The bitter pill Kit Siang gave Zaid Ibrahim to swallow

Zaid has become aware of this, which explains why he warned Muslim youths to pack their bags and leave the country. If indeed the former Minister was hopeful that Pakatan Harapan could cripple Barisan Nasional come the 14th general election, why did he not challenge Najib into an early poll instead? Why the need to drive youths out of the country when you could reform the entire administrative system to accommodate your ‘moderate’ and ‘secular’ viewpoints once you’re in power?

THE THIRD FORCE

Dato’ Mohd Zaid Ibrahim is finally coming to his senses. The former Minister, now the DAP’s face of moderate Islam, realizes that Pakatan Harapan stands a cat in hell’s chance of marching into Putrajaya come the 14th general election (GE14). He is now aware that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘innocent associations’ with the coalition has damaged it beyond any measure of repair.

In other words, Zaid now knows that GE14 is going to be a virtual walkover for the ruling Barisan Nasional. The former Minister saw this through the lenses of the DAP, a Pakatan Harapan component party whose de facto chief, Lim Kit Siang, calls the shots from behind the curtains of deceit. It is the senior Lim who pulled Zaid aside and told him the undeniable and indisputable truth.

But that is not to say the DAP is throwing in the towel.

On the contrary, Kit Siang cautioned senior party leaders against taking it easy, telling them that the opposition coalition would be wiped off the map if it fails to deny Barisan Nasional a two thirds majority. The senior Lim appears to have come to terms with something every other UMNO or PAS politician could have assured him a long time ago – that his decision to share a bed with Mahathir split the Chinese right in the middle and left many of them bitterly distraught.

And why would they not be?

After all, it is he who, since the early eighties, undertook in cloak and dagger pursuits to turn the Chinese against Islam. Every opportunity he got, he told the Chinese that Mahathir was “systematically Islamizing all faculties of the social and administrative strata to infuse “Islamic fundamentalism into mainstream ideology.”

Because of him, the Chinese saw Mahathir as a threat to their liberties and feared being subjected to Shariah laws. The average Chinaman began to associate UMNO with fanaticism and believed that the party would forever be bedevilled by Mahathirism. Still, it wasn’t until Mahathir ousted Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the Chinese finally believed Kit Siang knew what he was saying.

That ouster redefined Malaysian politics and became the cornerstone to the opposition’s partisan agenda. Months before it happened, the senior Lim had already rallied Chinese associations against UMNO just to trigger a tsunami during the 2008 general election. Such was his determination that he permanently damaged unity in Malaysia by getting the Chinese to believe that UMNO was truly the face of Mahathirism and fanaticism.

But a lot has changed since then.

Today, the Chinese no longer believe in anything the senior Lim says. They are disgusted that he chose to forge an alliance with the very man he once accused of zealotry and extremism. They are finding it difficult to fathom the idea of the DAP rubbing shoulders with a man they believe is determined to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. To them, Pakatan Harapan is the new face of Mahathirism especially since the former premier himself admitted that he was the coalition’s ‘Top Dog‘.

The Chinese are also beginning to see that Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak is his own man and not someone you can push around. Having witnessed many of his policies bear fruit, they are convinced that the country’s economy is more secularist and vibrant than it has ever been. They recognise that the Prime Minister allowed the private sector to participate on a level playing field by doing away with crony-capitalism.

In short, the Chinese are convinced that Najib is a Prime Minister for all Malaysians and not just the Malays or his cronies. His decision to venture with the Chinese government struck a chord with them, many of whom are willing to turn their backs on the DAP just to prevent Mahathir from undoing the good that has been done. The Chinese realise that the Prime Minister’s liberalist policies would never have seen the light of day if UMNO was truly under the shadow of Mahathirism as Kit Siang had told them.

In other words, they have just about had it with Kit Siang.

They are disgusted that the senior Lim chose to undermine Najib’s associations with China despite the countless incentives such associations would bring. The business community, in particular, is confused as to why Kit Siang would play down those associations when even his own son contemplated leading Penang into a loan arrangement with China.

Yes, the Chinese are beginning to demonstrate a confluence of emotions that seems anti-DAP and anti-Pakatan. They first demonstrated those emotions in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by swinging 25 percent of their support towards Barisan Nasional. Today, they are more determined than ever to prevent the shadow of Mahathirism from creeping back into mainstream politics through the guile of Pakatan Harapan.

And that has placed Kit Siang firmly on the horns of a very serious dilemma. If he were to boot Mahathir out of the coalition, PAS would go to town with hailers telling all and sundry that the DAP destroyed Pakatan Harapan the way it destroyed Pakatan Rakyat. If, however, he were to continue his associations with Mahathir, the Chinese would accuse the DAP of being a hypocrite for discarding its principles just to save Lim Guan Eng from going to jail.

And that has made the senior Lim a very desperate man. He accommodated Zaid into the DAP, thinking that his associations with the former Minister would offset the damage caused by Mahathir’s own associations with him. But the plan backfired – a vast majority of the Chinese no longer believe anything Kit Siang says and are willing to give Barisan Nasional a second chance at the ballot box.

Zaid has become aware of this, which explains why he warned Muslim youths to pack their bags and leave the country. If indeed the former Minister was hopeful that Pakatan Harapan could cripple Barisan Nasional come the 14th general election, why did he not challenge Najib into an early poll instead? Why the need to drive youths out of the country when you could reform the entire administrative system to accommodate your ‘moderate’ and ‘secular’ viewpoints once you’re in power?

Over to you Zaid.

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