KUALA LUMPUR – A DAP MP has suggested today that a three-cornered fights in the 14th general elections would put both ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and unaffiliated opposition party PAS at a disadvantage instead, contrary to popular views.
Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said in the current political climate, both Umno in BN and PAS would only be left with their most hardcore supporters while the rest of the voters may swing to opposition pact Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“One of the clichés that must be debunked is the notion that three-cornered fights benefit Umno and BN. If Pakatan Harapan is really weak and purposeless, a three-cornered fight would certainly benefit Umno-BN,” Liew said in a DAP workshop in Batu Pahat.
Liew said this can be circumvented if PH presents itself as a strong and attractive alternative government offering to those who are against the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In such scenario, voters who are loyal to PAS’ president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang would present a disadvantage to Umno in a three-cornered fight, since they could have voted for Umno instead in a straight fight.
In addition to the combined impact from economic issues, Liew said voters may shift their support to PH due to antipathy against Umno and Najib, and disagreement of a cooperation between PAS and Umno.
“What is required of Pakatan Harapan is to provide clarity to the voters to differentiate Pakatan Harapan from Najib’s Umno and its associate PAS, and to explain to all that a vote for PAS is a vote for Najib,” Liew said.
“A strong, purposeful and united Pakatan Harapan would eventually force Umno to abandon the three-cornered fight strategy as such strategy would mean Umno does not benefit from Hadi’s loyal voters who would otherwise vote for Najib.”
The federal opposition pact unanimously decided last week to not include PAS in any seat negotiations and would find a way to overcome three-cornered fights against BN and the Islamist party.
This comes after Selangor Mentri Besar and PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali stressed that Pakatan needs to renegotiate with PAS to avoid three-cornered fights especially in the state.
– Malay Mail