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US diplomat foresaw DAP gains but not Pakatan success

Sun 2011-Aug-21 @ +08 22:24:13 pm


WIKILEAKS | Cablegate Ref: 06KUALALUMPUR1975

by uppercaise
US diplomat Mark D Clark correctly predicted in 2006 that Malaysian Chinese voters would desert the Barisan Nasional because of its increasingly Islamic tone and greater reliance on racial politics, and that the DAP would benefit at the general election.

But he failed to foresee the extent of damage to the MCA and the Gerakan, and he could not know that the three main opposition parties (PAS, the DAP, and Parti Keadilan Nasional) would effectively combine to deliver a significant blow to the ruling party.

Clark’s comments were made in a secret cable to the State Department on Aug 19, 2006. He was then the political counsellor (head of the political section) at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

In the cable, published on Friday at Malaysia Today through WikiLeaks, Clark correctly predicted a general election either in the fourth quarter of 2007 or the first quarter of 2008. The elections were indeed held in the first quarter of 2008, on March 8.

He foresaw BN’s loss of Malaysian Chinese votes because of bumiputra policies. “As Chinese sensitivities heighten regarding Malay-centric policies, discontent with the status quo grows,” he said.

He also noted, as many Malaysian political pundits have also observed, that the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi government had allowed greater freedom of speech in the post-Mahathir era.

It had “allowed greater public airing of such discontent, albeit with limits”, although Abdullah was also “unable to shut down divisive debates in stark contrast to Mahathir’s firm control”.

Clark commented that no one was yet predicting the collapse of the Barisan Nasional and that Umno was not in danger of losing significant numbers of votes. But the BN’s Chinese component parties (the MCA and Gerakan principally) feared they would lose votes. “Growing discontent in the Chinese community has led many political pundits to forecast that many Chinese will abandon MCA and Gerakan and vote for DAP in the next election.”

But Clark, writing in 2006, did not see the opposition parties being able to provide Malaysians a real alternative.

He said “Chinese voters have poor alternatives. DAP and KeADILan are not sufficiently organised to provide a real alternative to BN, particularly given the disproportionate powers wielded by the Umno-led coalition.

The Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS), the strongest Malay-based opposition party, holds no appeal for the Chinese electorate. Without better alternatives, MCA and Gerakan will not lose their dominance of the Chinese vote.”

Two years later, after the release of Anwar Ibrahim, the rise of Hindraf and the massive outburst of public discontent at the first Bersih rally, a working alliance of PAS, DAP, and PKR had been forged.

And when the elections came around, the MCA and Gerakan were indeed supplanted by the DAP as the choice of Chinese voters, especially in Penang, where the two parties were wiped out.

© uppercaise 2011


revised 05:25 MYT Aug 22
The secret US Embassy cable in full…
» MALAYSIA’S CHINESE MINORITY: THE POLITICS OF MARGINALIZATION
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7 Comments
  1. uppercaise permalink*
    Mon 2011-Aug-22 @ +08 05:20:24 am 05:20

    This article was reproduced at 1am without my permission on the company web site of Dominique Ng, a lawyer in Kuching, and failed election candidate in the 2011 Sarawak election. Ng’s company web site “Dominique Ng & Advocates” also reproduces articles from other web sites and blogs, including Anil Netto’s, presumably also without permission.

    Dominique Ng was dropped by PKR for the Padungan constituency and contested as an independent against DAP and BN. Only 439 voted for him, while the DAP candidate had almost 12,000 and the BN 4,000. Dominique Ng lost his RM5,000 deposit.

    If I were a voter in Kuching, I certainly would not vote for him.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Mon 2011-Aug-22 @ +08 06:17:59 am 06:17

      An email sent to the address given on his web site could not be delivered:

      Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

      ng-dominique@yahoo.com

      Technical details of permanent failure:
      … The error that the other server returned was: 554 554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com account (ng-dominique@yahoo.com) [-15] – mta1052.mail.bf1.yahoo.com (state 18).

  2. Mon 2011-Aug-22 @ +08 07:41:19 am 07:41

    The gain by the opposition especially DAP were not votes for them by were votes against the MCA for their coalition and as lackeys for the deceitful and corrupted Umnoputras. Period.
    So people like mad dog LKS and Anwar should not have the illusion that the people are on their sides as there weren’t and still aren’t any other opposition parties to turn to.
    If there was a creditable opposition to choose from other than these barking mad dog and lusty idiot as the opposition. There were no questions who the votes would have gone to,
    LKS has been in the opposition for decades and what has he done for the people ? He even abandoned Malacca, a base he started from, and went to Perak when he could not to lie to the people in Malacca any further. It would not be long before the same will happen in Perak for LKS.
    As for his son he too went to Penang, a state which is well known for decades to vote for the opposition, to stand as opposition candidate for their votes. No doubt the people in Penang voted against the deceitful and corrupted Umnoputras and as a result the any opposition party candidates would have benefited from the peoples’ sentiment for the Umno led ruling party.

    • azmin permalink
      Tue 2011-Aug-23 @ +08 16:54:44 pm 16:54

      Dear najib manaukau. I am no supporter of LKS or his son LGE. However, that being said, to stoop to name-calling like “mad dog”, “barking mad dog” and “lusty idiots” clearly gives the impression of the cultural level you rise from. When in opposition, one’s role is to keep the government on its toes and perform well for the people. If you call that “barking mad dog” then so be it. Though I hate to admit it, once LGE took over the reigns of the Penang government, he did credibly well against the back drop of constant sabotaging by you know who. I can see that things are more transparent and efficient now. That UMNO labels LGE anti-Malay, MCA calls LGE anti-Chinese and MIC insists LGE is anti-Indian speaks volumes. That the Bumiputra Contractors’ Association of Penang, an association with mainly UMNO members could come out in support of LGE is a wonder to behold.
      The Penang state government had been coming under increasingly unprecedented attack. LGE had come under physical assault; challenged to a boxing match; mob vilification; with someone even trying to climb over the fencing of the State Assembly while it was sitting so that he could confront LGE; and lately, coffins sent to him and another DAP assemblyman; DAP service centres splashed with red paint and even an attempt to burn another down. To give PKR credit, even at their most raucous when they were in the opposition, they never attempted to do all those ‘unbecoming and uncultured’ things against the sitting government of Penang.
      Many BN supporters like me are wavering. We are starting to take pity on the plight of the PKR state governments. Your great ‘sanity’ of labeling them ‘mad dogs’ is not helping matters… definitely not helping BN. I suggest you re-construct your strategy, if you can call it that. Remember, the best strategy is always to help the people, sincerely. Malaysians are a grateful lot. Pushed to the wall, they can also do the unthinkable. Take heed.

  3. Mon 2011-Aug-22 @ +08 08:08:39 am 08:08

    I think the results of the 2003 GE when Umnoputras won by a record margin of 93%, it wasn’t a reflection of the Umnoputras and the creditably of the candidates.
    They were just a celebration that the grand son of the untouchable pariah, shenanigan Mahathir, had retired. However in their hurry to celebrate the shenanigan’s retirement the people overlooked that It was a huge mistake as the shenanigan shortly thereafter prove that he was and still is very much in politics. If anything he is even more involved in racial politics to day than ever as a citizen. Which he knows that he cannot be implicated in any way.
    Also he ‘retired’ only as P.M. of Malaysia because otherwise he knew he would have being indicted by United Nations for the many atrocities he committed.

  4. Kagayaku permalink
    Wed 2011-Aug-24 @ +08 07:36:48 am 07:36

    dirty practice. as usual.

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