmes had failed to get good response from the voters, if not had gone bankrupt.
“Therefore, Najib and Umno are seeking for new direction and priorities for his or its administration. However, he is still unable to reconstruct the core theoretical framework for his second-term cabinet,” he told Oriental Daily News.
As for Pakatan Rakyat, Phoon observed that the coalition had lost its political momentum after the last GE and their leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was still at his low ebb following the screwed-up Kajang move.
Lamenting that the opposition coalition did not make the best use out of the people’s support to shock the authoritarian regime after the GE, Phoon said it showed our oppositions were the most conservative among the opposition parties in the East Asia region.
“The opposition elites are bound by big bunch of concerns and complex gain or loss calculations. Therefore, they’re easily compromised and being conservative. Do we still need the oppositions if they only fight when the situation is safe?”
All in all, he opined that democracy in this country is very much dependent on: how stable is the opposition coalition, whether or not Umno will split; and how would the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) affect economy.
‘Society has split into two’
Meanwhile, political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat (picture) said the society had split into two even before GE13 with those opposing BN intending to build a new nation with racial harmony and those who supported BN working relentlessly to maintain the old order.
This is out of fear of losing power, and because of this, they kept provoking sense of crisis among different racial groups.
Noting that BN had lost in popular votes despite winning the GE, he said BN supporters had intensified their provocative actions after the GE because the fear of a change of regime was still haunting them.
Meanwhile, BN protesters had been demoralised by the outcome of the GE, that BN was kept in power despite the opposition coalition winning the popular votes.
For this group of people, the light of hope for a change of regime seemed dim for them, he said, adding that they also did not know how to strike back when BN played the racial or religious card.
Wong conceded that the momentum of the civil society had gone down if the number of participants in protest rallies was used as an indication.
In his opinion, the reason was that the consensus of putting the common goal of bringing down the regime above all had vanished after the GE.
However, he pointed out the people were still furious over various issues like the implementation of GST and the hudud law, adding that civil societies in the urban areas had pulled themselves together amid worries over the impending constituency re-delineation.