Lim Kit Siang, the stalwart of the Chinese dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) said that the gay sex video implicating Azmin Ali and Haziq Aziz as Pakatan Harapan’s “greatest challenge”.
As a veteran in Malaysian politics Kit Siang has seen it all and rightly understands the dynamics of Malaysian politics and taboo subjects. He understands how small intimate actions can have a greater impact, especially with large conservative Malay-Muslim majority.
DAP has been largely quiet over the whole incident and Kit Siang’s comment is seen largely diplomatic in nature. DAP has been seen trying hard to win over Malay over the past many months trying to be seen Muslim friendly. This incident could not come at a worse time.
Two decades ago gay acts accusation and sodomy led to the incarceration of Anwar Ibrahim and to date many Malays still do not support Anwar as a leader. The Malay support for PKR is marginal at best with predominantly coming from urban Malays who are more used to “alternate lifestyles”. UMNO and PAS’s strength comes from rural Malays who frown upon acts of indecency as they see it and Kit Siang understands this.
If Pakatan Harapan were to win the next general election, the votes need to come from rural Malays who right now feel very betrayed by Mahathir’s Pribumi and Anwar’s PKR and are mainly flocking to UMNO and PAS’s fragile alliance.
Even more so Kit Siang understands that Pakatan’s own stand is now coming to haunt it. For years, DAP and PKR had adopted the stand “guilty until proven innocent” which led the downfall not Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional with accusations alone. Right now, Azmin’s mere claim of innocence and denial is seen as hypocrisy.
Political observers have noted that Pakatan Harapan can’t keep using words like “kleptocracy” but then choose to ignore things like sodomy in a conservative nation.
Many too are questioning Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed’s stark difference in approach over Azmin’s case as compared to Anwar Ibrahim where he was famously sacked and jailed.
Kit Siang understands that Azmin’s sex scandal could be the undoing of Pakatan Harapan, not only at the next general election but also differences in opinion within the party. At a time when Pakatan Harapan seems to be playing “who will be the prime minister” with novice ministers running things recklessly, the entire machinery needs focus to run the government.
“Are Malaysians to save Malaysia from the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state only to allow the Haziq sex video to destroy the unique ‘Save Malaysia’ mission a year later?” Kit Siang asks.
But it’s his own ministers are the ones who need to take heed. After all, they form the government and not the public. The public voted them in, so it’s their responsibility to “Save Malaysia”.
It’s best Pakatan Harapan ministers listen to Kit Siang.