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Fuziah Salleh…to rev up new politics

February 2, 2011

It is impossible the Malays won’t wake up soon and demand justice from Umno?

Pakatan: Putrajaya in sight despite Tenang, to rev up new politics

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle 

Fuziah Salleh, Vice President Parti Keadilan Rakyat

With the dust settling on the Tenang by-election, Pakatan Rakyat leaders expressed confidence in Malaysian voters, assuring that Putrajaya was still in sight and that, come what may, new politics would not be dumped for the old feudal practises favoured by archrival BN.

“There is no reason for any of us, even PAS, to abandon new politics. Instead it must rev up its efforts to be seen as a progressive and modern party. Definitely Pakatan will not make the same mistake as Umno-BN and stay in the same feudal mode that has brought them to their current stage of extinction and Malaysia to the brink of disaster,” PKR vice president Fuziah Salleh told Malaysia Chronicle.

“There is only one way to transform Malaysia, to get rid of the corruption, break down the racial barriers and that is through new politics. Unless Pakatan partners are thinking only of winning power for themselves, how can we U-turn? How do we bring about change if we succumb to the BN style or to racial politicking? They know this and this is why they are trying to get us to stop by using psy-war and propaganda to demoralize us and our supporters.”

Putrajaya and a hung Parliament

BN had won the Tenang by-election that many analysts had referred to as a litmus test for both coalitions. But the outcome failed to trigger any convincing implications for the future.

In the immediate aftermath of the disappointing result, many of Pakatan’s most seasoned leaders had refrained from giving their opinions, preferring to allow the public to make up its own mind. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has been busy churning out a slew of reports proclaiming the death of Pakatan, while dedicating Sunday’s victory to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“We didn’t want to seem sour grapes. But by now, Malaysians will be able to judge for themselves which reports are true and fair, which are not,” Batu MP Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

“Right from the start as many of us had already warned, Tenang would be tough. It was a “buy” election in every sense of the word. Not only did the BN throw out sweeteners worth hundreds of millions, the Election Commission should have postponed the balloting as Pakatan had requested. From the night before, it was already clear large parts were flooding but BN insisted and the EC caved in. In the end, they used the might of the federal government’s lorries, boats and machinery to beat us. Can anyone be surprised?”

Neither Tian nor Fuziah discount the possibility that BN would pull the same tricks in the next general election. But they were confident that the winds of change would still blow through Malaysia – one way or another and sooner rather than later.

“No one should say Putrajaya is beyond Pakatan just because of Tenang. We are standing on the right side and this itself will help us to win. At the worst scenario, Pakatan will still be able to maintain the states that we now control and even add a few more seats. The surveys that we continually conduct show that nothing much on the ground has changed and a hung Parliament is a very likely prospect,” Fuziah said.

The wish to hold political dominance

Indeed, the Malaysian electorate has become increasing divided through the years. Since the 2008 general election, the fear of loss of political dominance has perhaps colored the Malay community’s view of the other races.

Some pundits say for the sake of maintaining the political upper-hand, many in the community were willing close an eye to “everything”. Yet, others believed that was not possible.

“The main factors are Umno and BN are refusing to change because they can’t. Their corruption is too entrenched and can no longer be hidden. They have to stick to their old ways or their crimes will be exposed. Yes, in Tenang, because of racial sentiments, the Malay vote helped Umno to win. But it also galvanizes the non-Malays because they can see for themselves BN is still pursuing corrupt policies, administering inefficiently – so why should they give BN their votes. Then, there is the trillion-ringgit question – for how long will the Malay community continue to forgive Umno,” said Tian .

“Just look at the floods taking place right now in Tenang, the rest of Johor and East Malaysia. Look at the money that is flowing out of the country due to graft. Is it impossible the Malays won’t wake up soon and demand justice from Umno? Racial feelings are never the way to sustain any relationship and certainly not for a nation. Malaysia needs people who have the courage to make a real break from the past and a real beginning for the future. And only Pakatan has done that so far. This is why we will stand our ground and not give in to all the anti-spin aimed to divide us and allow the country’s wealth to be siphoned away.”

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