Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 20 June 2016

Did the Pakatan Harapan (PH) politicians – some of whom have been in politics for decades – not foreseen the results of the two recent by-elections? Any fool who can count could have predicted the results. So what prompted the leaders of PH to insist on splitting the opposition votes? Have they lost their marbles?

  1. Referendum on Najib’s 1MDB scandal

After the hullabaloo over the Citizens’ Declaration to ask for Najib’s resignation, you would have expected that they would make these two by-elections a referendum on Najib. For such a referendum to take place, you would need a one-to-one vote and not a three corner fight. So why did they persist in this charade? Did they not expect the results that logically materialized?

  1. Is Mahathir the new de facto Opposition leader?

Making Dr M the leader of the Citizens’ Declaration was the first serious mistake. This is the Prime Minister who was responsible for the assault on the Judiciary, launching Operation Lalang and so many financial scandals during his rule. He was also the man who slammed Najib for wasting money on the Chinese during GE13 when it could have been better spent on the Bumiputeras. The Citizens’ Declaration put off many justice-loving Malaysians who would have supported a grassroots campaign calling for Najib to resign. It exposed the lack of principles and opportunism of the PH leaders.

And still sticking with Dr M after he had continued his denigration of Anwar (supposedly the de facto Pakatan leader) was a betrayal of Anwar and belied their excitement over Dr M as the new de facto leader of PH. Did the PH leaders really think that Dr M could swing the votes so significantly for Amanah to win the two by-elections? Couldn’t they see that Dr M has little support when he could not even prevent the sacking of his son?

  1. Did the PH leaders expect PAS to stand aside in the two seats?

If the by-elections had been in some other constituencies in which PAS did not stand in GE13, the PH leaders would be justified in putting up their Amanah candidates. Unfortunately, these two seats had been contested by PAS in the last general election and they had a clear stake in these two seats.

Okay, so Amanah wanted to prove they are an alternative to PAS. Is this the way to prove their worth? Well, now they know… The winner in any three-corner fight will be BN – “It’s simple arithmetic – dah!”

  1. Find your marbles before GE14

If we are to avoid three corner fights in GE14, DAP might have to consider apportioning some of their contested seats to Amanah. For Malaysians who have been waiting a lifetime to see the back of the BN, a repetition of the scenario evident in the last two by-elections is not an option. Ultimately, the Opposition will have to back stitch together the Alternative Coalition that took decades to come about and that has been so rudely torn asunder only in recent months.