Amanah sec-gen says social media contributing to Pakatan’s waning popularity

Amanah secretary-general Datuk Hatta Ramli speaks to Malay Mail in Petaling Jaya January 20, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Amanah secretary-general Datuk Hatta Ramli speaks to Malay Mail in Petaling Jaya January 20, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, Jan 20 — Social media is one of the reasons that the public perception against Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been waning, according to Datuk Hatta Ramli.

Speaking to Malay Mail, the Amanah secretary-general said that the perception of instability within the ruling coalition is due to the writings on social media by pundits, political opponents, politicians or the average Malaysian making comments online.

However, he also denied that there is any public political infighting among PH’s highest leadership unlike what is being portrayed by social media.

“We don’t call names among the leaders. Members and supporters — these are very energetic people. Of course, they want things their way. For example, we have this succession plan. So, we are just waiting for it to happen

“But some need assurance that it will happen, such as black and white. But we are dealing with experienced senior leaders. We go by what we say. We don’t want to be seen as saying one thing but doing another or not doing it at all.

“We have to trust one another. So, what if people, I mean social media is busy about that, it’s just expected. People will write about it but I can assure you that things are in place,” he said.

Furthermore, he pointed out that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had already spoken on the issue and he advised PH leaders not to create any form of instability which can easily create speculation once it goes viral on social media.

He said that to counter this, PH must encourage these individuals to be patient because the time for the transition of power will come.

He added that the strength of the current administration stems from the promises it has made with some already being fulfilled and others such as the PTPTN loan repayment issue still unresolved.

“It’s not that we are falling apart. It’s just that currently, social media is controlling the thinking of the people,” Hatta noted.

At the same time, he also echoed Dr Mahathir’s sentiment today that the PH coalition government will be a one term government if it does not buck up.

However, he finds it fortunate that PH have been given multiple warning signs from the public on their waning popularity.

“I think it goes without saying, any government if you don’t buck up and you have problems you will be on the losing end. But we are lucky we have a few warning signs coming our way. For example, the defeats in the by-elections.

“The feedback shows that people are not very happy. Some of our promises are not yet fulfilled and there is flip flop in some of our decision making but generally if you look at the current situation, the statistics and so on, we are actually doing quite well,” he said.

The recently concluded Kimanis by-election saw PH losing to its Barisan Nasional (BN) rival for the fifth time, beginning with their loss in the Cameron Highlands by-election. It had also lost its Tanjung Piai seat to MCA in the biggest majority the BN coalition had ever achieved in decades.

Hatta, who is also the Entrepreneur Development deputy minister pointed out that Malaysia’s currency is getting stronger and the stock market is not doing too bad but admits that it could do better.

He added that generally, the costs of living are not increasing while Putrajaya has also managed to bring down the PLUS toll price by 18 per cent beginning next month and a promise of no increase for the next 38 years.

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