KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Barisan Nasional (BN) was able to portray Pakatan Harapan (PH) as ineffective to win the perception war in Tanjung Piai, according to think-tank Ilham Centre.
It credited the coalition’s landslide victory through Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng to its ability to point out the rival’s shortcomings.
Ilham Centre’s Prof Hamidin Abdul Hamid said PH appeared to lack cohesion.
“During the campaign process we could see a lack of leadership on the ground on the PH camp whereas the BN camp seemed like a well oiled machine,” said Hamidin during a forum to discuss the Tanjung Piai by-election results at Universiti Malaya today.
“BN managed to dominate most of the current issues and showcase PH’s frailty and lack of direction when it comes to daily issues like the economy and cost of living.”
He said PH’s speakers failed to win over crowds and the election machinery also did not make up the difference.
However, he said Muafakat Nasional, the alliance between BN and PAS, could not take the result from Tanjung Piai as validation that the partnership was acceptable to voters.
“If they want to say the coalition is a triumph, we as researchers would say hold up, be patient. If they say the coalition will propel them to a higher plateau we also say calm down as it’s still early,” Hamidin said.
“What the win has done though is made them relevant and it’s created a new scenario in the political scene.”
He warned that unless PH took major steps to reverse such perceptions, its fourth straight by-election defeat might not be its last.