DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang says Pakatan must focus on Sabah and Sarawak and marginal seats to capture Putrajaya. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 29, 2013.A veteran DAP leader has unveiled a 12-point strategy to serve as a blueprint for Pakatan Rakyat to capture Putrajaya in the next general election, with emphasis on Sabah and Sarawak as well as marginal seats.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang noted that the three parties in the coalition – DAP, PKR and PAS – had achieved their best results as a result of their cooperation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 elections.
"DAP, PKR and PAS had achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly election results not only in Peninsular Malaysia but also in Sabah and Sarawak – at one time helming five state governments in Kelantan, Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Perak," he said.
PR, the DAP adviser pointed out, had to show its commitment and start working at enhancing its support in its quest to wrest the Federal Government from Barisan Nasional.
"All three PR parties – DAP, PKR and PAS – at all levels whether national, state or local, and embracing all wings, whether national, youth or wanita, should, in the next four years, make full, conscious and immediate commitment to enhance and strengthen public confidence and support for Pakatan Rakyat’s quest for Federal power in Putrajaya in the 14th general election."
The DAP veteran also asserted that PR should focus on constituencies which it failed to retain in the last GE as well as areas where BN had won by a slim margin.
"While Pakatan won seven more parliamentary seats in the GE13 compared to the 2008 general election (89 compared to 82), we also failed to defend 15 parliamentary seats which we won in 2008.
"If we had managed to retain all 15 seats, Pakatan would have won 104 seats. This would not have been enough to win power at the Federal level but it would have put Pakatan in a much stronger position," he pointed out.
PR had failed to defend its seats in Padang Terap, Sik, Merbok and Kulim-Bandar Baharu, among others.
"There are 24 parliamentary seats which the BN won in GE13 with less than 55% of the popular votes including Cameron Highlands (majority 462), Bentong (majority 379), Sungai Besar (majority 399), Labis (majority 353) and Pasir Gudang (majority 935), all of which were won by BN with less than 1,000-vote majority."
Besides that, PR also had to defend the 15 new parliamentary seats it won this year, including Kuala Nerus (majority 610), Sepang (majority 1,142) and Batu Pahat (majority 1,524) where "special attention" was required.
"We cannot assume that Pakatan will successfully defend all of these seats in GE14. Specific emphasis must be placed on these seats, especially those which were won by small majorities, so that we do not repeat the experience of GE13 where we failed to defend the seats which we had won previously," Lim said.
He also emphasised the need to place importance on the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, noting that the recently-launched Impian Sarawak and Impian Sabah programmes would help them make headway into the two states, often referred to as the "fixed deposit" for BN.
"Pakatan faces different challenges in Sabah and Sarawak and hence, requires a different approach in both states," he admitted.
"The programme to bring in small development projects to the rural areas may provide the template for Pakatan’s rural outreach strategy."
Taking a swipe at the Election Commission, Lim also called on PR to ensure that the redelineation exercise is "as fair as possible" as it was the "most important political development that will shape and influence GE14".
"The number of seats at the Federal level and in Pakatan-controlled states (Penang, Kelantan and Selangor) cannot be increased without the support and consent of Pakatan Rakyat.
"Pakatan’s challenge then is to ensure that the redelineation exercise is as fair as possible in terms of the apportionment of seats between the different states so that it follows the one-man, one-vote, one-value principle," he said, adding that a Parliamentary Select Committee should be set up to ensure full transparency in the exercise.
The Gelang Patah MP also recognised that the "fear" propaganda used by BN leading up to GE13 "was one the most effective weapons".
"DAP was used as a bogeyman and its leaders were accused of all sorts of things – from being Communists to wanting to create a Christian state in Malaysia and to being anti-Islam and anti-Malay.
"Pakatan has already begun to fight back against these lies and propaganda spread by the BN. But more needs to be done. More creative messages and channels are needed in order to assuage the fears of Malays that their rights and livelihood would not decrease under PR but that their lives would actually be better under a PR government." - November 29, 2013.