“Malay voters likely to shun UMNO in favour of PN in coming state polls,” says Bersatu leader

MALAY voters will likely make a U-turn and shift their support from UMNO to Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the upcoming state polls, predicts Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

The Bersatu deputy president said the shift comes as a result of UMNO’s latest decision to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to form government, a decision Ahmad Faizal claimed goes against the national party’s fundamental principles.

Recall that UMNO had made the decision at its 2020 General Assembly to not support any move to make Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister or any PH-DAP-led government.

This was reiterated by UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi prior to the 15th general election (GE15) on Nov 19 last year when “No DAP, No Anwar” became a prominent battle cry among party supporters.

“This is evident in the results of the last general election where ethnic Malay support began to swing towards PN, but when UMNO became part of the Pakatan Harapan government it sparked outrage among the Malays who intend to make a U-turn this time around,” he told Utusan Malaysia in an article published today.

“If we observe [during GE15] we (PN) had even managed to win rural seats that were once UMNO strongholds. I am confident that the momentum will carry forward until the next state elections.”

However, Ahmad Faizal acknowledged that this would be far from a cakewalk for the coalition in the upcoming state elections as there existed a skewed narrative of PAS as an extremist party.

He said that more effort needs to be put into dispelling PH’s propaganda that was aimed at intimidating the non-Malays to not vote for PN.

“PH’s perception towards the PAS leadership had been successful to a certain degree which then led to almost-zero non-Malay support for PN,” Ahmad Faizal was reported as saying.

“They claimed that if PN won, the country would be ruled the Taliban way. Their propaganda has successfully struck fear in non-Malay voters where in fact what happened in Terengganu and Kelantan is nothing as such.”

Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan, which are controlled by PH, and Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, governed by PAS, are due to hold state elections this year which marks the five-year expiry of their mandates.

The Election Commission (EC) on Dec 6 said it welcomed the proposal to hold the upcoming six state elections simultaneously.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh saying the move would help EC to better coordinate its manpower deployment in the six states. – Jan 3, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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