If Liong Sik is right that 99% of the Chinese support the Barisan Nasional in the next general election, then in the coming election the DAP will fare even worse than the 1995 general election when the DAPís 20 Parliamentary and 46 State Assembly seats were slashed to nine Parliamentary and 11 state assembly seats. In fact, the DAP would be facing the prospect of being completely wiped out in Parliament and the various State Assemblies if 99% of the Chinese in the country vote for the Barisan Nasional in the next election.
Liong Sik may have reasons to be so supremely confident about the prospects of the MCA and the Barisan Nasional in the next election - such as a secret electoral strategy to be sprung on the electorate during the election campaign, and this may explain the warning by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad recently that the next general election will be the "dirtiest" in the nationís history.
Liong Sik in fact indicated yesterday the nature of such a secret electoral strategy when he warned the Chinese voters that everyone has only one vote, and that they cannnot afford to make two choices, or they might end up having Nik Aziz as the Prime Minister implementing PASí Islamic State.
It is clear that the MCA and Barisan Nasional think their "trump card" in the next election is to make the voters believe that the next general election is to decide whether Mahathir or Nik Aziz become the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and whether Malaysia is to become an Islamic state.
I agree that if MCA and the Barisan Nasional can make the voters believe that these are the two greatest issues in the next general election, whether Mahathir or Nik Aziz will become the Prime Minister of Malaysia and whether Malaysia will become an Islamic state, Liong Sik will not be far off the mark if he said that the overwhelming majority of the Malaysian Chinese voters will support the Barisan Nasional.
But only the naïve will believe that the general elections is about whether Mahathir or Nik Aziz is to become the Prime Minister and whether Malaysia is to become an Islamic State.
The biggest issue in the next election is whether Malaysians can create political history by breaking the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional as a result of 42-year unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority and 18 years of premiership of Mahathir, which not only saw the dislodgement of three Deputy Prime Ministers but also the greatest concentration of powers in the hands of the Prime Minister in the history of Malaysia. In the past 18 years, the doctrine of the Separation of Powers among the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary was destroyed, with the powers of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive usurped by the office of the Prime Minister, as well as undermining the independence, professionalism and integrity of all important institutions and organs of government.
Liong Sik is up to the old Barisan Nasional tricks of politics of fear and blackmail in trying to make Malaysians believe that the issue in the next election is whether Mahathir or Nik Aziz is going to be Prime Minister, and whether Malaysia is to become an Islamic State, when the real issue is whether Malaysian voters can rise up to the challenge of denying and ending the Barisan Nasional its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority in the past four decades.
If Malaysians can achieve the great political breakthrough in the next general election to deny the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority, it will also serve as a severe warning to the Barisan Nasional leaders that unless they are more responsive to the demands and aspirations of Malaysians for the restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, where all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class or gender can fulfil their legitimate political, economic, educational, social and cultural aspirations, then the voters reserve the right to withdraw the mandate of power from the Barisan Nasional in the subsequent general election, whether 2,004 or 2,005.
On the question of Islamic state, the DAPís stand and position is clear and consistent - that it is unsuitable and inappropriate for Malaysiaís plural society. This is why the PAS leadership has agreed that the issue of an Islamic State is not one of the common objectives providing the basis for co-operation among the Opposition parties.
Liong Sik knows that before an Islamic State could be established, there must be a parliamentary two-thirds majority to support an amendment of the Constitution. PAS will not win two-thirds majority seats in the next election, i.e. 129 seats out of 193 seats. In fact, no single opposition party, whether PAS, KeADILan or DAP will be able to win on its own one-third parliamentary majority seats, or 65 seats, in the next election.