MP SPEAKS | PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang’s three public statements in the past week bespeak of his new role as the foremost apologist and defender of Prime Minister Najib Razak, in particular to deflect attacks and criticisms on Najib’s transforming Malaysia into a global kleptocracy.
Imagine, three public statements in the past week and not a single reference to the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal and Malaysia being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy in the past two years.
Like Najib, Hadi does not believe that there is any 1MDB scandal. He believes that Najib is the victim of an international conspiracy to character-assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, and he does not mind Malaysia being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy.
This is the PAS president in 2017, a far cry from previous PAS mursyidul ams and presidents of yesteryears like Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Fadzil Noor and Yusof Rawa – as it is conceivable to imagine them leading a national and international campaign against the 1MDB scandal and to clear or cleanse Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.
But today, under the Hadi leadership, Malaysia as a global kleptocracy is acceptable to PAS, which would be anathema to Nik Aziz, Fadzil Noor and Yusof Rawa.
This is why Hadi’s PAS leadership is hand-in-glove with the Umno leadership to deflect attention, criticisms and attacks on the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy.
In his latest public pronouncement in an interview with Berita Harian, Hadi claimed that PAS was instrumental in ensuring wins for DAP and PKR in the last general election as PAS’ “well-equipped machinery and grassroots support “ translated to victories for their former allies.
He said, “PAS has grassroots strength that no other party has.
“In the last general elections, many of the machineries were PAS’, that helped candidates from DAP and PKR to win.”
I am surprised that Hadi has developed such a “blind spot”.
PKR, DAP also helped PAS
I agree that PAS had helped DAP and PKR candidates, but he seems to have lost sight of the equally undeniable and indisputable fact that DAP and PKR machineries and grassroots support had also helped PAS candidates to win in constituencies they had never thought possible to win in the past.
All the three parties of DAP, PAS and PKR have benefitted from the partnership in Pakatan Rakyat in the 2013 general election.
From a regional party confined largely to its “northern” heartland of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS had gone “national” in the 13th general election with parliamentary and/or state assembly representation in every state in Peninsular Malaysia, except for Negri Sembilan.
For the DAP, our partnership in Pakatan Rakyat has enabled the DAP to win 38 parliamentary seats and 107 State Assembly seats, including 16 ethnically-mixed parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia with less than 60 percent Chinese voters (nine with less than 50 percent Chinese voters) and 44 “ethnically-mixed” state assembly seats with less than 60 percent Chinese voters (15 of which with less than 50 percent Chinese voters).
Like DAP and PAS, PKR has also benefitted from the partnership in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Ethnically mixed constituencies – where no one race is more than 60 percent of voters – used to be BN’s stronghold. However, with Umno’s increasingly right wing position and the poor record of governance of BN, Pakatan Rakyat was able to capture a majority of these mixed seats in Peninsular Malaysia.
That DAP, PAS and PKR achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite cooperation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 general elections is borne out by the following two tables of electoral results since the 1959 general election:
Does Hadi believe that without the support of DAP and PKR, PAS could transform itself from a regional into a national party? In contrast, both DAP and PKR were already national parties when they cooperated with PAS to form the Barisan Alternatif in 1999 and Pakatan Rakyat in 2008.
However, Hadi’s PAS decided to turn its back on Pakatan Rakyat by reneging on the Pakatan Rakyat common policy framework, resulting in the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat after the PAS muktamar in June 2015.
Today, Hadi has emerged as the greatest apologist and defender for Najib and his kleptocracy, forming the new “Najib-Hadi” political duet in Malaysia.
PAS the suicide bomber
So what is in store in the 14th general election?
I fully agree with Amanah vice president Husam Musa who said at the Perak Amanah convention yesterday that PAS under Hadi cannot be the “kingmaker” in the next general election, but can only play the role of “puppet” or “suicide bomber” in three-cornered fights.
Husam said at best, PAS will get only three or five parliamentary seats.
Husam explained that in three-cornered fights, PAS will only act as a “suicide-bomber” as its role would only be that of a spoiler.
Husam's analysis tallied with what I have been saying for the past week – that the real contenders in the forthcoming 14th general election are Pakatan Harapan and BN, as PAS can only play a “spoiler’s role” to split votes in three-cornered fights to help BN to win.
For the past week, I had discussed the possibility of Pakatan Harapan winning 113 parliament seats in Peninsular Malaysia with the help of a Malaysian tsunami which will rid the country of BN’s 60 year rule, and allow us to start on a clean slate under a new government. In such a situation, out of the 165 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, Harapan would win 113 seats, BN 50 and PAS only two seats.
With a swing of 10 percent Malays voters and 5 percent non-Malays voters to the Harapan as compared to the 13th general election, leaving Hadi’s PAS out in the cold, Harapan will not only retain the Penang and Selangor state governments with larger majorities compared with the 2013 general election, but also stands the chance of winning the Johor, Perak and Negri Sembilan state governments, and possibly the Kedah state government, if DAP can expand its operations from Alor Setar to central and southern Kedah by contesting in the Gurun and Kulim state assembly constituencies.
All Malaysians who want to save Malaysia from hurtling towards the trajectory of a failed and rogue state and restore democracy, rule of law and full respect for the bedrock nation-building principles enshrined in the 1957 Merdeka constitution and 1963 Malaysia Agreement, must unite to ensure the first change of federal government through the ballot box in 60 years.
If this historic result is to be achieved in the 14th GE, voters must ensure that PAS’ spoiler’s role to help Najib to continue as prime minister is reduced to a minimum, for the lesser the effect and impact of that, the more parliamentary and state assembly seats will be won by Harapan candidates, heralding a new political landscape in Malaysia after the election.
LIM KIT SIANG is DAP parliamentary leader and Gelang Patah MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.