1) I had earlier written here and here as to why Lim Kit Siang deserves to win in Gelang Patah. I had also shared that a PR win in Gelang Patah will almost certainly deliver more Johor Parliamentary seats to PR because Gelang Patah is the most challenging fight in Johor, with Lim Kit Siang facing MB Abdul Ghani.
2) Results last night showed that Lim Kit Siang trumped Mr Abdul Ghani, the outgoing four-term Mentri Besar, by 14,762 votes. This is remarkable due to 3 key reasons.
3) Firstly, Gelang Patah has always been a BN stronghold, where BN retained the seats with great majority – 8,851 votes in 2008, and 31,666 votes in 2004. Thus it seems almost an impossible task for Lim Kit Siang and PR to achieve any breakthrough in Gelang Patah. The question was, is it ever possible to break the BN fortress?
4) Secondly, of the 106,864 registered voters in Gelang Patah, roughly 52 per cent are Chinese, 34 per cent Malay and 12 per cent Indian. As the perception is that the DAP mainly garners support from the Chinese, Gelang Patah seems to be an uphill battle for Lim Kit Siang because by and far it has the smallest proportion of Chinese voters compared to all other seats he had contested since 1969. The question was, will the smaller Chinese voter base in Gelang Patah compromise Lim Kit Siang’s chances of winning?
5) And thirdly, many BN leaders had taken a keen interest in the Battle of Gelang Patah. Dr Mahathir had created fear by alleging disharmony among the races in Gelang Patah and Johor should Lim Kit Siang wins, as seen here. PM Najib had also pitched in by emphasizing that only a win by BN, would all races be able to work harmoniously and where everybody has the opportunities to maximize one’s own potential, as seen here. So Lim Kit Siang is not only Abdul Ghani!
6) It has been great that Lim Kit Siang had won, and won with an impressive majority, because it shows and created 3 key milestones.
7) Firstly, the win by Lim Kit Siang had shown that there is no longer such a thing as a BN “fixed deposit” state in Malaysia. Johor has always a fortress of BN, with UMNO being founded there, and with many current BN leaders hailing from Johor itself. It is indeed a psychological breakthrough for all Malaysians!
8) Secondly, it breaks the notion propagated by the BN that DAP is a Chinese-chauvinist party which only appeals to the Chinese, but not the other races. I had earlier refuted this notion here. With only 52% Chinese voters in Gelang Patah, Lim Kit Siang could not have won such an impressive majority had the Malay and Indian voters not supported him. The win by Lim Kit Siang shows that DAP had proved that it is a party for all Malaysians, and supported by all Malaysians, not just a Chinese party supported by just the Chinese!
9) And thirdly, the win by Lim Kit Siang shows that the voters of Gelang Patah and Johor had rejected the “fear” and “race” tactics of the BN leaders., which I had noted here. The voters refused to be cowed by the scare tactics of Dr Mahathir and Najib that there will be racial disharmony, or that Malaysians will lose the opportunities to maximize one’s own potential, if Lim Kit Siang were to win. The Battle of Gelang Patah is a good example to show how bravely the people had rejected the BN’s customary tactics of “fear” and “race”!
10) The Battle of Gelang Patah will be and should be recorded in history texts, and be the guiding light to the development of a new politics in Malaysia for the many years to come!