MP SPEAKS | The question of “can Pakatan Harapan win the 15th General Election in 2023” will elicit different answers from different groups.
To those who will pioneer the world’s first alliance of klepto-theocracy in a fortnight’s time, with each of the two parties dragging along its subordinate parties - MCA and MIC in the case of Umno, or Ikatan and Berjasa in the case of PAS - the answer will be a loud and categorical “No”, for the Umno-PAS alliance wants to be elected as the Malaysian government in the 15th General Election and establish the first klepto-theocracy state in the world.
Except that they will not agree for the 15th General Election to be held in 2023, as they would have wanted the 15th General Election to be held yesterday!
I have not asked the leaders of Harapan's four component parties, but my answer to the question as to whether Harapan can win the 15th General Election in 2023 is a tentative "Yes".
This will be going against the tide of public perception today about the Harapan government. There is a school of thought that Harapan is sure to be thrown out of Putrajaya if a general election is held presently – just as it had fallaciously expected the Harapan government to implode and disintegrate in a matter of months, and are now hoping that it would not last the full term, but will stumble and disintegrate well before 2023.
It would be the greatest surprise to the Harapan sceptics if the government serves out its full term and the 15th General Election is held in 2023 and not earlier!
Malaysia is now entering its fifth political phase since the historic decision of the people to change the government peacefully and democratically in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.
The earlier four phases were:
1. From May 9, 2018, to end-2018, when the euphoria of change was palpable and Harapan seemed to be in an invincible position where it could do no wrong and reversals like the pledge to ratify ICERD (International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) could take place without many adverse consequences. Harapan won four by-elections during this period.
2. The first four months of 2019, that saw the evaporation of the euphoria of change, the setting-in of disappointment and disenchantment that things were still very much the same and that the wrongs, injustices and abuses of power of six decades cannot be undone in 100 days or a year, as well as the phenomenon of the “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign.
This was a period where the Harapan government cannot do anything right like the events leading to the withdrawal of the accession to the Rome Statute. Harapan lost three by-elections during this period.
3. In May and early June, the tide turned because of three major factors, the first being the first-anniversary celebration of Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya with the theme of “shared prosperity”.
Secondly, the landslide by-election victory of Pakatan Harapan and Warisan in the Sandakan parliamentary by-election on May 11 which pulverised two myths in Malaysian politics – that Pakatan Harapan and Warisan in Putrajaya and Sabah are only one-term governments.
Finally, the invincibility of the shameless "Malu Apa, Bossku" campaign and the long-running trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak for corruption and abuses of power.
4. But this period of recovery was short-lived, as from before mid-June to August, a quartet of issues - a certain video, Jawi writing in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, Zakir Naik and Lynas conspired to give the misperception that the Harapan government is on the ropes.
Let the double celebrations of the 62nd National Day on Aug 31 and 56th Malaysia Day on Sept 16 usher Malaysia into a fifth political phase with the return of confidence, hope and optimism about the building of a New Malaysia to be a top world-class nation within a decade by 2028 by showcasing Malaysia as a triumph of an inclusive and all-embracing "Alliance of Civilisations" and rebutting the thesis of the "Clash of Civilisations" as the underlying global theme of the 21st century.
Malaysians must develop literacy in social media to acquire the capability to detect lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech so that they will not succumb to the siren song of opportunists and desperados who want to incite suspicion, doubt, distrust, fear and hate, pitting race against race, religion against religion, culture against culture and civilisation against civilisation in plural Malaysia.
Let us prove wrong the political wet-blankets who want race to war against race and religion to war against religion in plural Malaysia, and for the country to be plunged into unrest, instability and chaos, destroying all hopes of Malaysia fulfilling her dream of becoming a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity - doomed to the trajectory of a failed and rogue state and a klepto-theocracy.
Although I had not expected to see a historic, peaceful and democratic change of government on May 9, 2018, for the sake of our children and children’s children, we must strain every sinew to ensure that Harapan can succeed in the national mission to reset nation-building policies to build a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity in keeping with the five pillar-promises of Harapan's 14th General Election Manifesto.
We must not be complacent or take things for granted, for this is the only chance in the nation’s history to take the country to the high grounds of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.
I believe that in the hearts of hearts, this is what the majority of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, want of Malaysia.
Yes, I believe there is a chance that the Pakatan Harapan government can win the 15th General Election in 2023 and continue with the unfinished mission of building a New Malaysia.
Let us put our shoulders to the wheel to build a New Malaysia.
LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Iskandar Puteri.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.