A point-by-point rebuttal of Liew Chin Tong’s views on the state elections

Liew should stop smearing PN about political “frogs” when Anwar has always been at the top of this game for decades.

Kassim Abdul Samad

I refer to Liew Chin Tong’s social media post which has been going around and picked up by the media (https://www.facebook.com/liewchintong.my/posts/pfbid0Ar3TQd9uEchxH2sPBtKmY7CWup1R86i6kdvje9GREDJRuN5JwJSEDZq6a3wqyXhWl ).

First, he talked about the end of changes in government, mid-term. With the polls in six states done and dusted, the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Investments does not expect a Sheraton 2.0 to take place.

But the way he’s going about it, it’s as though a political coup with federal lawmakers switching sides is a domain exclusive to PN. Lest he forgot, it was Anwar Ibrahim who shouted “I have the numbers” in the run-up to Sept 16, 2008. Surely Liew knows as he’s just been elected Bukit Bendera MP then.

In Sept 2020, Anwar pulled the same stunt with his “strong, formidable, convincing majority” following the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister. At that time, Anwar and PH leaders were willing to work with Umno’s court cluster.

And let’s not forget about how Anwar triggered the defections of Parti Bersatu Sabah state lawmakers to topple the legitimately elected Pairin Kitingan in 1994.

So, Liew should stop pretending that beneath the veneer of “democrat” Anwar, lies a sinister, power-hungry opportunist who’d stop at nothing to win (and retain) power, even to the point of subjugating democratic processes. Liew should stop smearing PN about political “frogs” when Anwar has always been at the top of this game for decades.

Secondly, Liew talked about PN’s limitations of mobilising Malay-only anger, whatever that means. The surge in support for PN since the 2023 general election is attributed to the electorate’s distrust of PH in dealing with public welfare. This is especially so after GE15 when both PH and BN went against their words and joined forces to satiate their respective lust for power.

Politics aside, the current unity government has failed to address many key bread-and-butter issues confronting the public, such as the rising costs of living. These are issues that affect all Malaysians, not just the Malays. The low voter turnout on Saturday, including those of the Chinese, is indicative of the electorate’s frustration with the unity government.

And since Liew brought up the issue of communal support, he should remember that the PH, which is being anchored by Chinese-dominated DAP in terms of MPs and ADUNs, has barely made any significant inroads since the 2018 GE. The only exception perhaps is Kota Lama in Kelantan which was won by Amanah rep on Saturday.

In other words, the DAP-dominated PH is only holding on to a diminishing fixed deposit amid a rapidly-changing national demography that words against the coalition’s interests. Good luck in two or three general elections from now!

Liew’s third assertion must have been made when he was hallucinating. He said that Saturday’s elections show that the era of Muhyiddin, Abdul Hadi Awang and Azmin Ali is coming to an end.

Last I checked, Bersatu and PAS, especially the latter, made significant gains on Saturday. Azmin too defied the odds and became a YB in an urban area, which is supposed to be the “playground” for PH.

How is it that these people have outlived their usefulness? Perhaps Liew is conflating PH dynamics with that of PN’s. As we know, the knives were out on Chow Kon Yeow in Penang despite DAP’s electoral success in the state on Saturday.

How else would you explain the speed in which Chow was sworn in as Chief Minister, barely hours after winning? And why was Lim Guan Eng noticeably absent from a gathering on Saturday night where Chow announced PH’s victory in the state? Clearly, Chow was trying to stave off a coup from his predecessor. That’s the DAP for you, trying to kick out a winner, which is a concept alien in organisations where its leaders are not power-crazy.

Lastly, Liew said that the era of three-corner fights is over…. unless PN implodes. First of all, there is nothing wrong with multi-corner fights. It makes democracy all the more vibrant.

Unless Liew is afraid that parties like MUDA split PH’s vote, such as what happend in Sungai Kandis, Selangor. In democracy, the more the merrier. What is Liew afraid of? Or is Liew, like Anwar, also a faux democrat?

Secondly, if there’s going to be an implosion, it would be from PH-BN, not from PN. As we know, the alliance in the latter is already very strong. PH-BN, on the other hand, is held together by Zahid Hamidi’s refusal to go to jail and nothing more.

As it is, Umno has fared disastrously on Saturday and people like former Umno Minister Idris Jusoh have already called for Zahid’s resignation. There’a limit to the patience from Umno grassroots as they see their party being rejected due to the folly of one man. So, if I were Liew, I would rather brace for an internal revolt within Umno, which would definitely have repercussions on the longevity of this unity government.

So in conclusion, Liew should stop drinking his own kool aid if he’s really concerned about the country. It only provides a temporary syiok sendiri high. People like Liew should look into ways to address the plight of the people such as inflation and boosting investments, not just announcing FDI pledges which does not translate into concrete benefits to the people.