“Don’t give BN 75 seats in Parliament” should be the common objective of all opposition parties, civil society and Malaysians who want to see the beginning of a new democracy with an effective check-and-balance
The next general election is shaping up to be the most important of all 12 general elections in the nation’s 50-year history.
Even former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has warned that a thumping victory for the Barisan Nasional and Umno in the next general election would end up as an endorsement for a coalition “centred on nepotism and corruption”.
Mahathir has said that even if Umno loses 20 or 30 of their candidates, the Barisan Nasional is going to win.
I agree with the former Prime Minister. The issue in the next general election is not whether the Barisan Nasional and Umno will be returned to power but whether the unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority of the Barisan Nasional could be ended to provide for an effective and meaningful check-and-balance in the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.
For this reason, “Don’t give BN 75 seats in Parliament” should be the common objective of all opposition parties, civil society and Malaysians who want to see the beginning of a new democracy with an effective check-and-balance for the first time in Malaysia’s system of parliamentary democracy.
The Barisan Nasional must be denied at least 75 parliamentary seats if it is to be deprived of its two-thirds majority in a Parliament of 222 seats in the next general election.
This is why DAP should focus on winning 30-40 parliamentary seats, while Parti Keadilan Rakyat and PAS on another batch of 40-50 parliamentary seats.
If there is a 85% success rate in these 90 parliamentary constituencies targeted by the Opposition, then the 2008 general election will return a historic result where the Barisan Nasional will be deprived of its two-thirds parliamentary majority although it is still comfortably in power with a strong simple majority.
The deprivation of its parliamentary two-thirds majority for the first time in Malaysian history would have historic significance in Malaysian politics and nation-building for it would compel the Barisan Nasional government to end its high-handed, arrogant and undemocratic rule and, for the first time in its history, to act with greater responsibility, justice, fair play, accountability, transparency and integrity.
The denial of two-thirds majority should also be the objective of all opposition parties, NGOs and the civil society in the two DAP front-line states of Perak and Penang.
In Penang, the Barisan Nasional must be defeated in at least 14 seats if it is to be denied two-thirds majority in the Penang State Assembly of 40 State Assembly seats. DAP may be able to win from eight to ten State Assembly seats. If Parti Keadilan Rakyat can win from four to six seats, then the denial of the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Penang State Assembly is within sight.
Similarly for Perak, the Barisan Nasional must be defeated in at least 20 seats if it is to be denied two-thirds majority in the Perak State Assembly of 59 State Assebmly seats. With DAP focusing on winning 15 state assembly seats in Perak, this denial of two-thirds majority could only be achieved if Parti Keadilan Rakyat, together with PAS, can secure five to seven seats.
These will be among the great issues to be determined in the next general election expected to be held within 45 days - whether Barisan Nasional and Umno can be denied two-thirds majority in Parliament and the Penang and Perak state assemblies to allow the people’s rights and genuine democracy the chance to flower and mature.