(Seremban, Tuesday): The next general election holds out the golden political opportunity to effect unprecedented political change for the first time in four decades of Malaysian nationhood - to break the mould of Barisan Nasional political hegemony by denying and ending the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority.
The Barisan Nasional will remain in power, but it will be a completely different type of government, one which must respect and uphold the peopleís aspirations for the restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance or be voted out of office in the next general election.
This is because the denial and ending of the Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in four decades would serve as a warning that unless the Barisan Nasional government takes concrete steps to dismantle undemocratic and unfair laws and regulations, where people can enjoy justice, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the professionalism of the Police, an all-out war against cronyism, corruption and nepotism, an economic system to serve the people rather than the select few, a free and independent press, then the people will end the Barisan Nasionalís mandate for power in the subsequent general election whether in 2,004 or 2,005.
The coming-together of Opposition parties, namely DAP, PAS, KeADILan and PRM to mobilise and harness the peopleís demand for change is necessary to break the mould of Barisan Nasional political hegemony in the next election, as neither the DAP nor any other Opposition party can singly deny the Barisan Nasional - a coalition of 14 parties - its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
DAP can look forward to winning 25 to 30 parliamentary seats in the next general election, which will be our contribution to the Opposition total of some 75-80 Parliamentary seats to end two-thirds majority in Parliament - with the Barisan Nasional still with a comfortable simple majority of some 33 to 38 seats, enough to govern but not enough to continue with its abuses and excesses of power.
With the Barisan Nasional facing for the first time a real possibility of losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority, the stakes are very high and the next general election is likely to be the dirtiest general election in the nationís history.
In the 1990 general election, the "ace" election scam used by the Barisan Nasional was the attack on Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the Semangat 46 President, as having sold out the Malay race and betrayed the Islamic religion by alleging that he had worn a Kadazan tengkolok with a Christian cross.
When the Malays realised that this was a lie, it was too late, as the Malay voters had already been stampeded to vote for UMNO and against Semangat 46. Tengku Razaleigh is now back in UMNO, still hoping to have the chance to become the Prime Minister, although he had been the victim of one of the most vicious lies and election scams in Malaysian history of having sold out the Malay race and betrayed Islam.
The MCA has its own "Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah" election scam for the
next general election - to frighten and stampede the Chinese voters to
go against the DAP and support the MCA with the lie that the DAP
is supporting PAS to establish an Islamic State.
Instead of winning our biggest number of parliamentary seats, which I had estimated from 25 to 30, DAP can suffer an even worse defeat in the next election than in the 1995 general election if MCA succeeds in its "ace" election ploy to scare voters into believing that DAP will help PAS establish an Islamic state.
By the time the Chinese voters realise the MCA lie, it would be too late as the votes would have been cast - just like the Malay voters found out too late after casting their votes in the 1990 general election that it was a lie that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had sold out the Malay race and betrayed the Islamic religion by allegedly wearing a Kadazan headgear with a Christian cross!
I believe the Chinese voters can support DAPís co-operation with PAS with the objective of denying and ending the Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds majority so as to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, as in ensuring that the injustices of Lim Guan Eng case or the assault of Anwar Ibrahim while under police custody until he got a black-eye or the scandal of the misdiagnosis, mishandling and mistreatment of the Nipah virus disaster killing over 100 people and destroying the pig rearing industry cannot happen again in Malaysia.
The danger however is that the Chinese voters might be stampeded by MCA falsehoods and lies into believing that the DAPís co-operation with PAS is not just limited to the specific objectives of restoring justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, but extends to giving support to PAS on the Islamic state issue.
MCA propagandists believe that if it is possible to stampede the Malay voters in the 1990 general election to go to the polls believing that Tengku Razaleigh had sold out the Malay race and betrayed the Islamic religion, they can also stampede the Chinese voters in the coming general election and go to the polls believing that the DAP had betrayed the Chinese community by agreeing to help PAS establish the Islamic State.
Any co-operation with PAS in the coming general election is therefore a high-risk decision. Why then should DAP take such a risk which might end up with the DAP faring even worse than the 1995 general election, when we were cut down from 20 to nine parliamentary seats.
This is because the DAP on its own cannot deny the Barisan Nasional its traditional two-thirds majority to break the mould of Barisan Nasional political hegemony to give justice, freedom, democracy and good governance a new lease of life.
If the DAP can co-operate with other Opposition parties on the common issues of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, then we can make what was unthinkable and even impossible in the past four decades not only thinkable and possible, but come true!
In the last 33 years, the DAP has proven to the people that it is a party which they could trust for we stand firm by our principles and convictions for justice, freedom, equality, fair play and good governance - and this is borne out by the long list of DAP leaders who were prepared to pay the political price for their beliefs, whether detention under the Internal Security Act or persecution in the courts. Even now, Lim Guan Eng is in jail for his principles and convictions.
If the people are allowed the chance to consider whether DAP leaders could sell out their principles or the peopleís rights and interests in the light of the DAPís 33-year record, I have confidence that they would come to the right conclusion. Unfortunately, the whole art of an "ace" election scam, like the one accusing Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of having sold out the Malay race and betrayed Islam is to stampede the people to react emotionally to a vicious charge of betrayal of the people and the communityís rights and not to give the people time to ponder and weigh either its veracity or possibility.
There must be an national innoculation campaign to vaccinate the people agaisnt the lies and falsehoods which would be told about the DAP and the Opposition in the next general election, and the people must not fall prey to such vicious election scams - like the case of the 1990 election scam on Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.