PH may need to bank on non-Muslim votes amid Malay vote swing from ‘kalimah Allah’ issue

NO thanks to the kalimah Allah controversy, it’s no secret that the unity government – or the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) alliance for that matter – are under fire ‘left, right and centre’ almost daily from hardcore clerics on HarakahDaily, the PAS’ mouthpiece.

Like veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A, Kadir Jasin puts it, this is inevitable as many Muslims will conclude that that Islam is “truly under threat” and that the PH-UMNO joint government is not sincerely defending Islam following its decision not to pursue the appeal against the case.

“The 2021 Kuala Lumpur High Court decision gives victory to a Christian devotee, Jill Ireland binti Lawrence Bill, through a constitutional review, is reinforcing the impression that Islam was threatened,” observed the former UMNO member for over 30 years until he left the party in 2015.

“They are more similar to taking care of the hearts of the Christians of Sarawak (and Sabah) which is important to the continuity of the central government.”

Judging from the poor performance of PH in the recently concluded 15th General Election (GE15), Kadir reckoned that this could have stemmed from the lack of confidence among Malay voters with the policies, leadership and composition of the coalition.

“Adding to this was the rift between Anwar (PKR president) and (Datuk Seri) Mohamed Azmin Ali (former PKR deputy president) followed by participation of Azmin’s faction in the Sheraton Move coup in February 2020,” he deduced.

“With that, PKR got weaker while its Malay component became smaller. This led to DAP becoming more dominant which scares the Malays even more. This promoted them to vote for Perikatan Nasional (PN) because it bears the Malay-Islam slogan.”

Such development, according to Kadir, is also exacerbated by people being increasingly unsure if the court trial of UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi “will continue or will be delayed so that he can continue to be Anwar’s right-hand man”.

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin

“Surely, this can be a valuable capital for PN in the upcoming state polls (of Selangor, Penang, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah),” observed the former Bersatu supreme council member.

“It’s just that PN does not try to convince the public that it is not an extreme Malay-Muslim party and has an authoritative leadership line-up that surpasses (its chairman Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Yassin and (deputy chairman Tan Sri) Hadi Awang.”

Elsewhere, Kadir is also unconvinced that the strong show of force by the unity government through the Madani national convention at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur over the weekend will strengthen the confidence that UMNO can be trusted to be a Malay component in the PH-led government especially “with the presence of a large DAP contingent”.

“Although the outcome of the state polls cannot change or bring down the unity government, it does have effect in terms of raising or bringing down one’s image,” added Kadir. – May 18, 2023

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE