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3:29pm 25/03/2022
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GE15: Bring it on, Zahid!
By:Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

Many Malaysians feel that having GE15 in the middle of this year will cause the rakyat to lose to the BN coalition.

I totally disagree.

Many have the impression that the BN’s ‘landslide’ victories in Melaka and Johor are prelude to a landslide victory in GE15 for that coalition.

My response is simply…in what universe? I will outline my take on the apparent weaknesses of the BN in GE15. I will also outline what the rakyat and the PH must do to ensure the people’s victory.

First, there is the PM candidature issue. Who is it gonna be? Zahid Hamidi or Ismail Sabri? Or is it Tok Mat (Mohd Hassan) or Najib Tun Razak?

Yang mana satu? This issue will tear the Umno party apart.

Secondly, once election is declared, Zahid will ensure all in Ismail’s camp would be taken off the candidate’s list or given DAP strongholds to contest.

Good luck-lah to these Ismail bag carriers. I suspect people like Annuar Musa, Nazri and Tajuddin will be axed while Khairy, Hishammuddin and Ismail Sabri himself will be given difficult seats to win.

Third, there is the BN unchanging vote banks to be considered.

BN has won ‘landslide’ victories in Melaka and Johor. What is a landslide? If a hill collapses and cover a whole town with many buildings and people buried, I think that is a catastrophic landslide. But if a hill collapses and just covered the roadway with a few squirrels dying, well that is also a landslide-lah! But kecil sahaja!

I would just call the Melaka and Johor win a ‘slip-soil slide’ but certainly not a ‘landslide’!

The 25%-30% voters who did not return home to cast their votes will be the kingmakers. And there is also the untapped strength of the Undi18 to be considered.

Fourth, Perikatan Nasional, despite everyone’s guess, is holding strong. To me they are the Third Force.

Umno has seen their Malay votes going to the PN by virtue of Bersatu and PAS supporters. PN is not strong enough to win but steady enough in strength to cause problems with PH and BN.

When PN splits the vote, PH plus will win provided the voters turn up beyond 80% to cast their choice.

PH plus must invite academics, students, activists and minority leaders to create a People’s Manifesto. Let the rakyat own this vision and then they will come to vote.

The PH needs only to do three important things.

Firstly, I agree with Anwar that PH must have the Big Tent strategy. Pejuang, MUDA, Warisan, DAP, Amanah, Gerak Independents, PKR and Waythamoorthy’s MAP must come together and sit in one coalition group.

The rakyat demand no less!! If all these parties cannot sit down together, then it is difficult to inspire the rakyat’s confidence and make them come to vote.

Secondly, the PH plus must either decide who is to be the PM and DPM or just keep the matter open.

I recommend that the PM and DPM must be from both East and Peninsular Malaysia. No two ways about it.

BN will never do this so, this is the rakyat’s trump card. In battle, we must do the unexpected.

Thirdly, the PH plus must create a new narrative for the rakyat. There must definitely be a vision for a good future for the Undi18 so that they become inspired to vote.

Talking about Najib should just be relegated to Tun M sahaja while other leaders talk ‘future’.

PH plus must invite academics, students, activists and minority leaders to create a People’s Manifesto, not a PH Manifesto.

Let the rakyat of all walks of life own this vision and then they will come to vote.

This cannot happen if the PH still wants to argue about the stupid problem of who is going to be PM.

Let all PH leaders like Anwar, Shafie, Ronnie, Siti Kassim or Tawfiq, Syed Sadiq, Waytha and Mukhriz be the poster boys for the PH Plus.

Thus, the way I see it, if Gerak Independent can call all the leaders of PH Plus Coalition to the table, build a New Narrative for Malaysia and a clear and achievable Manifesto, the rakyat will book their tickets for the general election. If not, we will have to forfeit to the BN and let Najib rule again.

So…Zahid and Umno, bring on the GE15!

(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)

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