If the voters choose Pakatan in the 13th GE, will BN make a public statement that it will respect the decision with peace and harmony through democracy, asks Lim Kit Siang.
TAWAU: A general sense of unease is rising in the Pakatan Rakyat camp that the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition government will not easily vacate Putrajaya if Malaysians vote to change the government in the coming elections.
Currently riding high on a wave of dissatisfaction over the performance of the national coalition government due to a series of scandals over the last 50 years of its rule, Pakatan believes this is no guarantee that the transition will be smooth.
Pakatan leaders see the long drawn out indecision by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s government to set a date for general election that must be called by the first quarter of next year as indications of trepidation within the BN about going to the polls.
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang voiced the worry during the party’s statewide public hearing on ‘Janji Ditepati’ (promises fulfilled) theme that the BN opted for as its Merdeka Day celebration mantra in a bid to stem criticism of wastefulness and inefficiency in its unbroken half century in power.
The veteran opposition leader wants a guarantee from Najib and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who still wields immense influence in the government, that there will be no disturbances if the opposition wins the 13th general election.
Political pundits see the former prime minister to be steering his son Mukhriz towards the prime minister’s job and in the process ensure his legacy remains untouched.
BN government stalwarts have taken to deriding and intimidating the opposition and its supporters by using the legal system to carry out a campaign to smear and silence detractors.
Generous budget handouts, the repeal of widely condemned laws limiting freedom of assembly and the press have been replaced by equally severe laws.
Lim sees these government tactics as signs that a BN defeat at the polls will be met with resistance.
“If the voters choose Anwar in the 13th GE, do they dare to make a public statement that they will respect the decision with peace and harmony through democracy and not make any disturbance such as using race, religion, riots,” he asked this week in the east coast town of Tawau.
“We (Pakatan) are ready to make a commitment that we will respect the people choice.
“Every five years the people can choose (a new government), but Mahathir is warning and scaring the people that the country may never see a Barisan Nasional government again,” he said.
The ruling coalition recorded its worst ever electoral performance in 2008, losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament and with it, its ability to rework the country’s constitution whenever it suited those in office.
Parliament will be automatically dissolved on April 27, 2013.