With the date of the 13th general election still being a tightly kept secret, Umno’s lackey, MCA, has gone on the offensive by attacking the reputation of the Pakatan Rakyat-helmed Penang and Selangor state governments. This is done to shore up Chinese support for Barisan Nasional ahead of the impending polls.
However, this move by MCA has only increased the Chinese hatred for the party whom many Chinese have labelled as “running dogs”, a term reserved for cowardly traitors.
Many of the Chinese are so angry with MCA that the acronym of the party is now “Make Chinese Angry”.
Although MCA is hellbent on getting into the limelight just before the Lim Guan Eng (Penang Chief Minister) versus Dr Chua Soi Lek (MCA president) debate on July 8, the debate is not the most important event to the Chinese right now.
What is of utmost importance is the current economic situation. The global economic downturn will soon hit our shores and, coupled with the uncertainty of the polls date, Malaysians are in for a rough ride ahead.
A local businessman whom this columnist spoke to, opined that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak cannot afford to delay the polls any longer and perhaps BN’s onslaught on Penang and Selangor is an indication that the polls will be held before the Budget is tabled on Sept 28.
Rubber and palm oil prices are falling and the BN federal government cannot increase the price of RON 95 as they will be massacred at the ballot box if they do so before the polls. Once the polls are over, they not only can increase the price of RON 95 but also implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Therefore, BN is now doubling and even tripling its efforts in its attacks on Pakatan.
In order for BN to benefit from these attacks, the general election will have to be held soon so as not to lose the momentum. Local businessmen and financial planners are also fed up with the uncertainty of the polls date.
Besides these attacks on the Penang and Selangor governments, there are also individual attacks and insults aimed at Lim and Bersih co-chairperson, S Ambiga.
If this is the way to shore up support for BN, then it is going about it the wrong way as civil society is also put off by these uncouth tactics.
“Umno is very desperate to regain the Malay voters who have joined PAS, but the party is going about it the wrong way. By trying to increase its Malay stand, Umno has alienated the Chinese and Indian voters.
“The insults hurled at Lim is because he is Pakatan’s strong man while the insults heaped on Ambiga is because she is perceived to be siding with Pakatan,” said Dzulkefly Ahmad, the PAS Kuala Selangor MP, who is also of the view that this unwise strategy shows that not only Najib is not a born strategist, he is not even a strategist at all.
Clearly Umno has overdone it. Thus, the true nature of Umno has been revealed.
Lim is being portrayed as anti-Malay, with the aim of sabotaging Pakatan’s popularity. This strategy will poison the minds of the rakyat and divide the nation. Therefore, Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan is as dead as a dodo bird.
It is amazing that Najib, whose 1Malaysia concept and philosophy is his brainchild, has let it gone to waste just like that. He has allowed his own camp to debunk and debase his ideas and vision for the nation.
What is the meaning of it all when he makes no effort to defend his ideas? This only goes to show that he is certainly not a visionary leader and therefore his stand can be as fickle as the weather.
M Manogaran, the DAP MP for Teluk Intan, told this columnist that Ambiga is not only an icon for the Indians but has also emerged as an iconic symbol of the rakyat’s voice for free and fair elections.
In a ceramah in Wangsa Maju last week, he informed this columnist that many Indians have stepped up to him saying that they are very angry with the bullying that Ambiga has had to endure.
He also remarked that Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan is nothing but plain propaganda targeted at the Chinese and Indians in order to capture their votes. The slogan is a big fake, according to Manogaran.
“1Malaysia has no substance. It is just an empty slogan to hoodwink the people. BN’s policies are still as divisive as ever. It is the Bersih rallies that have truly united the people. We see all races helping one another during these rallies,” said Manogaran.
With all the national institutions such as the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Election Commission (EC) and the rest facing the problem of eroding credibility, the BN coalition has now become a collection of crackpot parties and nutty leaders.
They are desperate to win at all costs and will do whatever it takes to achieve their target even if it means insulting the intelligence of the rakyat.
Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.