By John Isaac
MALAYSIA could see a “battle of the three kingdoms” in the 15th general election (GE15), says DAP’s Liew Chin Tong.
Speaking on Bandar Utama assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin’s online talk show ‘Spill The Tea, JJ’, he said the “three kingdoms” comprised Pakatan Harapan (PH) on one side, Umno on another, and a third force which will see Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob together with Bersatu and PAS.
With minimal changes in Ismail’s Cabinet, Liew claimed the current line-up would not be well-received by the Umno leadership as it showed party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi losing out to Bersatu’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
This would have “big implications” for GE15, where certain Umno leaders may decide to go against Ismail’s coalition.
“This is a possibility. Ismail, Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Umno leaders who are part of the government are prepared to contest with Bersatu and PAS. But there is Zahid’s group which is not ready to compromise with Bersatu.
“So, this is the situation that we could see, they might go against each other,” he said, adding that it was important for PH as well as the public to realise what kind of government they wanted to see after GE15.
As Jamaliah quipped that the country had achieved a “record” by going through three governments in three years, Liew said the good thing to come out of it was that no administration could hold on to power for 50 to 60 years any more.
He added that people were no longer afraid of change and were aware that they could vote for a new government if they were not satisfied with the existing one.
Another lesson, he said, was that whoever was in power could no longer take “shortcuts” as Muhyiddin did by declaring an emergency.
“The emergency did not bring any benefit to him and in the end when it was lifted, he was ousted,” said Liew. “This is a good lesson for our democracy and goes by the Agong’s decree that the winner cannot take all and the loser should not lose all.”
Liew also said that GE15 could be “interesting” as Umno’s political machinery in rural areas had become less effective. This was because the older population was now used to receiving information through mobile applications such as Whatsapp.
“To whoever is prepared to win GE15, we need to think as a Malaysian. We need to win support among all (racial) groups. Only then will we have a stable government.”
However, for now, he said the government must realise that its policies and approaches should be based on consultation or negotiation to reach consensus.
Should there be a confidence and supply agreement (CSA), Liew stressed that the basis of it must allow the opposition to voice its concerns in Parliament and for GE15 to be clean and fair. – FMT