CORNWALL, Sabtu, 27 September - Telah pun saya utarakan pendapat tentang perkara di atas secara tegas, bak kata mat salih emphatically.

Banyak telah diperkatakan mengenai Politik Baru dan  Politik Lama. Really, what can one say of the subjects - New Politics and Old Politics - that have not being said better and often?

Apa pun apabila saya dijemput berucap di Malaysia Focus   Forum anjuran ASLI dan the Malaysia Link UK di Limkokwing University, Piccadilly, London hari Jumaat 26 September, saya menerimanya. Speaking says, "it is too good to refuse”.  

Keputusan PRU12 dan 13 nyata membuktikan politik baru dan lama terus kuat dan betul. Politik lama dapat bertahan di sesetengah negeri dan di peringkat Parlimen serta politik baru  terus kuat dan menenggelami politik lama di Kelantan, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor. Kononnya kehadiran dua parti sistem di negara kita sudah selamat berkubu atau entrenched. Benarkah?  

Ucapan saya dalam bahasa Inggeris kerana berucap di London di depan audiens yang majoriti tidak faham bahasa Melayu, saya perturunkan salient points atau hujah penting yang saya fikir anda  harus tahu dan kesimpulannya dalam bahasa ibunda. Sebelum itu inilah salient points dalam bahasa Inggeris.

The results of two previous Malaysian general elections demonstrate two things:

First, in the light of the bad and ugly experience of the 1969 polls, both winners  and losers  generally behaved responsibly.

Secondly, the disturbing patterns of voting which some people called “New Politics of the two party system”. Simply put, there has been, since 2008 an alternative to one party that has governed Malaysia since independence - has it really?

Yes, we know the loosely knit opposition, Pakatan Rakyat (PR)  actually won the popular vote,at around 51 % but the ruling party , BN, won more seats in Parliament. Under the Westminster System of “first - past - the post", it therefore retained power.

Some people think the two party system of government is a good thing- is it? I urge you to reflect carefully the term “New Politics”. I say this because the term “New Politics” is an oxymoron. Because it is, and to use it unthinkingly, would be to camouflage the powers that be, in trendy new clothes, reforming and transforming them in the eyes of the trusting public.

Let me pour for you a glass of political realism. Politics is politics: it has existed since humans first lived together. Democratic politics is the necessary and weary business of listening to everyone else’s point of view, trying to reach a compromise and if that fails  then the  ruling party proceeds with its own agenda to achieve its goals and fulfill electoral promises.  

Politics becomes messier when it involves race, ethnicity, religion, language and culture, coupled with competing aspirations and different  stages of economic, edudational  and social  development.  

In this situation such as ours, it has become a real  distress when everyone has his or her own idea of what the "country" is; never mind what it should be! Understood in this way, it would be glib to apply a term like “New Politics” to Malaysia without first considering the fundamental forces that emanate from our history and animate  Malaysian politics and underpin its social life.

What are they? I mean these fundamental, underpining social  forces. You guessed it! Race, religion, ethnicity, language and culture. They are the real Malaysian two - party system - indeed multi party system.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying all these forces  should  forever course  through the life blood of the nation, and  roil our  lives at the worst of times.

I am merely stating that they simply exist and that they will remain so for the near future until some significant change occurs in the nation’s political will, such as racial intergration, and more importantly, a genuinely unified educational system.  

My friends, you cannot wish the “real political forces” away with pious, secular  intentions alone, however hard you pray or not pray.  
     
So what is to be done? We must accept that those forces must be reckoned with and compromises be made where possible but we must realize  that  they will continue to animate our nation’s political scene for the foreseeable future.

Whether or not they are social constructs or accidents of history, they are tangible effects on the minds of Malaysians of all races. They are real and undeniable.

The history of the world shows us only thus - and so does social media!

Race, religion, language, ethnicity and culture will continue to be exploited by ALL parties to get the  political outcome which they desire - brutal power i.e using these  forces as political tools.

Once we accept that these forces are fundamental then we can start thinking of moderating the Malaysian political landscape. First you must understand winning 51 % of the popular vote in Malaysian general elections, like in the UK, is not the same as winning 51 % of the seats in parliament or state assemblies.

You must understand  Malaysia and UK’s first-past-the-post  electoral system. This means, under this system, the candidate with the majority wins, even with one vote. The losers must accept this.

Or simply stated, like in the UK, the party or coalition of parties winning a majority of the seats in parliament forms the  government, not, the party or coalition that wins the overall popular vote.

That is the key! Or like President Clinton said in the US presidential  election- “It’s the economy, stupid” and in our case we can say,"it’s having a political strategy, stupid.”

Malaysia, like UK, is becoming a more unequal nation. KL, like London, is a city state in all except significant self governing powers. I say, in solidarity with you, we are moving on the right path but we must also be realistic and patient.

Until education determines everyone’s economic destiny the forces that I have referred to repeatedly will continnue to determine who are the winners and losers in Malaysian general elections.    

To conclude, whether we like it or not, the real forces that will determine political winners and losers in Malaysia are race, ethnicity, language, religion and culture and also the various stages of economic and educational developement  of each racial group.

Also, remember that control of politics and parliament is accomplished only by electing the  majority of the seats, not, I repeat, an overall majority of the popular vote.  It does seem to me the Malaysian opposition lacks a well -conceived political strategy and supporting  tactics.

However, I have great expectation and I am hopeful that hope and realism will triumph over apprehension or fear that we may have.

Kesimpulan ucapan saya: suka-duka, isu bangsa, agama, bahasa, pencapaian ekonomi dan pendidikan tiap komuniti adalah isu raksasa politik kita dulu, sekarang dan akan datang walaupun sudah wujud media sosial!

Mungkin kerana itu isu di atas akan menjadi lebih hangat dan bergelora. Matlamat politik atau nawaitu setiap parti sangat penting kepada pengundi terutama Melayu Islam dan Peribumi. Juga adab sesetengah pemimpin pembangkang repels (tidak boleh diterima) oleh pengundi di luar bandar dan pedalaman.