PAKATAN Harapan stands zero chance of wresting control of Perak in the next general election because of disunity and the lack of a strong leader, Barisan Nasional state leaders said.
In fact, the opposition pact should be prepared to suffer even greater losses – up to nine more seats – in GE14, said state Umno liaison committee deputy chairman Saarani Mohamad.
Saarani told The Malaysian Insight BN is prepared to fend off any offensive by Pakatan and dismissed talk of a Malay tsunami that will supposedly give PH victory.
“I’m one of the leaders in Perak, I go to the ground, so I know. BN will win 40 seats in the general election this time.”
BN won 31 out of 59 state seats in the last elections, while Pakatan won 24 seats, with 18 held by DAP, PKR (5) and Amanah (1). PAS holds four state seats.
Invoke, the big data analytics organisation led by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, said last week Perak will fall to Pakatan along with Kedah and Johor, bringing to five the number of states to be led by PH after GE14.
PH currently controls Selangor and Penang.
According to research conducted by Invoke, PH is expected to win 32 state seats while BN will bag 27 seats. The organisation predicted that PAS will not even win a single seat in Perak.
However, Saarani said support for BN among the locals has been consistently strong in the past five years.
“We have been working for these elections since 2014. We have identified the reason for our loss in several areas. We have worked hard to register new voters who are supporters of BN,” said Saarani, the Kota Tampan assemblyman.
Analysts and PH leaders believe that the winner of the election in Perak will be decided by the outcome of 30 seats in Malay-majority areas BN won by fewer than 1,000 votes in the last elections.
However, Saarani said BN is not worried about its position in marginal seats, as many PAS supporters voted the opposition in the last elections.
He cited the example of the Kuala Sepetang seat, which PKR won by only 758 votes. Saarani said many of the opposition voters then were PAS supporters.
“Our strength in BN is unity. We work well in Umno, and with other component parties, not like the opposition. They have already broken up. No more (cooperation) with PAS.
“So, when the time comes for the elections, we will have the advantage.”
PAS was part of the then Pakatan Rakyat coalition in the 13th general election but last year, cut off ties with PKR and DAP and withdrew from PH.
Analyst Prof Dr Mohd Redzuan Othman said the lack of unity in PH Perak is compounded by the lack of a central leadership figure.
“They (PH Perak) don’t have a leader who can unite the parties, nobody who can stand up to Zambry,” he said, referring to popular Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Saarani said the ruling party has also been consistently serving the people of Perak, as Zambry has been emphasising the need for all representatives to go down to the ground to sort out problems faced by their constituents.
“We have set up the ‘Mobile Shop 1AmanJaya’ for daily goods. The prices are about 5% to 10% cheaper. This, we do for the people.”
Lenggong MP Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said the people could tell that BN is sincere about helping them.
“We have worked long and hard before the general election. This has already become the way we work. It’s a sign of our relationship with the people. This is our strength,” he said.
Shamsul said Perak folk are unperturbed by international and national issues, such as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, as they are aware these are merely politicking.
Saarani added: “They know these are all political stories. Kampung folk don’t care about what’s happening at the national level, what’s important is that they have cheap rice, cheap sugar and so on.” – March 13, 2018.