Ong Kian Ming: The Creation of the Malaysian Tsunami


Ong Kian Ming: The Creation of the Malaysian Tsunami

Bangi Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming says the focus of Pakatan Harapan now is to create an economy that is fair and equitable. He also tells why over 40 percent of Malay voters in his constituency voted DAP. He speaks to Ibrahim Sani.

“When I first came back (from the United States), some of the signs were quite clear. That time, I had an inkling of the 1MDB scandal but the full blown details were not that extensive then, as compared to now, “says Bangi Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming. 

“There was sense that the opposition was gaining strength and Barisan Nasional (BN) was losing sight of the larger picture. Those trends pointed towards the opposition as a whole gaining ground. That turned out to be the correct case in GE14.”

The former political analyst, who is DAP’s Assistant National Director for Political Education, credited Pakatan Harapan’s win to the people’s rejection of Barisan Nasional as a whole.

Even so, Kian Ming admitted that he was not entirely confident that Pakatan Harapan (PH) could defeat BN, given the increased three-cornered fights caused by PAS and the redelineation exercise, leading to malapportionment of voters which favoured BN.

Despite their best efforts, PH delivered a major blow to BN. In his post GE-14 analysis, Kian Ming says the overall vote share for BN decreased between five and 20 percent.

The largest swing against BN was in Kedah, where support for the party fell from 49.8 percent to 19.8 percent, compared to the previous election.

With the exception of Sarawak, BN garnered less than 50 percent of popular votes in Perlis and Pahang - one of the three states that the now-opposition led party managed to keep a hold on.
In an interview with Astro AWANI, Kian Ming - who won Malaysia’s largest parliamentary constituency Bangi with a 68,768 majority vote, lays out his plans to serve within the Pakatan Harapan government. Among others, he tells why over 40 percent of Malay voters in his constituency voted for a DAP candidate.

Kian Ming’s assessment on the PAS impact on Pakatan Harapan’s chances in GE14

My fear was that PAS would take away enough votes from the (then) opposition to give BN some wins in certain seats that they would otherwise not have won. But that didn’t turn out to be the case. So, I think the Malaysian Tsunami is clear - people were voting against Barisan Nasional. Most of them voted for Pakatan Harapan and in some cases, voted for PAS in Terengganu and Kelantan.
The Bangi constituency (formerly known as Serdang), with 178,790 registered voters, saw an increase of Malay voters from 40 percent to 49 percent following the redelineation exercise. In GE14, it recorded among the highest voter turnout at 88.06 percent.
When Pakatan Harapan decided to contest under the PKR logo, that demonstrated DAP is not as arrogant as it was perceived to be. I explained to the Malay voters in my constituency that it was a ‘sacrifice’ by DAP in order to achieve our bigger objective, which is to replace the BN-led government. I think most of my voters accepted that.
Within DAP, there were some concerns as well when we decided to contest under the PKR logo but we kept our focus on the big picture. And when Tun Dr Mahathir and Amanah decided to do the same, it was a no-brainer decision for DAP, despite it being a difficult decision to make.
Kian Ming also clarifies DAP’s stand on the rights of the Malays and the Bumiputera.
There is no need to relook this issue. Both Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan’s manifestos in GE13 and GE14, respectively, outlined that all parties recognise and fullyunderstand the spirit of Article 153 in the Federal Constitution (which recognises the special rights of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak). The Pakatan Harapan government fully supports it. So, whoever who wants to make an issue out of it, I’d say that their intentions are not sincere.
In my opinion, the issues that the Pakatan Harapan government need to tackle is the economic and institutional reforms. The position of Bumiputeras will not be reviewed. Our focus is to create an economy that is fair for all.