Sunday, July 16, 2017
WITHOUT PAS, IS THE OPPOSITION STILL STRONG?
Salleh Said Keruak
1. When DAP fought on its own strength in past general elections, its achievement was far from encouraging. In the 1969 general election, when the opposition then performed well, DAP secured only 13 seats, 1974 (9), 1978 (16), 1982 (9), 1986 (24), 1990 (20), 1995 (9).
2. The great achievement of DAP in national politics was only achieved in the 2008 general election when it struck a political cooperation with PAS. In this GE, DAP won 28 seats and PKR (31). In the 2013 general election, with continued cooperation with PAS, DAP captured 38 seats and PKR (30).
3. Now, when PAS is no longer with the opposition coalition, is the opposition still strong?
4. In 2013 general election, 84.84% of the 13,268,002 registered voters cast their votes. The overall result showed that the BN accumulated (5,237,699 votes), PKR (2,254,328 votes), PAS (1,633,389 votes), DAP (1,736,267 votes), and the rest secured by other parties. In terms of number of seats, PKR won 30 seats, PAS 21 seats and DAP 38 seats.
5. The great achievements of DAP and PKR in the 2008 and 2013 GE weredue to the support of PAS who was then an ally in the Pakatan Rakyat. Without the support of PAS voters, of course DAP and PKR would not have achieved this victory. Without the support of PAS, DAP and PKR would not be formidable anymore.
6. Imagine without PAS, 70% of PAS voters in the 2013 general election will no longer vote for the opposition pact? With this shift of votes, the strength of the opposition is certainly weakened/lame.
7. PKR and Amanah cannot help the opposition to draw Malay votes. This is because both parties have no strong political base and their affiliation is fragile. With this shortcoming, the newly-formed Pakatan Harapan would not get the confidence of the voters.
8. With this scenario, the dream of Pakatan Harapan to capture Putrajaya in the 14th General Election seems to be just that, a dream.
9. Indeed, history shows that PAS is the key to the strength of the opposition just as UMNO is the backbone of BN's strength. Now, the reality is that the DAP is the key to the Pakatan Harapan.