Media Statement by Tony Pua in Taiping on Wednesday, 8th April 2009:
By-election results call for the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly, signifies the continuing irrelevance of race-based politics and demonstrates the lack of confidence in our newly installed Prime Minister
The most decisive and convincing manner by which Pakatan Rakyat have won the two by-elections in Peninsula Malaysia, particularly in Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat where the majority increased by nearly 80%, demonstrates without a doubt the aspirations of Malaysians. Together with the overwhelming results from Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu in the past few months, the people have sent the following messages to the Barisan Nasional government:
1. The results are a clear endorsements of the Pakatan Rakyat 10 month-old Perak government for its multi-racial and multi-cultural policies benefiting the rakyat from all segments of the community.
The Kuala Sepetang polling district where the Chinese community comprises 97% of the 2,311 electorate voted 84.3% for a PAS candidate. This is an earth-shaking result demonstrating that barriers to racial and communal politics are being torn down and are being replaced by the politics of good and quality governance.
This is an indisputably historic result of enormous significance on the continued relevance of Barisan Nasional race-based “model” of governance.
2. The sizeable increase in victory margin for the Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin clearly sends the message to our newly installed Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak that the people wants the Perak State Assembly to be dissolved for fresh elections. The Prime Minister had on 6th March said that he wanted to “build a democracy responsive to the people’s needs” when he was commenting on the roles of the “new and old media”.
It is therefore high time, as a new Prime Minister, to do the right thing for democracy in Malaysia by ensuring that the people of Perak gets a Government they themselves elect via the dissolution of the current state assembly.
3. Finally, despite the tremendous odds – the feel good factor from a newly installed Prime Minister, a “successfully” concluded UMNO General Assembly, the active presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, donations amounting to millions which would not have resulted if not for the by-elections to Chinese and Tamil schools, the sudden release of some Hindraf ISA detainees, Malaysians in the Peninsula have voted for Pakatan Rakyat, a year-old coalition, which can only represent a dismal lack of confidence in our 6th and new prime minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has his work cut out for him and it is quite clear that Malaysians will not give him a 100-day honeymoon period to perform. He must hence immediately institute firm and resolute measures to eradicate corruption, overhaul archaic and repressive laws and dismantle discriminatory policy tools antithetical to his “One Malaysia” agenda.
* Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara