May 3 — The chance remains, that a 92-year-old MP is sworn in for the 9th time in Dewan Rakyat as the oldest member yet, which acts as a consolation after his coalition’s defeat in the general. It is one of the starker realities to dawn upon the nation, if Pakatan is defeated on May 9.
A bit too much?
This time next week, Malaysia would have known which coalition runs the country.
And the downside for a Pakatan slip is sobering. Here’s the downside.
The lonely dude from Langkawi
Not the choice path for Mahathir Mohamad in the sunset of his public service years, but a Pakatan defeat may leave him with the reality of learning how it is for Opposition lawmakers.
Better late than never. Firstly, they don’t get to make laws, only the opportunity to just meekly comment about the laws which will pass.
In defeat, Mahathir may not exercise the right to accept the leadership of the Opposition. The whole play about him being the prime minister was because to convince the masses there would be experience, shovel-loads of it, on the top of the ticket. The allure would not exist for him at least, to lead the Opposition in a parliamentary non-role.
From being in the select list of Rahman, Razak, Hussein, Abdullah and Najib, he won’t relish adding himself to the list of Burhanuddin Al-Helmy, Tan Chee Koon, Lim Kit Siang, Abdul Hadi Awang and Wan Azizah.
His swollen ego would explode.
A whole new battle to lead the charge for a new cycle will emerge.
As a footnote, sits there Mukhriz. Once a mentri besar, now perhaps just an assemblyman. Reminiscent of Hussein Onn exiting Umno with his father Onn Jaffar in 1951, and it would not be difficult to imagine Mukhriz easing himself back into Umno in the years to come.
So perhaps, an upside for him.
At the moment, PKR can end up with upwards of 150 parliamentary seats as all of Pakatan carry their logo. It can be the launchpad or instead, an anomaly.
As the new giant, or electoral flops.
Remember the lows of 2004? When Wan Azizah held on to Permatang Pauh by a sliver as the party’s sole seat in Dewan Rakyat, a loss now may turn insurmountable. Especially with the late candidate kerfuffle, serious question marks will be raised about the 19 years of her leadership.
Anwar Ibrahim is set to return on June 8, but failure at the polls almost guarantees the former deputy prime minister does not contest in the next election, which then means he may have to wait till as far as 2028 — or the 16th General Election — to be a candidate again. He’d be past 80 years old.
Why not the next general?
The party’s de facto leader — even through his jail cell days — will have to wait five years to be a political office bearer and a victorious BN would be mindful to hold the next one — as late as 2023 — before he is eligible again.
This will only heighten the call for a leadership renewal now. Anwar may have to aim for a life in the academia again.
Hunting season on DAP
A capsized Pakatan would have only DAP in the lifeboats.
With enough safe seats and the gerrymander to crowd-in Chinese voters, the overall Pakatan downsize coincides with DAP’s gain.
Kuala Lumpur would be case in point. DAP secures Bukit Bintang, Kepong, Cheras, Segambut and Seputeh while BN shoo-ins for Titiwangsa, Setiawangsa, Batu and Wangsa Maju with a shout for Bandar Tun Razak and Lembah Pantai.
The attacks will be on DAP leading a pseudo-Christian/Chinese assault on the real values of average Malaysians. It’s not new, however with shrunken partners in comparison, the attacks will grow in validity.
Knowing DAP, and its leaders, it won’t be too difficult to get an MP who attests to her faith as the central part of her politics or another who claims nothing matters more to the party than Chinese education.
They’ll readily walk into the trap.
Already murmurs of PAS’ imminent obliteration along the peninsula west coast, build. PAS would not be the only victim. Amanah, the splinter would also pay for the strategy of chasing the same votes in the same seats with PAS.
Amanah will hope that at least president Mat Sabu edges to victory in Selangor’s Kota Raja. Mujahid Yusof Rawa in Parit Buntar, Hanipa Maidin in Sepang, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Khalid Samad in Shah Alam are expected to falter at the final hurdle.
PAS may become victims of the floodwaters in Kelantan, and Abdul Hadi Awang may settle for the odd MP in Terengganu.
There is decidedly no good news here.
A new coalition
It took a long time for Pakatan Rakyat to corrode to nothingness, but if there is a defeat with only DAP standing steady, then the coalition itself might be the biggest long-term casualty.
For Bersatu and Amanah’s rank and file won’t be faulted to have one eye each on their old parties, and the old days. Bersatu without a withdrawing Mahathir, would be toothless, as would Amanah be without seats.
The same scenes Mahathir manufactured for Semangat 46 in the 1990s and Keadilan in the early 2000s may be repeated except with the old man at the receiving end.
This would force the whole coalition to examine its worth, and far important, value to the respective parties.
If these scenarios upset ardent Pakatan supporters right now, then it might be time to act. It will never be good enough to only offer your vote or inundate WhatsApp groups with links, as contribution to the cause.
It’s not the period to sit back and wait for action. Votes require effort, and if those Pakatan supporters rely on ceramah and Facebook shares then they should not be shattered by the vote count. There are votes out there, and there is a week. Do the math.
All the clichés are true; don’t count the votes too early, half of winning is showing up, high turnouts side with Pakatan or ceramah crowd size does not decide victories.
And so is one cliché I like most, voters like to be asked. And all of Pakatan asking undecideds would factor much more than just leaders asking.
So, ask or don’t be bewildered when your worst nightmares arrive Wednesday night.
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.