GE14 – The central issue in 2018
Happy New Year 2018 and welcome back to the nitty gritty of our daily lives. Whilst some of us have resolutions to fulfill, others may just say, ”Well the only thing that’s new is the year… everything else is the same.”
I beg to differ. 2018 will be anything but the same.
It’s election year after all – a year for a newly-elected government.
And the build up to it suggests that it can be the “Mother of all Elections” or the “most watched ever election” in the history of Malaysia. The dirtiest perhaps?
Why ever not, when the interim Prime Minister if the opposition Pakatan Harapan won the next general election will be Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – Malaysia’s fourth and longest serving Prime Minister for 22 years.
At 92, he will also be the oldest Prime Minister to be in office, if elected.
Question: Is this a winning strategy for Pakatan Harapan? What are Barisan Nasional or specifically Umno’s chances with Mahathir leading the pact now?
Can Mahathir swing the Malay vote towards Pakatan? Since this was what the opposition has been lacking all this while – the Malay vote.
Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) Wan Saiful Wan Jan told BFM in a recent interview that this posed a challenge for Umno but was nonetheless, the best strategy for the opposition so far.
However if there were a three-cornered fight between Pakatan Harapan, PAS and Umno, the victory will go to Umno.
This is because urban Malays who besides being concerned about bread and butter issues like cost of living and the economy etc, they are also concerned about the position of Islam and the Malay agenda among political parties.
The voters look at the personalities and whether they (the personalities) will champion Islam and the Malay agenda or not.
At the Pakatan level, it is always looked upon as DAP not being a Malay party and therefore not championing the Malay agenda regardless of the presence of Mahathir and other former Umno leaders in Pakatan Harapan.
“The Malay voters are simply not buying that,” he said.
On Pakatan Harapan pushing for a policy-driven debate instead of a personality-driven agenda, Wan Saiful says it is unwise for Pakatan to ride on the personality-driven agenda as their top leaders have a lot of baggage.
Hence, it only makes sense for Pakatan to come up with an economic wish list addressing cost of living etc during their convention in order for these demands to be included in Pakatan’s election manifesto.
Barisan Nasional on the other hand will turn it into an ethnic based, religious based debate.
In order to defeat Pakatan Harapan this time, Barisan Nasional unfortunately, will play on the personality agenda.