Sabtu, September 15, 2012


Chinese vote, US backing not enough to propel Pakatan to Putrajaya, says don

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will not capture Putrajaya with only the support from the minority Chinese voters and international recognition from the United States, an analyst specialising in Malaysian politics said in the run-up to Malaysia’s tightest electoral race.

According to Prof William Case, acting head of department for Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will not fall to PR without the majority support from the Bumiputera voters even if the opposition pact wins strong support from the Chinese community.

“Whatever the Chinese sentiment, at a figure of 26 per cent of the population their numbers are not big enough to defeat BN.

“Unless the Chinese consolidate with a majority of Bumiputera voters it will not happen.

“We must observe too the number of Chinese voters who returned to support Najib,” he toldThe Malaysian Insider in a recent email interview, referring to the BN coalition led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Case feels that the US leans more towards a PR victory at the polls because of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s image as a moderate Muslim the world superpower is able to deal with.

“Washington is certainly continuing its support to democracy.

“However, Washington is not so opposed to Najib as those who look down on Abdullah or are sceptical towards Mahathir,” the academic said, referring to Najib’s two predecessors, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad respectively.

Abdullah had taken over the leadership of BN from Dr Mahathir after the latter resigned as prime minister in October 2003, and led the 13-member coalition to its biggest win only to lose its customary two-thirds control of Parliament and four states in Election 2008.

“In fact, some may feel a little respect for Najib as a visionary manager in a difficult and imbalanced situation.

“Whatever Washington’s views, it will only have a little impact to the votes in Malaysia,” the professor said.

Case is not a foreign name in Malaysian politics and administration, having written much about the country and who is now making a study on the state of federalism here.

He has predicted that BN will still win the 13th general election but with a reduced majority compared to Election 2008.

“Umno will face the risk of losing two per cent of the votes from the middle-class urban Malays; MCA will receive the biggest loss; MIC will only get a slightly better result compared to 2008,” he said.

He said that if BN falls, Umno leaders will have very diverse views on how to deal with the situation.

“Najib will accept the decision and continue to lead Umno and BN (if it still exists) as the opposition.

“Other hardline Umno leaders will create a disturbance until the authorities are forced to declare an emergency,” he predicted.

According to Case, if PR loses in the next general election, and their leaders can convince the people their vote has been stolen through an unfair election, it was possible a major uprising could take place through street demonstrations like what happened in the Philippines in 1986 and recently in the Middle East.

“However, I do not predict there will be a split in the security forces as in the Philippines where high-level generals defected to enable a democratic transition to take place.

“At the most, change will be seen to be more like in Egypt, where the military allowed an opposition figure to occupy the highest executive level but maintain control on most of the government power,” he said.

The next general election is seen to be the closest race for power, pitting the mammoth BN coalition against the fledgling PR pact.

In the last national polls, the opposition bloc won 81 parliamentary seats and nabbed four key states in Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Perak; it lost the latter state after three state lawmakers declared themselves independents allied to BN.

By Amin Iskandar

5 ulasan:

  1. kalau harap dengan undian kaum cina saja memang sukar untuk PR menawan Putrajaya. jadi kena usaha lebih untuk mendapatkan sokongan pelbagai kaum.

  2. Ramalan semata2 tidak akan menjamin realiti kemenangan atau kekalahan. jadi, selagi ada masa buatlah yang terbaik untuk rakyat.

  3. jangan pandang rendah dengan kumpulan yang jumlahnya kecil.. ada situasi tertentu dimana kumpulan ini boleh jadi penentu kepada kemenangan sesebuah parti..

  4. Political observers have cast doubt on Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) readiness to rule the country if the coalition manages to wrest control of Putrajaya in the upcoming general election, saying there are unresolved issues blighting their chances.

    Lawyer Andrew Khoo pointed out that PR has yet to come up with a “shadow Cabinet” or a government-in-waiting, saying that this “restricts their credibility.”

    File photo of people lining up to cast their ballots in last year’s Sarawak state elections. Observers say Pakatan Rakyat may not be ready to rule if it wins the coming general election.
    “Although they have a common policy in Buku Jingga... (the) inability or reluctance of PR to form a shadow Cabinet... has meant they are unable to articulate what their policy is going to be,” he said last night.

    Khoo said PR’s practice was to “always have a committee of three” representing the opposition pact’s parties of the DAP, PAS, PKR, but questioned who is the most “authoritative” to speak on proposed policies.

    PR has promised to change various policies as part of its electoral campaign, with recent proposals including making cars cheaper, fighting crime and tackling women issues.

    “I have my concerns. To me, the great tragedy of Malaysia would be if PR won and then failed as a government. That would in some ways put paid to possibilities that there will be another opposition...” Khoo added.

    Khoo said the law reforms undertaken by Najib scored points as a public relations exercise, but were found lacking upon closer scrutiny.
    He was responding to a question on whether PR was ready to rule during a forum titled “New Political Activism and Realignment: Implications for Malaysia’s GE13” here yesterday.

    His fellow panellist Bridget Welsh said PR still has to sort out its differences over issues like hudud, the Islamic penal code, adding that the experience of its leaders would be an issue.

    The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has been the only federal government since the country was formed, having previously ruled as the Alliance Party.

    PR would also face the “challenge of working with the civil servants” if it takes over, said Welsh, an associate professor of political science from Singapore Management University.

    “It is never the political parties that govern the country; it’s the bureaucracy that governs the country. These are the people who have to make their decisions as well,” she said, adding that it was “not about the party, but everyone working together.”

    But Welsh did not say whether she thinks PR — which is known to be composed of parties with different ideologies — was prepared to form the government.

    Lawyer Lim Heng Seng, the third panellist, appeared to be more optimistic about PR’s ability to rule if it wins the elections.

    “It’s a risk we should take. I don’t think we should be overly anxious that Pakatan will not be able to rule,” said Lim, a former chairman of the Industrial Court.

    Khoo also commented that the law reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak scored points as a public relations exercise, but were found lacking upon closer scrutiny.

    “The problem with the prime minister’s reforms is that they are crafted in a way that makes it look very good... but when you look at details... lack of liberty in what he has promised,” he said.

  5. Lim was more optimistic about PR’s ability to rule if it wins the elections.
    Legislative reforms appear to give “mixed signals” and were “calculated and guarded” rather than “wholehearted”, Khoo said, citing as examples the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950.

    Welsh said that anyone who “holds the position in BN government had a tremendous legacy to deal [with] in a post-Mahathir scenario”.

    “I think one has to give credit to both Abdullah Badawi and Najib Tun Razak for doing certain things that have not been done before, even if they have not done them as well as some people may have hoped for.

    “I think the constraints that both Abdullah Badawi faced, and Najib face within their own party are immense, because the system is [resistant] to reform. And I think it takes a very strong leader to pull in a different direction and I think both sides are making compromises that are difficult because of the constraints of which they operate within Umno,” she said.

    Najib, who became the prime minister in 2009, is the president of BN and also the coalition’s main party, Umno.

    Welsh said Umno’s resistance to reforms had contributed to its losses in the 2008 general election, saying that the next polls will be a test of its willingness to accept reforms.

    The political analyst had in her presentation earlier on said that Umno was its own “worst enemy”.

    “Divisions within Umno itself are its own worst enemy when it comes to elections. Their fate is determined by their behaviours and decisions.”

    Welsh said the issue of corruption, which was “endemic” within the ruling party, has given PR both a “common platform” to work together and an edge over BN.

    “This is what is so challenging for Najib... he is caught in a vicious cycle.”

    She added that Malaysians must go beyond looking at politics through ethnicity, economic classes and the urban-rural divide, even as the 13th general election draws near.