KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – The country is in a new political situation where no political party can exercise political hegemony, said DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today.
Any interpretation that the Melaka general election on November 20 has heralded a return of UMNO’s political hegemony is not true, Kit Siang said, pointing out the votes secured by the three coalitions from the total votes cast – Barisan Nasional 38.39 percent or 122,741 votes; Pakatan Harapan 35.65 percent or 113.968 votes and Perikatan Nasional 24.47 or 78,220 votes.
What remains is “the coalition political mindset that still has to be developed as the political mindset is still set as if political hegemony of a single political party exists.”
What is needed is change in the mindset of political leaders, he said in a statement issued here today relating on the many lessons to be drawn from the election last Saturday.
“Although the Pakatan Harapan government should be the first to explore the new coalition politics mindset in Malaysia, it failed to do so and was mired in the hegemonic mould of the Barisan Nasional of the past half-a-century.”
Citing political analyst Bridget Welsh, Kit Siang said her analysis has debunked two interpretations of the Malacca General Elections, firstly, that UMNO had returned to its hegemonic past when this was not the case as illustrated by the 38.39% of the votes it secured in the Malacca general election although this led to its gain of five seats to 18 from 13.
Secondly, the political come-back of MCA and MIC which won two and one seats respectively, when in fact, MCA lost ground marginally, from 10 per cent to 8 percent while MIC kept to its 1 percent of votes when compared to the 14th General Election.
It would be also “counter-productive to zero in on any personality by putting all the blame and faults on him, in this case the Pakatan Harapan leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” he said.
Several party members have factored Anwar’s inclusion of party-hoppers as PH’s candidates in the recent election as among reasons for PH’s loss in the election.
Unlike a coalition based on the hegemony of one political party, the head of the lead party decides on everything subject to the acceptance level of the other component parties, a coalition of equals would have to consult and secure the agreement of the other component parties on policies, he said.
He said Pakatan Harapan should also accept an unanimity rule for decision-making by its presidential council.
Such a rule could have prevented Pakatan Harapan’s blunder of accepting party hoppers, who were decisively rejected in Saturday’s election.
“Pakatan Harapan should never lose the moral high ground of integrity, public service before self and being Malaysian First in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation.”