PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has described as irrational a challenge by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to current opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad to win Putrajaya with a two-thirds majority.
Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al-Mahdzar said no opposition party has won power for the first time with a super majority.
“I expected the Oxford graduate to come out with a better argument.
“He is just trying to confuse his already ignorant party members,” he said in reference to Khairy who studied at the prestigious university in the United Kingdom.
He said this in response to Khairy’s speech at the Umno Youth wing meeting where the youth and sports minister asked Mahathir to prove his ability and win the 14th general election (GE14) with a large majority in this era of social media.
“If blogs and all kinds of social media existed in his era, I wonder if he still could have won a two-thirds majority as easily,” Khairy had said.
He said Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years from 1981, had boasted of his success in winning five general elections, each time with a two-thirds majority.
Khairy said Mahathir’s rule was far different from the present era of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s leadership because the former used an uncompromising approach to the extent that his administration was described as “iron fisted”, ignoring democratic principles.
The mainstream media was controlled absolutely and alternative media was lacking, he added.
Syed Iskandar said Mahathir led the Barisan Nasional to win handsomely due to the power of incumbency.
He said Parti Bersatu Sabah won power in Sabah in 1985 with a simple majority and so did Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor and Penang in 2008.
“Selangor and Penang were retained in 2013 with a super majority due to the power of incumbency and good performance of the PR governments,” he said.
However, he said voters in Kelantan and Terengganu gave PAS a thumping majority in the 1990 and 1999 general elections, defeating BN.
Syed Iskandar said no one would expect any opposition coalition to win with an overwhelming majority as a “a lot of things are stacked against them”.
He said generally a ruling party wanted the super majority to make amendments to the constitution without the support of the opposition.
“The federal and state constitutions only state that the head of state appoints the prime minister, menteri besar or chief minister who in his judgment enjoys the confidence of the majority of elected members of the house,” he added.