By P. Ramakrishnan
APRIL 8 — The Barisan Nasional has suffered four deadly blows in a row. Umno has been soundly defeated on three occasions since 8 March 2008.
The outcome of these by-elections have confirmed that there is no stopping the Pakatan no matter what crafty means the BN adopts or devices to reach out to the electorate.
For Umno the results have been devastating. It has not recovered lost ground neither has it revived its fortunes. It has been downhill all the way in spite of changing its president and acclaiming him as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak going down to the ground without any fanfare dressed in ordinary clothes; meeting ordinary people and eating vadai in crowded Brickfields; addressing the nation propounding the concept of one Malaysia; bringing in Tun Mahathir Mohamad to turn the tide on the last day of campaigning – all this did not make any difference.
Fixing a weekday for polling, imposing so many restrictions to handicap the opposition did not provide any advantage to the BN. If anything, it only made the people angry and motivated the electorate to punish the BN.
The peninsula victories of the Pakatan over the BN has driven home the fact rather convincingly that the March 8 election was no fluke. They reaffirmed that the ground has indeed shifted in favour of the Opposition.
The results must be viewed as a damning referendum on Najib, Umno, BN and the government. The electorate have rejected the BN overwhelmingly and have sent a clear signal that they are not going to tolerate any more nonsense from Umno and the BN.
When they elected a political novice and rejected a seasoned politician in Bukit Selembau, it was meant to spite the BN and MIC.
When they elected Nizar in Bukit Gantang with a majority almost twice that of the previous one exactly a year later, it was meant to punish the BN and send a strong signal to Najib that they were thoroughly disgusted with him for engineering the fall of their duly elected Perak state government.
The significance of Bukit Gantang must be seriously taken into account. It is abundantly clear that Perakians want Nizar’s government to continue to serve them. It is their preferred. chosen government and they have given the thumbs down to Dato Zambry.
Aliran hopes that this message will not go unnoticed. This is why Aliran would like to appeal — yet again — to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak, to reconsider his decision.
The Perak government cannot be in a limbo, especially in these difficult times of economic uncertainties. We earnestly appeal to His Royal Highness to allow his subjects to decide on the government of their choice in a fresh election.
Aliran would also like to appeal to Zambry to do the only honorable thing for which he will be remembered. Please resign and pave the way for fresh elections.
P. Ramakrishnan is the president of Aliran.