Tanjung Piai by-election: PH must win or race politics will forever dominate Malaysia

As it is the first by-election since the official formation of the Muafakat Nasional – coalition of former political foes UMNO and PAS – in September, the battle of Tanjung Piai is of national consequence. It will determine our not-too-distant future.

A win for Barisan Nasional, represented by MCA on behalf of the UMNO-PAS alliance, will embolden the opposition coalition’s racial attack on the Pakatan Harapan government.

By resorting to racial extremism, with the intention of breaking up the Pakatan Harapan government over ethnic divisions, it will pave way for the return of Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi to power. Both are facing multiple corruption charges in courts.

If power is given back to them, there is zero hope for reform. The opposition is not interested to play the role of check and balance. UMNO merely wants power, now.

UMNO President Zahid Hamidi had just warned that moves are being made to oust Pakatan Harapan state government in Perak. In Zahid’s mind and in UMNO and PAS’s playbook, it is all about sowing the seed of divide and to reaping the fruits of hatred.

The aim is for Najib and Zahid to make a comeback without having to account for their past crimes that they and their associates committed during Barisan Nasional era.

Pakatan Harapan had just survived a possible coup of October by UMNO leader Hishammuddin Hussein and his friends to create a new backdoor government without DAP and Amanah.

The entire October also saw the heightening of Malay and non-Malay anxieties, and the various attempts to taint the DAP as terrorist and communist sympathisers, with the intention of pushing for DAP’s deregistration, and also sacking from Pakatan Harapan.

The Malay audience is told that the government is controlled and dominated by Lim Guan Eng and DAP. The non-Malay ground is told by MCA and associates that DAP is voiceless and dominated by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu.

Let me reiterate that both allegations are wrong, unfair and would be detrimental to our multi-ethnic society. Pakatan Harapan is a coalition government negotiating decisions in collegial manner through Cabinet and Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council.

Pakatan Harapan government is not perfect but it deserves a full five-year term to implement its ideas, and not to be dislodged mid-term by plots and conspiracies based on racial mobilisation.

A vote for MCA as a representative of the UMNO-PAS coalition under the guise of BN at the Tanjung Piai by-election on 16th November will just only encourage both Malay parties to cause further chaos.

If BN wins, they will take it that voters approve their racial attempt to dislodge the legitimate Pakatan Harapan government half way into its term. I shudder to think when a coalition of parties with corrupt leaders and no clear reform agenda but merely race politics will be in power, again.

Speech by Liew Chin Tong in Pekan Nanas, Johor on 9th November 2019