The communal polarisation in 1960s and the subsequent outbreak of rioting led to the formation of the National Front (BN) in 1974. The Front effectively unified all groups with individual representation under a single banner to govern the nation.
This system worked quite well and it effectively marginalised the opposition front to scanty minority in the parliament. The National Front's superiority in numbers in the parliament bestows on the ruling front an overwhelming political power to govern.
The opposition front has been dwindling away to minority in the parliament largely as a result of a lack of Malays joining in with them.
It has been the ideal of the opposition to garner support to wrest parliamentary seats sufficient to deny the BN's two-third majority superiority in the parliament. With this magnitude of strength, the opposition front would have more effective supervision over the BN's governing machinery.
More than 10 years ago, Tunku Razali grouped all the opposition parties under Alternative Front to mount the greatest ever challenge to BN. But Dr. Mahathie's two-hour high-powered rally speech broadcast through television managed to swing the Malays back to BN. As a result, the Alternative Front was denied of a chance to bring about a change to the parliamentary superiority of BN.
In this election, DAP comes out with the same theme.
The picture shows Mr. Lim Kit Siang of DAP in an election rally at SS2, PJ last night. I met Lim Kit Siang once in Australia when I was a student at Monash University. On that occasion, Lim was invited to give a public forum on Malaysian politics in the university's Rotunda Hall. The lecture hall was jam-packed with close to 600 students, all mesmerized by Kit Siang's explosive speech on politics. Lim Guan Eng, then a Year 1 student of Monash, was there to give his dad moral support.