DAP is once again the main target in the Johor by-elections

THE by-elections of the Pulai parliament and the Simpang Jeram state legislative assembly are turning into a big test for Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the Barisan Nasional (BN) but once again, it is all about the DAP.It is a very well-crafted campaign that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) is leading against the DAP and its political struggles.The UMNO leadership’s statement that DAP, which is also a component of PH, has changed and become more moderate is claimed by the Bersatu leader to be better news than it looks.Now, it is for the Bersatu vice-president Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin to enter the fray. He stated that DAP was still acting as a ‘big brother’ who did not pay attention to the recommendations of the coalition partners in maintaining the party’s slogan ‘Malaysia for Malaysians’.He added that the party is refusing to drop the agenda of a secular state and ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ despite the advice of UMNO Pulai.“When Pulai Division UMNO leader (Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed) made a statement that DAP needs to drop the agenda of a secular state and needs to bring out Malaysian Malaysia to attract Malays, they (DAP) said, they do not have to drop their slogans.”Moreover, Radzi noted that this showed UMNO had no power in the coalition with PH.“UMNO no longer has power and now UMNO leaders are seen to be only able to ‘talk’ while their suggestions are being ignored.“Bersatu had previously been with DAP and had seen the party’s true colours before deciding to leave the PH coalition.”Meanwhile, analysts are saying these by-elections will be the next test for PH and BN as they will measure the level of support and acceptance of the people, especially voters in Johor, towards their political collaboration.Speaking to Berita Harian, the analysts pointed out that the unity government led by the two coalitions successfully broke through its first hurdle when it managed to maintain the ‘status quo’ in the state elections last month.They maintained their control of the three controlled states namely Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Penang during the state elections last Aug 12.Citing Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, PH and BN cannot take the signals of the Malay voters for granted, especially the PN’s methods and strategies in building its support narrative, especially what was seen in the previous series of elections, according to Berita Harian. – Sept 3, 2023

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