GEORGE TOWN, April 6 — Malay support is beginning to tilt in the direction of Pakatan Harapan as the community now has a choice other than Umno, claimed social activist Adam Adli.
The coordinator of Penggerak Komuniti Muda suggested the Malay community had previously leaned towards Umno as no other party offered an alternative to its championing of Malay interests.
He purported that PAS could not fill the role as it was seen as a poor governor while PKR did not claim to be a defender of Malay interests.
“Suddenly, there is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia with former Umno leaders like Tun Dr Mahathir helming it and the Malays finally felt that there is an alternative for them,” he claimed.
“Pakatan Harapan now has a Malay party to speak to the Malay crowd and the Malays are now growing more comfortable with the Opposition,” he said during a forum titled “Will the Malay ground shift?” at the Penang Institute last night.
Fellow panelist Mohd Izzuddin Ramli said the effect was unlikely to sway youths.
He said the pressing issues most voters, especially the youths, are concerned about are job opportunities, education and the cost of living.
“I don’t think youths care about race-based politics and those registered as voters are disillusioned with politics,” he said.
The political analyst believed voters are now looking for political parties with the political willpower to resolve issues such as unemployment, high costs of living and education for youths.
Researcher and author Lim Teck Ghee believed that the controversy surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd coupled with Dr Mahathir’s influence could cause an unexpected swing.
Adam differed on this, however, saying issues with the state investment firm would not influence the community.
“The Malays don’t care about 1MDB,” he said.
Mohd Izzuddin added that the choice of candidates would play a bigger role.
Uphill battle for PH
All three panelists agreed on the influence Dr Mahathir will have in swaying voters, but Lim said the pact did not have more than a 10 per cent chance of winning the general election.
“Before the redelineation report was approved, PH may have had a 20-per cent chance, but with the redefinition, their chances have dropped,” he said.
Lim said there would likely be as much as a 15-per cent swing in support in the 14th general election, but this has effectively been negated by the Election Commission’s move.
Lim also launched his book titled Challenging Malaysia’s Status Quo at the Penang Institute yesterday
The launch was followed by the forum which ended at about 11pm.