Side Views

Can BN regain its supermajority? — Tay Tian Yan

DEC 3 — Umno’s morale has been boosted after its general assembly and even its goal has changed.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak set retrieving two-thirds of parliamentary seats as the new goal. As the prime minister, he must have a certain degree of confidence to say so or he would have to face both internal and external pressure once he fails to achieve the goal.

Najib is very clear that he is just a “transition prime minister”, who received the regime directly from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In other words, he has not received a formal mandate from the people.

To be a strong leader, he must lead his team and win the election. And he understands that if Barisan Nasional just barely wins, the regime will be inevitably unstable while his personal reputation will also be very low.

Abdullah’s experience showed that Umno needs a powerful regime instead of a simple majority ruling.

Umno’s demand is very clear, namely to win two-thirds of the parliamentary seats and retrieve Selangor. Only that will be called the true victory of Umno and the BN coalition.

Retrieving the two-thirds majority is meant to ensure regime stability. In addition to passing law amendments in Parliament, it can at the same time rout the Pakatan Rakyat’s morale and weaken its threat.

Meanwhile, the need of winning back Selangor is because the state is the essence of the country with rich resources and developed economy. It is also a political centre. BN cannot afford to lose it again.

If Najib can achieve the two goals, he can then change the declining situation of the 2008 general election while affirming his leadership.

However, if he can achieve only one goal such as retrieving the two-thirds majority but fails to win back Selangor, or fails to retrieve the two-third majority but wins back Selangor, it will then be an incomplete victory.

Such an outcome would not be satisfactory for Umno, but still barely acceptable.

However, if he fails to achieve both the goals and repeats Abdullah’s Waterloo, Najib would then have to face a greater pressure and might end up as a lame duck prime minister.

The goal receives a great respond from the party. Party senior and middle -level members do not only believe that the BN can regain the two-thirds majority but are also confident in winning back Kedah, Selangor and even Kelantan.

The question is, can BN win two-thirds of the parliamentary seats?

If the question is directed to Umno’s diehard supporters, they will absolutely believe so, and the polls conducted by Umno and BN showed similar results.

However, if the question is directed to Pakatan Rakyat’s supporters, the answer will then be very different. They insist that it will be impossible for BN to regain two-thirds of seats, some even believe that the Pakatan Rakyat can beat the BN and take over Putrajaya.

As for swing observers, they believe that the political structure has been established after the 2008 general election. Since the two-party system has been shaped, there should not be much change in power distribution.

Swing voters want a balance of power instead of an excessively strong government. It would be difficult to reproduce a strong government with a two-thirds majority. —

* This article was first published by My Sinchew

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.


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