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PRK 3 kawasan: BN Dalam Kecemasan

Ceramah Anwar Ibrahim

Forum PKR.

Just a year after the March 8 general election gave birth to Malaysia’s most viable opposition alliance ever, the Pakatan Rakyat stands on the verge of being wiped out. The survival of the three-party alliance, brought together under the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is at stake when voters in three constituencies go to the polls in three separate by-elections on Tuesday. “The possibility of losing 3-0 to Barisan Nasional is now very real,” a DAP leader told Weekend Xtra.

Just a few months ago, the opposition alliance — comprising Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PAS and DAP — were looking invincible. In January, its candidate had trounced the BN man in a separate by-election in Kuala Terengganu, in a second straight win over BN. Both BN, and Umno in particular, looked weak and in trouble. The Pakatan alliance appeared poised to take power in Malaysia. But a bold move by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister yesterday, changed the entire equation.

Najib masterminded a power grab in Perak state which led to the collapse of the PR government. The heavily-criticised move sparked a constitutional crisis but it has also led to a more resurgent Umno and BN, both of whom are brimming with a new level of confidence unseen in the months following their poor March 8 electoral showing. The current campaign for the Bukit Gantang federal seat in Perak has no real significance on the balance of power in the state assembly itself.

But the by-election has been touted by the PR alliance as a referendum on the power grab by BN. A win there for Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, the PR leader of its deposed Perak government, will be argued as a vote against the BN action. But the widespread public anger seen in the early days of the power grab, achieved through defections, does not seem to have given Nizar much of an advantage in the campaign. Bukit Gantang voters appear to be suffering from political fatigue, and the results on Election Day remain unpredictable.


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