The DAP-led Pakatan Harapan fears a massacre in 2018


The DAP-led Pakatan Harapan knows that their original strategy can no longer work. The Sarawak state election in May and the two by-elections a month later proved this. If Pakatan does not want to see its seats drop to 60 or less, it needs to figure out how to win some non-Chinese seats.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The euphoria of the 2013 general election that was touted as the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ gave the impression that the next general election in 2018 was going to see the end of Umno and Barisan Nasional.

The DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat (now called Pakatan Harapan) boasted loudly that they garnered more than 95% of the Chinese votes (which was why it was called the ‘Chinese Tsunami). They also boasted loudly that MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP have already mati tak berkubur (died without a burial).

With 95% Chinese behind the DAP-led Pakatan, and with Peninsular Malaysia split 50:50 between the ruling coalition and the opposition coalition, all they needed was to win East Malaysia. And that means Anwar Ibrahim would be the new Prime Minister of Malaysia with four Deputy Prime Ministers (one each from the Malay, Chinese and Indian community and another representing East Malaysia, rotated between Sabah and Sarawak).

Both sides of the political divide acknowledged that Sabah and Sarawak, that had 57 parliament seats (Labuan included), was the Umno-led Barisan Nasional’s fixed deposit. If the Umno-led Barisan Nasional depended on just the 165 seats from Peninsular Malaysia then they would no longer be in power since these 165 seats are split almost 50:50.

But then two months ago reality smacked the DAP-led Pakatan right in the face. The opposition cannot take over East Malaysia. In fact, their performance this year was worse than in 2011. The opposition actually saw a slide, and this slide is expected to continue into 2018 and beyond.

But then they still had the ‘mixed seats’ where the non-Chinese voters are just about 55-65% with the balance non-Malay voters. The opposition is supposed to be strong in such mixed seats.

Then, one month after the Sarawak state election, they had the two by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar. These two seats were mixed seats with about two-thirds non-Chinese voters and the balance non-Malays. And these are the type of seats where the DAP-led Pakatan is supposed to be strong.

However, when the votes were counted, the opposition did even worse than in the last general election. So yet another fallacy was debunked. The opposition cannot do better in mixed seats where the ratio of non-Chinese to non-Malay voters is two-thirds: one-thirds.

The DAP-led Pakatan is so proud of its so-called 95% Chinese support. But then, even if it is true that 95% of the Chinese support the DAP-led Pakatan, this would mean at best they can sapu just about 40 seats. There are still another 182 seats — one-third in Sabah/Sarawak, and two-thirds Malay majority and mixed seats.

The DAP-led Pakatan realises that it cannot depend just on non-Malay votes. If it does then in the next general election it is going to get less seats than in 2013, like what happened in the recent Sarawak state election. It needs more non-Chinese seats — and PKR cannot help them there while PAS will certainly not donate any Malay seats to the DAP-led Pakatan like in the previous elections.

Even then there is no guarantee that the DAP-led Pakatan can still get 95% of the Chinese votes. The Sarawak state election and two by-elections have shown that the Chinese can swing either way.

The reason DAP managed to swing the Chinese in the previous two general elections is because they told the Chinese voters they could control PAS and can make sure that PAS will not push for Hudud. In other words, we keep our friends close and our enemies even closer. Hence they should keep PAS in Pakatan so that PAS can be controlled.

But then DAP later insisted that PAS gets kicked out of Pakatan. So how does DAP explain that? Well, DAP explained that by saying that PAS was pushing for Hudud, whereas that was not true one bit. And DAP was forced to take a very strong anti-Islam stand to convince the voters that they were telling the truth.

DAP hopes that by showing it is strongly against the Syariah laws, the Chinese would swing back to the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan and they can recover the 95% Chinese votes that they once had and seem to have now lost.

So, while DAP targets the non-Malay voters, PAN is supposed to target the non-Chinese voters, while PKR works on the mixed seats. But then the same message cannot be given to all voters. So they need different messages for different voters (such as by telling the Chinese voters to vote for the Malay candidate so that the Malays will end up fighting their fellow Malays to the advantage of the Chinese).

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and those in the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign) are considering setting up a new party. With the key players — such as Mukhriz Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal — now all out of Umno, they need a new political platform.

Lim Kit Siang realises that PAN cannot deliver those non-Chinese seats while the way PKR is going it might not even still be around come the next general election.

Lim Kit Siang wants Mukhriz, Muhyiddin and Shafie to join DAP instead in the hope that DAP no longer needs to target just the non-Malay seats but can now take on the non-Chinese seats as well. But then Muhyiddin is now facing a scandal, as is Shafie, both involving women. And it seems there are other scandals about to erupt involving Mukhriz as well.

Mahathir, of course, wants to try to take over PKR with Azmin Ali as his proxy and new party president. But the anti-Azmin forces are fighting back and have lined up a few scandals involving Azmin, which they are going to explode once Azmin makes his move.

Azmin knows that Rafizi Ramli is behind this so he has some scandals regarding Rafizi that he can also explode in retaliation. According to Azmin’s boys who say that Azmin already has the evidence, these scandals involving Rafizi are supposed to be regarding young boys.

If both Rafizi and Azmin start hurling scandals at each other, PKR may be a write-off in the not too distant future. Then there is the issue of Azmin sleeping with both PAS and PAN at the same time, which all sides are very unhappy about.


Some Pakatan supporters have even suggested that DAP and PAN form an alliance minus PKR — because PKR is more a liability than an asset. But then while PKR is seen as a multi-racial party of sorts, PAN is seen as just another PAS breakaway party such as Berjasa and Hamim, both which mati tak berkbur.

So DAP is marketing PAN as a party of progressive Muslims and moderates. PAS is pushing for Hudud while PAN opposes Hudud (both which are lies). But then this is what DAP is telling the Chinese. PAN itself has said nothing. They never said they oppose Hudud and neither have they said they support it. Somehow, though, the Chinese DAP supports have never figured this out, for some strange reason.

At the end of the day there is a lot of silap mata (sleight of hand) going on. But can they continue to fool both the non-Malay and non-Chinese all the way till the 2018 general election? If you look at the results of the Sarawak state election and the two by-elections, it appears like that story can no longer sell.

While they attempt to sort out the mess the DAP-led Pakatan is in, they are also trying to distract Malaysians by replaying all the old stories regarding 1MDB that was played more than 18 months ago. Sarawak Report has come out with ‘latest news’, ‘shocking exposes’, ‘exclusive stories’, which are actually cerita surat khabar lama.

They are hoping that Sarawak Report’s continuous spinning will result in the fall of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional with the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan taking over the government and all 13 states as well. Well, I suppose some people also believe in the tooth fairy.