GE14: Are the Malays angry enough to cause a tsunami?

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay tsunami which is expected to favour Pakatan Harapan is achievable but voters need to be convinced to return home to vote during the 14th general election, said Ilham Centre executive director Hisommudin Bakar.

Commenting on Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s sentiment, Hisommudin explained that it would not be easy to persuade voters to return to their hometowns, especially in east coast, to vote.

“I think the 85% target is a reasonable target and the Malay tsunami can only be achieved if there is a huge voter turnout.

“The problem now is to persuade voters, especially those in Klang Valley, to return to their hometowns in the east coast or in Kelantan to vote. If that can be achieved, there will be a Malay tsunami.

“The problem is that many of the voters are still using their hometown addresses and to return home one needs strength in terms of financial and political will,” Hisommudin said.

Pakatan Harapan chairman Mahathir yesterday said that a Malay tsunami as well as a voter turnout of more than 85% were necessary for the pact to win in GE14.

“The voter turnout must be the biggest ever. Nothing less than 85%. This is achievable as shown in the 13th general election.

“A Malay tsunami is what is needed. It can happen,” said Mahathir in his blog posting.

Hisommudin also highlighted that from March 2017 to March 2018, the crowds attending the PPBM chairman’s ‘ceramahs’ have been on the increasing trend.

He added that majority of the audiences were ‘organic audiences’ which was a good sign for Pakatan Harapan.

“From March 2017 until this year, we found out that the number of listeners during Mahathir’s events were huge and the number increased. One can argue that it does not necessarily a direct indication that they will vote for Pakatan and I agree with that.

“However, we have to look at those who we call ‘organic audience’ who came without being paid or not a member of the party. We found out that majority of them who attended Mahathir’s events were ‘organic audience’. These people have the possibility to vote for Pakatan in the next election,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya academic Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said that there was already a small wave of Malay tsunami but the momentum was not enough to cause problems for Barisan Nasional.

He however said that the real tsunami can be known when the parliament is dissolved and the campaign starts.

“In order to have a tsunami, the Malays must be very angry. Now, the wave is there but still it is not enough to cause them problems.

“We can only know if the Malays are angry when the parliament is dissolved and when the campaign starts,” Awang Azman added.

He also agreed with Hisommudin that the number of people during Mahathir’s events was an indication that the Malays were willing to vote against the government.

“The number of the people who came to the events is one of the indicators. That is why I said there is already a wave of dissatisfaction. But, we have to remember, the B40 class who are the majority of voters, tend to not care about national issues.

“Pakatan have to tackle and find a way on how to woo them to vote for the opposition,” he opined.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to call for the general election by dissolving the parliament this Friday.


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