MP SPEAKS | The historic Sandakan by-election result has pulverised two myths in Malaysian politics – that Pakatan Harapan and Warisan in Putrajaya and Sabah are only one-term governments, and the invincibility of the shameless 'malu apa, bossku' campaign, which aims to give a new lease of life to former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
At a news conference in Sandakan two days before polling on May 11, I outlined three possible scenarios in the Sandakan by-election:
First scenario – A PBS victory because of the Umno-PAS tie-up and campaign. Umno claimed to have 9,700 members in Sandakan.
If Umno successfully mobilised these members to vote, with the promised 150 percent support by former party bigwig Abdul Rahman Dahlan, together with the final appearance of Najib in Sandakan and the votes amassed by the grand opposition coalition in Sabah, a victory for the PBS candidate was on the cards.
Second scenario – DAP candidate Vivian Wong wins the Sandakan by-election with a majority of a few thousand votes, confirming the support of the Sandakan voters for DAP, Harapan and the Warisan-led Sabah state government.
With the low voter turnout rate on polling day, Harapan and Warisan leaders thought that the best Wong could achieve in the Sandakan by-election was a small victory with a majority of some two thousand votes.
Third scenario – But it was the third scenario that eventuated, despite Najib's shameless 'bossku' campaign and the claim of '150 percent Umno support'.
Wong (photo) created a political miracle despite the low turnout of 54.4 percent, compared to 71 percent in the 14th general election, winning 74.18 percent of the total votes as compared to 67.97 percent in the 14th general election.
Wong joined a score of parliamentary constituencies where over 95 percent of Chinese voters and the majority of the bumiputera voted for her.
The Sandakan by-election was a rare achievement, which is a ringing endorsement not only for DAP, Harapan and the Warisan-led Sabah state government, but a great boost and support for the start of the second year in the agenda for change.
The future can only be better and brighter, as Harapan and Warisan forge ahead to keep faith with the people of Sandakan, Sabah and Malaysia to build a New Sandakan, a New Sabah and a New Malaysia.
The analysis of the Sandakan by-election on Finance Twitter, titled “Najib ‘bossku’ turns ‘cuckoo’ – Sabah Borneo rejects extremism and racism, becomes PH fixed deposit” describes the situation very aptly.
On behalf all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, the voters of Sandakan have replied to Najib’s 'malu apa, bossku' campaign with a loud and unmistakable rejoinder: “Banyak-banyak malu!”
Is this the reason why Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor dare not sue businessman Deepak Jaikishan or Al Jazeera for the recent 'Power and Corruption' interview, which as good as accused both of corruption.
Deepak openly accused Rosmah of purchasing diamonds as a way to “siphon” money, and said that she behaved akin to the “de facto prime minister” when BN was in power.
He also claimed that Rosmah received jewellery, money, properties and cars in return for lucrative government contracts, and that she counterchecked on her husband “so that she knew exactly how many contracts were awarded that week” and “she wanted a stake of every single contract.”
This was one of the three issues which I had asked Najib to answer during his visit to Sandakan, but he failed to do so. The other two issues were:
- His response to the 509 first anniversary speech by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said it was "strange” that Najib could still act innocent during the ongoing investigation of the 1MDB scandal, and despite the return of some RM1.5 billion allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB by the US and Singapore authorities, and the criminal and money-laundering investigations by some 10 countries; and
- The revelation by former MACC review panel member Lim Chee Wee that Najib was not investigated for corruption when he was prime minister because he had sacked Abdul Gani Patail as attorney-general, replacing him with Mohamad Apandi Ali, whose single agenda as AG was to protect Najib from any corruption investigation.
Najib – let’s have the answers.
The former premier disputed that he suffered a knockout blow in the Sandakan by-election. What a pity, the former prime minister is now so dazed that he does not know what a knockout blow is.
He thinks that the 'malu apa, bossku' campaign is made of gold and diamonds when it is a mere house of cards.
Let Najib continue with his 'bossku' sojourn until he ends up in Sungai Buloh.
LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.