Why simple majority? Harapan should go for broke, aim for two-thirds
Rusman Hussain (Updated )
LETTER | A two-thirds majority in the current Parliament means 148 seats, a mythical figure that may, on surface, seem beyond the reach of all opposition coalitions, especially if it is an alliance that has barely been formed a year ago, as is the case with Pakatan Harapan.
This is where the story gets interesting, and where political science clashes with the dreams of all sharp analysts, who from time to time, are willing to rethink the laws by which the politicians themselves have violated.
Let's face it. In politics, the golden law is so simple almost to the point of being crude: you break it, you own it. In the case of Malaysia, Najib has ruined Malaysia completely, to which all redemption now rests on the people's revolt on May 9. And, the odds of the latter happening are getting stronger by the day.
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This law is further reinforced by all three principles of Newtonian mechanics: The first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. This is normally taken as the definition of inertia.
The second law explains how the velocity of an object changes when it is subjected to an external force.
The third law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if object A exerts a force on object B, then object B also exerts an equal force on object A.
BN and Umno, according to the first law, are not inert. In fact, they have been over zealous in creating wealth (for themselves), invariably through schemes like 1MDB, Felda, Bandar Malaysia, and TRX land swaps, that each failure has resulted in the distortion of BN and Umno's own trajectory. Bersatu was formed to pursue the Malay struggle, instead of leaving it all to Umno alone.
The more BN and Umno try to swivel and pivot in the international and corporate arena, the more they are known as a corrupt political regime; with even more corruptive influence on the political economy of Malaysia. If a well-managed economy is the proverbial China shop, Umno is the bull that left every piece of fine porcelain shattered to bits on the floor.
The results are plain as day if we take an objective measure like the 2008 and 2013 elections (with the caveat that we know elections are neither free nor fair). The loss of popular votes every time Umno tried to win back voters on account of its poor record of managing the nation has been an abysmal failure.
They lost the two-thirds majority in Parliament in 2008 – unprecedented. And they lost the popular vote in 2013 – again, unprecedented.
Not much has changed since 2013. In fact, things have only gotten worse with the losses at 1MDB. Once again Umno has tried to paper over the failures with an absurd claim that but for a faulty business model everything would have been just fine at 1MDB. This is the trajectory Umno cannot waver from not matter what schemes it tries.
The second law of Newton, while more complicated, is simple: the faster your fall, when new speed is added to an object. The proliferation of social media has made BN and Umno oblivious to the fact that they now operate in realms where a hyper demanding society is demanding more from the government, than what the latter alone can offer.
BN and Umno cannot match Harapan precisely because the latter is able to keep up with social media, invariably, the netizens, while BN and Umno are always wallowing in smut.
The third law of Newton is equally applicable to Umno and BN in the 14th general election, if not since 1999 too. For every action, there is equal reaction.
By bullying, indeed, bulldozing its way through Malaysia – as if it alone owns Malaysia not others – BN and Umno are now looking at total revolt from Kangar in Perlis to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
The jailing of Anwar led to the formation of Parti Keadlian Malaysia in 1998, which later became PKR.
The offering of indelible ink as a means to control illicit voting followed by the revelation that the ink was defective lead to voter outrage and increased turnout.
Setting elections on a Wednesday sparked an outrage online forcing the caretaker prime minister to offer up Wednesday as a National holiday and giving Pakatan Harapan the opportunity to offer May 10 and 11 as a holiday.
There is virtually no end to the examples one can cite.
Of course, we can add other laws of politics. And, they always apply without fail. It was former US speaker of the House, ‘Tip’ O’ Neill, who famously said that "all politics are local." By raising GST, passing the Anti Fake News Act 2018 unilaterally, BN and Umno have not only made "politics local," but extremely personal.
The last law is that coined by US senator William Fulbright: "That truth is the first casualty of war." BN and Umno know they have walked into a war-like situation, where four opposition coalition parties, together with various strategic partners in civil society, have teamed up, to dislodge the ruling regime.
Thus, the latter has resorted to cooking the books on 1MDB just to redeem itself as a worthy second sovereign fund, this despite the fact that 1MDB has failed completely, even by the admission of caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak on April 26 in Bloomberg.
Regardless of which laws, be they Newtonian, or sheer folkloric observations from Western political traditions, Umno and BN have run afoul of, Najib is trapped, and together with him, is PAS.
Both parties have formed alliances to be the king and kingmaker. Yet divine and natural laws, too, do not respect a total lunge for power.
To be sure, 99 percent of Malaysians have some form of theological beliefs that constitute a basic respect for the spiritual realm. By gorging themselves with debts which the people must repay, and seeking power solely for the sake of power and not the greater good, which usurps citizen’s rights, Malaysians will trigger one of the biggest electoral tsunamis in the world on May 9.
What purpose can a Fake News law serve if the majority of the country’s mainstream media is in the business of producing fake news day in and day out for the last two decades.
Those who are not in the clear will be completely overwhelmed. They will soon be at the outside looking in, or, perhaps, the inside looking out, if the relevant laws on massive criminal breach of trust are brought to bear on all the key stakeholders in Umno and BN.
Thus, a two-thirds majority in favour of Pakatan Harapan cannot – and must not – be ruled out in Malaysia. Like proverbial New Yorkers, who don't get mad, but get even, Malaysia is now at the tipping point, to get even; potentially even exceeding all the expectations of the polling firms.
After miscuing on Trump's surprise victory and Brexit, one would have assumed that the polling firms should know that their methods are not flawless.
Yet, there are many in and out of Malaysia who are not looking at the raw emotions of the people per se. These are people who have felt the full effect of being used and abused by their own elected government.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.