by Joe Fernandez
BRIEFLY The consensus at the grassroots level is that the 13th GE won’t see a repeat of the 2008 political tsunami in Peninsular Malaysia despite the alternative media because the vital Hindraf Makkal Sakthi factor, representing the Indian underclass in particular, will be missing this time.
The reasons are aplenty.
Bersih under super duper rich lawyer Ambiga Sreenivasan won’t be able to help Pakatan Rakyat (PR), especially Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), compensate for the absence of Hindraf.
Amibiga is no match whatsoever for Hindraf. She doesn’t represent the Indian underclass. She continues to get the support of the Chinese and Malays, the converted, for PR but the Indians, the crucial factor, is missing. Attacking Ambiga in racist terms is not going to make the Indians come rushing to her defence.
Indraf, the new NGO, is a sick PKR joke just as Malaysian Makkal Sakthi was a desperate Umno joke.
In the same vein, ex-PR propagandist and fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, currently held up by the Barisan Nasional (BN), has been labelled a “political clown” who’s full of himself.
The bottomline is that people did not vote for PR in 2008.
They voted against BN because of the bandwagon effect created by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi in Nov 2007 and mid-Feb 2008 and the alternative media playing it up.
Only the Indians can bring down the BN in Peninsular Malaysia.
If the Indians abstain, PKR will lose and BN will win by default and coupled with Sabah and Sarawak, BN will still form the Federal Government.
If the Indians vote against BN, even support from Sabah and Sarawak will not be enough to help BN to form the Federal Government.
People in Sabah and Sarawak are under the mistaken impression that they can be King Makers.
They are sadly mistaken.
Only the Indians can be King Makers or King Killers.
If Sabah and Sarawak are King Makers and King Killers, BN won’t continue to take them for granted as Fixed Deposit — think illegals — states.
If Sabah and Sarawak want to be a factor in politics in the mainstream, they should join forces with the Indians as a 3rd Force. By themselves, they will be not in the political mainstream, and that’s why Umno continues to ignore them and take them for granted.
PR will never form the Federal Government if they don’t get the Indian community to vote against BN. Note that the Indians voting against BN is not the same as voting for PR. The Indians voted against BN the last time because of Hindraf and not MIC.
By focussing on the Chinese and Malays, Anwar is merely preaching to the converted.
Come the 13th GE, PR will at best hang on to its gains of 2008 in Peninsular Malaysia including Perak.
At worst, PKR will lose all its seats outside Kuala Lumpur and in the five Opposition states of 2008 because of the Indians and maybe even the Malays.
The Chinese will be all out for PR, the Indians for Dap and Pas only.
The Indians will reject PKR as cast in the same mould as Umno and BN.
Where PKR loses, it will be because Indians didn’t vote for them and where BN wins, it will be because the Indians didn’t vote against them (BN). In both cases, the Indians would have abstained from voting.
The Chinese know that PKR is another Umno but think that the solution to that is to increase their numbers in the party.
If the Chinese are willing to do this with PKR, the Indians should adopt the same approach and give it time to get results for themselves. The Indians must remember that they can’t join Umno but PKR is open to them. At one time, Indians reportedly formed 40 per cent of the PKR membership but they left largely because of de facto party chief Anwar Ibrahim’s attitude to Hindraf.
Unfortunately, the Indians can only bring down the ruling party in the immediate future without themselves benefiting from the change. That’s why they left PKR.
It seems that the Indians are condemned to repeatedly bringing down the ruling party until the Chinese and Malays finally get the message that they (Indians) must be given their rightful place in the Malaysian sun or otherwise it will continue to undermine national security and thereby bring down and depress values — shares, property, currency etc — as investor and consumer confidence continues to be lacking.
In Sabah and Sarawak, come the 13th GE, the BN will not be able to repeat its performance of 2008. There will be a mini political tsunami in Sabah and Sarawak as a delayed reaction to the 2008 political tsunami in Peninsular Malaysia.
PKR will be rejected in Sabah. The party, rightly or wrongly, has acquired the stigma of being against the Orang Asal (Natives) and rooting, overtly and covertly, for the illegal immigrants allegedly on the electoral rolls.
Meanwhile, the longer the 13th GE is delayed, the less seats that Dap will win in Sabah.
The 3rd Force, albeit small, will come into being in Sabah if not Sarawak but at the expense of BN and not PR.
PR should work with the 3rd Force. It should not continue to belabour under the mistaken impression that the 3rd Force is its mortal enemy.
This is the same strategic mistake that they, especially PKR, has made with Hindraf Makkal Sakthi.
Again, it’s high time that PR accepted the fact that the people did not vote for them in 2008. They voted against BN and PR won by default.
There’s no place in Sabah and Sarawak for PR and eventually for BN too. It’s better for BN and PR to focus on Peninsular Malaysia and leave Sabah and Sarawak alone.
Sabah and Sarawak are 3rd Force and Hindraf Makkal Sakthi territory.
Sabah and Sarawak, being in the underclass like the Orang Asli and the great majority of the Indians, Christians and other minorities, are crucial to Hindraf’s strategy to cut Umno down to size and prevent PKR from getting too big for its boots.