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Just sleeping together but not married

Posted: 26 May 2013 04:19 PM PDT

In other words, say PKR, DAP, PAS and PRM each won 15% of the seats. Would their 15% each be considered a combined 60%? Or would they be considered 15% individually? And if they are not combined to become 60% but are treated as 15% each, then would Barisan Nasional with 40% of the seats be regarded as the largest minority (not the majority) against PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM who each had only 15% of the seats?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The gist of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's speech in London on Saturday, plus the statement by Zulkifli Noordin, are interesting only because it brings us back to the dilemma we faced four general elections ago back in 1999. And what happened 14 years ago was as follows.

For the first time in history, four opposition parties were contesting the general election as a 'proper' coalition called Barisan Alternatif or the Alternative Front (and 'alternative' to Barisan Nasional or the National Front) comprising of PKN (now called PKR), DAP, PAS and PRM (now merged with PKN as PKR).

No doubt the same thing 'almost happened' nine years earlier in 1990 when Semangat 46 entered into an electoral pact with DAP on the West Coast of West Malaysia called Gagasan Rakyat and with PAS on the East Coast of West Malaysia called Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah -- plus with PBS in Sabah that was merely a 'handshake' with no name.

However, in 1990, it was more or less a 'loose' coalition or 'understanding' while in 1999 it was more 'formalised' and stronger than just an electoral pact.

Being the first time, we really could not anticipate what would happen. Say Barisan Nasional were to win 40% of the seats (not votes, which could have been only 30% of the votes) and Barisan Alternatif won 60% of the seats (say on 70% of the votes), would Barisan Alternatif have been allowed to form the government?

This was our anxiety (and suspicion). And we had grounds to suspect so because His Majesty the Agong had 'disappeared'.

Actually, the Agong had not disappeared in the real sense of the word. We knew where His Majesty was. He was in Langkawi. The only thing is no one could reach him, not even his own sons. In a way, as far as we were concerned, the Agong was under a sort of 'house arrest'. At least that is how we interpreted it whether rightfully or wrongfully.

At noon on Friday, 26th November 1999, I went to Istana Negara to try to hand-deliver a letter to His Majesty the Agong. That was three days before the 29th November general election (which was on a Monday). I was not allowed in and was told to hand the letter to the guard.

I handed the letter to the guard as instructed and then went to the mosque for my Friday prayers. On reaching PKN's office at 2.00pm, a reply was waiting for me.

First of all, this was probably the first time in Malaysian history that a reply to your letter came in that fast (just two hours). More importantly, the reply was not from His Majesty or Istana Negara but from the Prime Minister's Department. And the Prime Minister's Department replied that my request to meet the Agong was denied and that I should try again AFTER the general election.

I then phoned two of my cousins (His Majesty's sons) and was told it was impossible for me to meet the Agong. Not even they, the Agong's own sons, could reach him.

That gave rise to suspicion that even if Barisan Alternatif were to win the election on 29th November 1999 they would not get sworn in as the government. The Agong was a 'prisoner' in Langkawi and only Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (at that time 'Datuk Seri') could reach him. And that would most likely mean only Dr Mahathir could get sworn in.

And this made sense. Barisan Nasional was contesting the election as a legal entity while Barisan Alternatif was not. For all intents and purposes, Barisan Alternatif did not exist. What existed, as legal entities, were PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM.

In other words, say PKR, DAP, PAS and PRM each won 15% of the seats. Would their 15% each be considered a combined 60%? Or would they be considered 15% individually? And if they are not combined to become 60% but are treated as 15% each, then would Barisan Nasional with 40% of the seats be regarded as the largest minority (not the majority) against PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM who each had only 15% of the seats?

This was actually a very strong possibility and the fact that Dr Mahathir could reach the Agong while we could not meant that he would be able to get sworn in as Prime Minister with just 40% of the seats (and maybe against only 30% of the votes) before we could do anything about it.

The following day, on Saturday, I prepared four letters for each of the four party leaders to sign. I then asked four people to go and search for Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Kit Siang, Ustaz Fadzil Noor and Dr Syed Husin Ali, who were on the campaign trial, and to get them to sign these letters.

Basically, each party leader signed a 'consent letter' consenting to combine the seats their party won under the umbrella of Barisan Alternatif. Hence, say, if each of their parties won 15% of the seats, the seats would come under Barisan Alternatif and not PKN, DAP, PAS or PRM individually.

This was a long shot, of course. If Barisan Nasional won 40% of the seats and PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM collectively won 60%, we still needed to send these letters to the Agong and to make sure that the four party leaders are in front of the Agong to get sworn in BEFORE the Agong swears in Dr Mahathir as Prime Minister.

We then rented a helicopter and put it on standby. In the event Barisan Nasional does win less than 50% of the seats while PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM collectively win more than 50%, we will need the helicopter to pick up all the four party leaders and fly them to meet the Agong and insist that Barisan Alternatif gets sworn in as the government. Who from the four (Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Kit Siang, Ustaz Fadzil Noor and Dr Syed Husin Ali) would get sworn in as the new Prime Minister was a matter to worry about later and we would cross that bridge when or if we come to it. For 'practical' purposes it may have to be Ustaz Fadzil Noor, at least as 'temporary' Prime Minister while we sorted out the 'long-term' solution.

But we never needed to use those four letters or to get the helicopter to take to the air as Barisan Nasional won 77% of the seats although with only 57% of the votes. And this was because although Umno won just 71 seats, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the Sabah and Sarawak parties brought in another 76 seats. MCA alone won 29 seats.

After the 1999 general election, we told Barisan Alternatif to get registered as a legal entity to avoid the 'scare' that we suffered on 26th November 1999. Instead, Barisan Alternatif broke up when DAP left the opposition coalition due to its disagreement with PAS regarding the Islamic State. And, in 2004, the opposition got massacred.

This has always been a problem that the opposition does not seem to be concerned about. Now, the opposition is saying that it won 51% of the votes against Barisan Nasional's 47%. Hence it should be the government although Pakatan Rakyat won just 89 seats versus Barisan Nasional's 133.

Actually, if you regard Barisan Nasional, DAP, PKR and PAS as four separate legal entities, Barisan Nasional still won the largest minority in terms of votes versus DAP, PKR and PAS individually. And, individually, DAP, PKR and PAS are the legal entities, not Pakatan Rakyat.

Now, what if Pakatan Rakyat had won 51% of the seats on 5th May 2013 (which could have been against 60% of the votes)? Would Barisan Nasional still be sworn in as the government since DAP, PKR and PAS are treated as individual parties and not as a legal entity called Pakatan Rakyat?

Article 43.2(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution says: the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representative who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House.

In other words, it is still the opinion of the Agong that the Prime Minister must be the person who has the majority confidence of the MPs. This does not mean the Prime Minister must be the person heading the party with the largest number of votes or even the largest number of seats.

And since Article 41 of the Constitution says 'The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the Federation', who is going to take to the streets to argue with 100,000 guns and dozens of tanks?

So things are not as simple and straightforward as many may think and as the politicians are trying to tell us. There are many legal and constitutional ways to 'steal' the government and 'Bangladeshi voters' is merely just one of the ways.

Can I just sum up by saying that the opposition is very sloppy and leaves too many things to chance? And then they moan and groan and complain about how the government was 'stolen'.


Speech by Lim Guan Eng to the Pakatan Rakyat's Supporters Club in London on Saturday, 25th May 2013.

PR Promises A Malaysian Spring To Free Malaysia From BN's Winter Of Fear, Corruption, Money Politics And Poverty.

1. 5.6 million voters in Malaysia who supported and voted for Pakatan Rakyat know that BN would have lost this election to Pakatan Rakyat, if not for the 4Ms of:

* Money politics to buy votes by the BN.

* Manipulation of the electoral system by a biased Election Commission.

* Unfair Media coverage.

* Abuse of government Machinery.

2. Nowhere else in the world would a coalition of parties which won 51% of the popular vote in a first-past-the-post system not only fail to enjoy a 'seat bonus' – that is win more than 51% of the parliament seats – but only manage to win 40% of seats.

3. We can observe BN's desperation to cling on to power immediately after GE13. Despite calling for a national reconciliation, the actions of Prime Minister Najib and of his cabinet members have been anything but reconciliatory.

4. PM Najib blamed the 'Chinese tsunami' when everyone knows that is was the Malaysian Tsunami that caused the BN to lose the popular vote. After all, the Chinese are only 30% of the total voting population. Even if Pakatan had won 80% of the Chinese vote, this means that only 24% out of the 51% of our popular vote came from the Chinese. The other 27%, or the majority of Pakatan's support, comes from non-Chinese voters.

5. The new Home Minister, Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, asked those who did not like the electoral system and the election results to leave the country. Zahid is quickly making a name for himself, along with the new IGP Khalid Abu Bakar, in launching a crackdown to detain anti-BN activists and PR leaders. BN is mistaken to think that the majority of Malaysians(51%) will be cowed by BN. The majority will not allow the minority to suppress, repress and oppress the majority.

6. Pakatan's challenge is to harness the desire of justice, freedom, democracy, integrity, equality and change expressed in the 13th general election by the 51% of voters by focusing on three areas.

7. One, the struggle for electoral reform. The need for an independent EC to conduct clean elections that respect the "one person, one vote, one value" principles has never been more urgent. We will not allow BN to steal the elections again.

8. Two, economic reform. We have seen how it has been business as usual for the BN despite the grand rhetoric of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and the New Economic Model (NEM). 1MDB is operating like a slush fund handled by cronies with no track record except close personal tiers with BN leaders. Newspaper reports have alleged that profits of 1MDB have been parked in the Cayman Islands while its debts are being parked in Malaysia.

More and more GLCs will be privatized to a few selected individuals. Lucrative toll road contracts will continue to be dished out to BN cronies. Pakatan will contest every single dodgy deal that is attempted by the BN, especially demanding full accountability for the GLCs and Petronas.

10. Thirdly, we must focus on making the Pakatan controlled states of Penang and Selangor even better models for competent, accountable and transparent government. We will continue to prove that a clean government can outperform a corrupt government. We will make a difference in the lives of ordinary Malaysians by providing a future that is clean, green, safe and healthy.

More importantly PR adopts a Malaysian approach by appealing to our hopes and instead of pandering to our fears, where we are inspired by our dreams of a better future together instead of despairing from BN's racist agenda of dividing us eternally.

PR promises a Malaysian spring to free Malaysia from BN's winter of fear, corruption, money politics and poverty.



Pakatan's popular vote a myth, says Zul Noordin

(The Malaysian Insider, 27 May 2013) - Perkasa's Datuk Zulkifli Noordin moved to debunk as myth Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) claim that it won the popular vote in the May 5 polls, saying the three opposition parties were a loose pact that had contested separately with their own logos, and in some seats, among themselves.

In an opinion piece titled "Mitos undi popular PRU-13 [The myth of the popular vote in GE13]" published today in Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, the vice-president of the right-wing Malay group accused PKR's de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of lying and having twisted the facts in an attempt to hoodwink Malaysian voters into believing the unregistered PR opposition had beat the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to gain the popular vote. 

"Anwar's allegation that the total votes obtained by the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance of 5,623,984 (or 49.96 per cent), 386,285 votes more than the BN (which obtained 5,237,699 or 46.53 per cent) is a lie and a distortion because," he wrote, adding, "DAP-PKR-PAS contested separately using their own symbols on the ballot paper which is the rocket (DAP)-moon (PAS)-one eye (PKR); there absolutely was not a joint opposition symbol."

Zulkifli, a former lawmaker who had run for the Shah Alam federal seat as a BN-friendly candidate only to lose in the recent election, also gave two other points to reinforce his hard-hitting remark that PR's win of the popular vote was a myth.

He pointed out that there were certain constituencies where the three parties had overlapped in fielding their own candidates, naming as examples Sg Aceh, Penang and Kota Damansara, Selangor.

PKR's Badrul Hisham Shaharin had gone against his PAS ally, Mohamad Yusni Md. Piah in the Penang state seat while socialist Dr Nasir Hashim run on a PKR ticket against PAS's Ridzuan Ismail in a crowded field of six candidates for the Selangor state seat. All four had ended up losers in the contest for the two seats.

Zulkifli also highlighted that the PR could not claim victory in the popular vote as their alliance was not registered with the Registrar of Societies and as such, "did not even exist" in the 13th general election.

Even going by Anwar's "twisted" logic, Zulkifli said the BN would have won the popular vote since it gained 46.53 per cent and would still have netted 103 seats overall, which was still the majority number in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat compared to all the three opposition parties. The BN had in fact claimed 133 seats. 

To drive home his point that Anwar's logic was flawed, he said the DAP with its 15.42 per cent would have taken 34 seats and not the 38 it actually hauled in, the most of the three opposition parties.

Instead, he highlighted that Anwar's PKR that had scored the second-highest number of popular votes at 20.03 per cent, should then have got 45 per seats instead of the 30 seats it actually won while the PAS that drew 14.51 per cent of the popular vote would have got 32 seats instead of 21. 

PR has blamed alleged electoral fraud for not becoming government although it won the popular vote in Election 2013. It won 89 federal seats against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) which took 133 seats in the 222-seat parliament.



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