Post GE-13: Uncertain Times Ahead?

May 8, 2013

Post GE-13: Uncertain Times Ahead?

by Nigel Aw (05-07-13)

ANALYSIS: As the dust from the 13th general election settles, it became Najib2apparent that BN only garnered 47.38 percent of the popular vote compared to Pakatan Rakyat, which bagged 50.87 percent while 1.74 percent went to independents and other parties.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will now helm a government sustained by gerrymandering but one that does not enjoy the backing of the majority of voters can hardly claim to have the mandate of the people.

But a shaky government aside, even forming a government would be a hurdle as BN no longer will have any Chinese representative, since the MCA and Gerakan have said they will not join the government this time due to their abysmal performance.

However, the MIC has seen a ‘mini-revival’, for it now has four parliamentary seats, one up from 2008. Najib will need to convince the BN component parties against their decision, or alternatively appoint Chinese representatives from non-political parties as senators, who will subsequently be appointed to positions in the government, if Najib wants to ensure representativeness.

Once the government is formed, Najib will need to reconcile with the fact that the majority of voters chose Pakatan’s message of anti-corruption and systemic overhauls over BN’s gradual “transformation”, which has seen half-hearted reforms because of his own party’s refusal to support them.

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has already fired the first salvo by going on a blitz on the international media, questioning the legitimacy of the general election and vowing the beginning of a “fierce movement to clean the country of election malpractices and fraud”.

Reforms vs Race rhetoric

Pakatan has said it will not try to dislodge the new government but a Nurul Izzahlikely indication is that it will force the ruling coalition to agree to a wide-ranging overhaul of the electoral system, including changing from first-past-the-post system to a proportionate system.

Gerrymandering will have no effect in a proportionate system and it would have seen Pakatan come to power in this general election. However, due to gerrymandering in the current first-past-the post system, BN won only 47.38 percent of the popular vote but got 60 percent of the seats in Parliament.

However, BN is not likely to favour such reforms as its rule will effectively end in the next general election if the current voting trend persists. The issue therefore is likely to put the two coalitions on a collision cause.

Already, the ‘wasatiyyah’ (moderation) image BN is trying to build has been sullied as the ruling coalition’s old habits come to fore, with Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia‘s headline today screaming: “What more do the Chinese want?” and UMNO’s defeated former Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam (above) branding Chinese Malaysians as “racist” and “ungrateful”.

The BN old guards are likely to intensify their race rhetoric as they come under siege by Pakatan for genuine and wide-ranging reforms that will force it to loosen its grip on power.

This will depend on Najib’s ability to rein them in, but he is also facing his own party leadership elections this year. However, Najib’s chances of political survival are brighter than that of his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

This is because the changes made to UMNO’s voting system since its last election will allow his fate to be decided by more than 100,000 members, instead of the 2,500-odd delegates to the party general assembly.

Loss of progressive voices

Another problem with the BN is the petering out of progressive voices. One saifuddin abdullahsuch person, UMNO supreme council member Saifuddin Abdullah, was defeated in Sunday’s general election, while MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu was not given a seat to contest. These voices have in the past been instrumental in promoting moderation within a coalition that is remains deeply grounded in race politics.

Similarly in PAS, several progressive leaders who led the charge into BN-strongholds were defeated, namely PAS Deputy President Mohamad Sabu , vice-presidents Salahuddin Ayub and Husam Musa and former Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

This will likely affect the Islamist party’s own elections later this year and the balance of progressives and conservatives in the party.

Whether a calm or tumultuous journey will follow these uncertainties will depend on the sincerity of Najib and his party in engaging with the opposition coalition, which now enjoys the majority of the voters’ support for genuine reforms, not for half-hearted “transformation”.

13 thoughts on “Post GE-13: Uncertain Times Ahead?

  1. MCA and Gerakan have dignity. Since they performed poorly, they are right in not accepting to be in Najib’s new Cabinet. But I think it is time for people like Mahathir and his associates to stop playing race politics. Focus on the serious business of government.

  2. For one the Chinese will remember all the racist remarks and never in their right mind to support BN or BN related party. All Chinese associate with BN will never fair well with other Chinese as proven by the results of the election. BN has shot themselves in the foot again. Najib is no leader. He will never elevate Malaysia out from our economy crisis – Malaysia Debts.

    Najib is a gold digger, digging from us, Malaysians. Many don’t see any progress except Malaysiana will quarrel over GE13 until GE14 come. Many laypeople are fed up with BN practices and have hope for change but now many feel being robbed even before Anwar’s announcement.

    So, the sentiment is set for change. Many lessons have be learned and will not be repeated come GE14.Our thanks to Pakatan for a battle well fought. I have contributed, have you?

  3. At the moment like it or not, this shall be the situation.

    PM Najib will really need to think hard and well, those with more information has decided. Just Imagine a truly fair playing field, (i.e the MSM and a debate)

    So … away with racial politics, only those who choose not to be informed, believed so.

    Yesterday, on my outstation trip my cost could have been reduced, toll & petrol and I think most Malaysian felt the same way.

    Good luck Malaysia

  4. Actually its not UNCERTAIN. Najib will hold on to his job – Muhiyiddin is NOT a challenge to him on his own and Mahathir risk losing Najib’s popular appeal if get rid of Najib.

    But Najib can’t do anything new. He needs to pander to the right in the short term. So his answer will be to do more of what he has done.. He will spend more BIG projects, on/off balance sheet, syndicated. i.e, his ‘transformation’ and he will reach out to the Indian voters which are easier to buy. He has to do a better cosmetic job fighting corruption much like his ‘transformation’ – make it look really good when nothing fundamental change to make a feeble attempt at Chinese vote.

    Its actually quite clear what Najib’s option are. The more uncertain one is what the opposition will do given their hail-Mary has fell short and they need to change their top players and a lot of issue with PAS..

  5. Dear LimBK

    MCA and Gerakan are also playing race politics (along with UMNO).
    It’s all part of the MCA and Gerakan propaganda game i.e. “if you don’t vote for us, the Chinese will not be represented in the Cabinet”

    (The MCA and Gerakan types are equivalent to those Asians who collaborated with colonial regimes in the past i.e. in return for some of the spoils, collaborate with the oppressers and keep the regime going.)

    MCA and Gerakan are punishing the voters by closing their service centres in Penang! Is this principled behaviour?

  6. A regime that cheats to win an election cannot go unnoticed in today’s internet age. To gain legitimacy and recognition from Big Powers, concessions and compromises will have to be made. This will make them weak, unable to speak up independently or truly take care of her people’s interests. I really hope my elected Government is not in such a state.

  7. It’s indeed strange that a Chinapek chauvinist like looes, can’t see where i’m coming from. For all he knows, i’ve a better insight to Jibs & Co, than he and his DAP hacks can ever hope to have – even though i’m no insider like his obsessive, blinkered blogging buddy, who watches from afar but whose prescience rivals that of RPK.

    Jibs is a very ‘conflicted’ flur. He means well, but like a spoiled brat can be petulant. He listens intently, and processes information well – but does not do what he says – because he wants to please everyone. Most of all his coterie of hangers on. His advisers with few exceptions are the scum of the earth. Besides being a lame-duck – as of now, he seems to relish pornography as a means to vilify his opponents – and that is a big no-no at this level. In short, the Emperor’s clothes don’t fit well and he becomes a lil spineless Nero, who sometimes show flashes of Caligula.

    The only one able to prop him up is Bikmama, who is precocious, smart, prescribes to utilitarianism (i.e practical application of the dark arts) but can be most arrogant, vindictive and devious. A femme fatale equivalent of Octo. Don’t mess with her. She will buy up half of PAS, if she could. So we’ll have to put up with Kazakhstan’s influence for the interim, including regular ‘sightings’ of the Ring! Never underestimate her will to prevail.

    The so-called “Night of the Long Knives” and the “Beer Hall Putsch” will be attempted in no uncertain terms. Yet among the present bumpkins and red-necks who inhabit UMNO, there is no One more capable than FLOM.

    Happy now, looes? Btw, the in-coming cabinet will reveal the depths of Mediocrity and gormless ways of UMNO.

  8. what do the Chinese want? Listen to me. They are Malaysians just like anybody else. What they want is what every Malaysian wants. A country in which they settle down and continue to live. A government which is incorrupt and give them respect and a fair deal. They want to participate in decision-making and decide on the destiny of a country they call home. Malaysia. Is it too much for them? or for any Malaysian. Don’t treat them like a bunch of alien locusts coming to eat your plant.

  9. Uncertain times ahead is a cup half filled.
    To fill this cup, let PKR and DAP (and PAS if can) form one party. PKR and DAP together represents the middle class of Malaysians. With this, some young UMNO may join.

    By coming together, it removes the fear among Malays that DAP will be Spore’s PAP. Then the rural Malays can see the earnest in the amalgamation. This will be the day of ideology ripening.

    We are Malaysia and NOT Singapore. Let’s show it. Show it to the world; DAP and PKR (and PAS if can). The defeat of Ibrahim Ali by PAS (with great support by TDM) is an outright reject by the Malays for TDM/Perkasa brand of racial politics.

    Go on, call the Chinese, non-BN supporters, the Malays in Pakatan have told BN/MCA the numbers SHOUTED otherwise; what more can be further from the truth even when the truth is that BN’s number were inflated yet PK won popularity.

  10. Ringgit rose not due to BN win
    Ringgit is more or less peg to Yuan as both currencies unpegged from $ on the same day in 2006.
    When Yuan rose, Rgt ride on it, but that is not good. Fortunately our CPO is in demand but succumbed to cyclical price decline.

    The Rgt will rise further riding on Yuan as Yuan advance towards 5.5 from 6.136 now. TA had that forecasted since 2008 that $ will pivot from 72 USDX towards 89. It had gone to 120 before. We might see MYR/$ at 2.5 again just like early 90s.

    When time is right, price will correct. Riding on Yuan had raised Rgt but is that good for export given that witness of inflationary events last and this year.

  11. Dear LBK,

    Race politics is getting out. It was effective when our literacy rate were lower, less access to info and all that which deprived democratic growth.

    MCA and Gerakan failed to see that the Chinese community need less of them as they seem to sell short to grease their existence. By rejecting MCA and Gerakan, the Chinese in Pakatan are telling to MCA and Gerakan face; please get lost. You cannot represent us. We don’t need racial representation. Pakatan representation has much less racial overtone. The Chinese having opted for Pakatan had braved against all odds. They are saying, come what may, we are together with our Malay brothers who seek justice. What more can we loose? More racial rhetoric will simply drive the Chinese more away from BN as well as Malays from BN. BN will have just to oppress the rural malays to vote them back into power. Over time there might be less rural Malays, then what?

    After many terms of Tun Lim, LKS from mainland could boot him; likewise to Ghani too. LKS had a book (banned) call TIMEBOMB in Malaysia written after 1969. That time bomb had ignited. In it he had forecast division among Malays by economic class if I can remember correctly. As the Malays join the Chinese in middle class, most became autonomously resilience along what Bakri Musa said.

  12. TDM had declared Najib despite spending billions for by hook or crook still couldn’t secure 2/3. He also shouted Pak Lah did better without having to bribe the rakyat.

    TDM got rid of Pak Lah. In protest he resigned then rejoined.
    Having foundry his word, he CANNOT retract. We can be confident he will walk his talk as that befits his legacy agenda when UMNO Dep President vacancy arises as Muhyiddin ascends, Fast fwd, wouldn’t that draws GE14 nearer?

    The rest like they say is history. TDM is set to win BIG in UMNO for we know he has kept lots of dry powder waiting to load before he goes. If by GE14, he is still around then that would be a miracle.

    Surprising his word to Mukriz as Kedah MB is to govern without corruption. The next 2-3 years will be ultra colorful to watch.On equal ground, Pakatan has to semangat fast for they also see what will happen.

    GE13 is just another great battle. The war is just beginning IMHO.

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