Other than PAS, all other opposition parties such as DAP, Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) and Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) were the losers in the 1999 general elections.
Since then, Malaysians have become disappointed with the opposition, and many think that they are not going to turn things around in the coming elections.
Keadilan and PRM are but two political parties of dwindling significance in the country, especially the latter. In order to survive, both parties have been forced to merge, and the merger is seen as a political move that serves to "stimulate" and consolidate the supporters from both sides.
As a party that has suffered failure after failure in recent general elections, PRM can only opt for a merger with Keadilan in order to extend its political lifespan. This is a political reality. However, such a marriage has not created too much wave among the voters. If DAP were to merge with Keadilan, it would be a very different story altogether.
DAP National Chairman Lim Kit Siang said he hoped the merged entity Parti Keadilan Rakyat could form a unified secular opposition front with DAP. But that is next to impossible.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat under Wan Azizah has toppling the BN government its principal agenda, and it is highly unlikely that she would opt for DAP in the stead of PAS. Azizah needs the help of PAS to throw BN out of office, meaning DAP will still have to play lone ranger in the coming elections.
In the coming elections, DAP might have to ask the newly merged entity to show its card, to pick either DAP or PAS.
Having said that, Lim's noble aspiration to defend the country's secularity must be supported and affirmed.
In order to counter an increasingly powerful PAS, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has unilaterally declared Malaysia an Islamic state without the endorsement of non-Muslims, and has thus weakened the foundation of a democratic secular state erected by Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The two insurmountable political forces that we have today, namely the ruling UMNO and the opposition PAS, are currently engaged in a race towards Islamisation, with the secular political system adopted by the country since independence getting further and further away.
The sad thing is, be it MCA or Gerakan Rakyat in the ruling coalition, or the Chinese leaders in the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, none has the guts to say "No" to the Big Brother.
Given such a scenario, no matter the Chinese are voting for the ruling coalition or the opposition, they are still unable to break through the current political deadlock.
Chinese Malaysians will only see hope if such unfavourable scenario is removed. Or they will always remain the losers.
Sin Chew Daily