Malaysia

Pakatan must prove its worth to win GE13, says Guan Eng

By Lisa J. Ariffin
September 23, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) needs to convince voters of its ability to form a formidable federal government and to cooperate as a unified pact to win its place in Putrajaya in the coming polls, Lim Guan Eng said today.

The DAP secretary-general accused the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) of perpetuating three “myths” about the opposition to spread doubt over its readiness to govern — that PR leaders cannot work together much less co-operate when in power; PR is not capable of administrating a nation; and PR does not have the people’s interests at heart and are only power crazy.

Lim (picture) said the Najib administration has been using “extremist, racial and religious rhetoric” to mask failures of the BN government and to win votes in the upcoming general election.

The Penang chief minister also moved to dispel three “lies” he claimed were spun by the government to distract attention from BN’s failure to fight corruption and its lack of “competency, accountability and transparency in governance”.

“The first lie is that Malaysia would go bankrupt if PR wins because we can not afford to deliver all our promises,” Lim said today during the Perak DAP state annual convention in Ipoh.

“Our competent performance in the four PR states clearly disproves this lie as no PR states went bankrupt, instead recorded large surpluses,” he added.

Lim said the second lie was MCA’s claims that a PR victory would lead to an Islamic state under PAS, while Umno claims a Christian state would be formed under DAP.

“This lie by MCA and Umno is self-contradictory. The clearest rebuttal is that there is no mention of an Islamic or a Christian state in the PR’s common policy,” he said.

Lim then claimed BN’s third lie was a reoccurrence of the May 13 racial riots if there is a change of government.

“Such threats are intended to frighten non-Malays even though BN and Umno know that a change of government can only happen if the Malay voters desire change as Malays form the majority of voters,” he said.

“The 2008 general elections show that Malaysian voters are mature and there were no racial incidents even though there was a change of state governments in five states.

“As the last three Bersih rallies have shown, the desire for clean elections has strong support from Malays who made up the majority of the peaceful demonstrators,” he added.

Lim, however, believed Putrajaya’s “reliance on playing extremist racial and religious sentiments will be rejected by Malaysians”.

“I believe that Malaysians would choose a new government that delivers on economic performance, prosperity for all and reversing the brain drain and reject an unchanged government that exploits race and religious extremist sentiments to hide its corruption and cronyism,” he said.

Lim then urged PR leaders to emphasise integrity, clean leadership and good governance to reflect good performance in PR states.

“We must institutionalise open tenders and publicly declare our assets to show we have nothing to hide just as PR leaders have done in Penang.”

As polls draw closer, both BN and PR are said to be in a tight race to the finish line.

Most predictions have named BN the winner but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak badly needs a stronger mandate to ensure his policies can be rolled out in full after the elections, which must be called by April next year.

His predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said a few days ago that a stronger mandate was necessary to ensure Malaysia’s prosperity, warning that a weak government would be too preoccupied with its political survival to govern well.

But Dr Mahathir had made a bleak prediction of BN’s chances, saying it was likely that the ruling pact would not recapture its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority, which was lost in Election 2008.

Speaking to Johor Umno delegates yesterday, Najib, however, appeared to sound confident of BN’s chances, even saying that PR has “zero credibility”, according to Bernama Online.

Recalling the views raised recently by a few pro-opposition political observers, Najib pointed out that his transformational policies had been praised.

“The opposition lack credibility. They not only do not share a common symbol, their policies also differ with too many crises including their stand on the hudud law,” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency.

At a recent forum in a Petaling Jaya church, observers had cast doubt on PR’s readiness to rule Malaysia if they were to wrest control of Putrajaya in the coming elections, saying there are unresolved issues blighting their chances such as the hudud issue and the pact’s failure to prepare a shadow Cabinet.