Just going by the number of attendees at all the Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional ceramahs that can be viewed over Facebook, YouTube and the internet during the past two weeks, I am sure that most bookies will place their bets on PH winning the coming GE14 on 9 May.
In the last few days I have been talking in a few ceramahs in support of PH. At these ceramahs, I have personally seen a big surge of support from ordinary rakyat of all races for the opposition in Perak. At the same time, I have been asked by many undecided and fence-sitting voters especially among the non-Malays, two questions which have not been given adequate attention in the media for fear of getting into trouble with the authorities.
Two key questions
1 What will happen if PH wins and some sore losers lose their heads or are instigated to engage in violence as happened in May 69.
At that time when the election results in Selangor went against the then Alliance Party, supporters of UMNO and the state Mentri Besar, Harun Idris went on a racial rampage which resulted in many innocent lives lost and the declaration of a state of national emergency?
2 When PH wins and takes over the government, Tun Dr Mahathir will be the prime minister. Will he repeat his Bumiputera first policy which has resulted in so much injustice and dissatisfaction, including among the Malays who have not benefited?
My answer to the first question is that I do not see any possibility of a repetition of the bloody racial riots because this is now 50 years after that event. The socio-economic situation is completely different; the Malays are no longer impoverished or marginalized and it will also be impossible for any group or even party to organize armed violence given the openness of society and the current technology which makes news spread like wildfire.
My other reason is that unlike in May 69, there are numerous Malay opposition groups – NGOs, political parties such as Amanah, PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu, and other elite Malay groups – who will not want a recurrence of racial violence. They have more to lose than any other community in the country and I am sure that they will ensure a peaceful transition of power should PH win the election.
As to the second question. I wish to take this opportunity to encourage non-Malays to vote for Dr Mahathir and PH and to not be afraid that Dr Mahathir will bring back any form of Bumiputera policy as he did in 1970 after the national riots in 1969.
Dr Mahathir has openly said he regretted not putting in place a stronger check on power when he was prime minister. He said “I did not know it at that time, of course, but I regret very much that I was unable to foresee the kind of damage that can be done by a prime minister under existing law.” He also said that he will not repeat his mistake when he becomes the next prime minister.
Another key mistake that Dr. Mahathir made was with the continuation of a non-meritocratic Bumiputra policy. This has not only resulted in racial division but worse, damaged our economy and made all Malaysians poorer.
When the Bumiputera policy was declared in 1970, our GDP per capita was the same as Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Currently, the GDP per capita of Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea are 4 times, 3 times and 2.5 times ours respectively.
I am sure that Dr. Mahathir will want to ensure the achievement of his Vision 2020 when he comes to power again. Although 2020 is less that 2 years away, I am confident that he will introduce new even handed economic policies to make Malaysia a developed nation as soon as practical.