Any credible views and strategic recommendations on the Post General Election scenarios need to start with a good analysis of data of the GE itself, hence, it is important that we establish a good baseline data before we can move forward. A web definition of baseline data is ‘Initial collection of data which serves as a basis for comparison with the subsequently acquired data’.
In this respect, we have been fed with all kind of conflicting data and estimates coming out from so many sources both from the web and from the traditional media. Most of these data came unsolicited and volunteered mostly by the politicians, political analysts and amateur blog writers.
Yet the importance of these data cannot be overemphasized, in the sense that any strategy that need to be formulated after the event should be based on accurate data of the past, including immediate past events. Accurate and reliable data will provide proper insights of the issues and help in the formulation of good policies and program for the future. Once the policies and programs are in place, data are then collected to facilitate studies on the effectiveness of those initiatives once these policies and programs are implemented.
Now, suddenly we are confronted with mega issues of the nation, such as, is UMNO relevant for the future? Is the existing BN formula of affiliation of race based parties still relevant? Should BN be transformed into a single party. Can PAS grow as a dominant force? Is PKR relevant in future or Can DAP develop into a dominant political party and finally, can a two political party system ever take root in Malaysia.
Given the wide divergence of analysis, or so called analysis in the media the current atmosphere is so confusing that it may take longer for the intellectual community to figure out where we actually are in the measure of political maturity. For instance, politically biased blog from Pakatan Rakyat often come out with statistics showing only 54% Malay support for BN in PRU 13. How they come out with this statistics is far from clear. My own statistical model, coming from this professional blog, indicates malay support for BN in Semenanjung is 63%. There is a world of difference between these two figures, ie. while the lower figure questions the relevance of UMNO in future, my own figure confirms that UMNO is still very relevant.
The atmosphere of political hatred, lies, gossips and defamations has been so pervasive that it took the centre stage of political campaigns for at least two years before the actual general election and have contributed tho this misperception. No doubt this atmosphere have been initiated and perpetuated by politicians on both sides of the political divides and happily embraced by the media, both the old and the new. As a result important issues which should promote potitical maturity and should shape our nation took a back seat. People were distracted by so called pornographic videos of certain leaders, the gossips of Najib’s alleged involvement in Attantuya murder case, or alleged croynism and corruptions of certain leaders which are largely unsubstantiated.
There are of course discussions on why we are divided. Why the Malays becoming more Malay, the Chinese becoming more Chinese and the Indians more Indian. Malay extremists will point a fingure on the Chinese for perpetuating Chinese schools and the Chinese blame the Malays for overextending and breaching the boundary of Malay Rights provided under the constitutions. In this case no single race is absolutely right or the other absolutely wrong. A formula was reached called ‘social contract’ over fifty years ago. I t was a compromise, but unfortunately this surely has contributed to the dilemma we Malaysians are facing today. This has contributed to the racial polarization we see today in this country.
On the other hand is it really bad to be racially polarised as we are today as long as we do not not fight one another and develop together? Many European countries are also facing the same scenario. In Belgium the two ethnic groups, the Dutch speaking and the French speaking groups have lived together for centuries. The same scenario also exist in Switzerland. On the other hands, many Arab countries are unstable, political groups killing each other though belonging to the same race, religion and speaking the same language.
Many point to the fact that the Chinese are well assimilated in Indonesia, Thailand and The Philippines. In these countries the situations are different. There the Chinese are small minorities, but in Malaysia they form 25% of the population, and our forefathers decided we needed to show more accomodation. Were our forefathers erroneous in this aspect? or is it not better to be racially different so as to develop healthy competition for the benefit of the country. Is it not true to say that Malays in Malaysia have developed more than Malays elsewhere, or for that matter, more than Muslims elsewhere. Has it not been partly due to competitive atmosphere that Malaysia has been providing all along?
This is the end of Part 1 of ‘Post PRU 13 Scenarios’. The Second Part will be published soon to cover issues relating to role of dominant race in a nation.