CORRUPTION is still the main concern among voters in Ampang, a Malay-majority constituency in Selangor, despite the intensive anti-DAP campaign in the state.
Voters also find it hard to believe that DAP is a threat to the Malay race, Islam and royalty, saying this is a non-issue as the federal constitution has outlined the rights of the Malays.
A long-time resident of Taman Melur, Zainal Ibrahim, does not believe that DAP will take control of the country – the threat used by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition – if Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election.
“This is just a political gimmick to instil fear among Malay voters.
“I know most of the DAP leaders are Chinese, but what’s the point of having Malay leaders if they are corrupt?” the 63-year-old said at the “Save Malaysia, End Kleptocracy” ceramah held at the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council field in Kg Tasik Tambahan last night.
A recent study by two academics among 1,943 Selangor residents found that a smear campaign against DAP is having little effect on the state’s Malay voters.
Only 24% of the total respondents believed that “if Pakatan Harapan were to win the general election, DAP will rule the country”.
Another Ampang resident, who gave his name only as Wahid, a taxi driver, said political parties like Umno can no longer play the race card, as today’s voters know the difference between right and wrong.
“I’m not afraid of DAP, because we have article 153 of the constitution, a Malay leader will lead, this is a trivial issue that should not be brought up at all.
“What the voters want to know is how are you going to solve the economic issues. Yes, Prime Minister Najib (Razak) said our economy is growing, but I can’t feel it.
“Nowadays, what can you buy with RM50? My son whose salary is around RM5,000 still cannot afford to buy a house,” said Wahid.
In GE13, PKR’s Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin won by more than 13,000 votes, defeating Umno’s Rozaidah Talib. The constituency has 55% Malay voters, followed by Chinese (34%) and Indians (10%).
Mohamad Khair, 55, said despite DAP being dominated by Chinese leaders, the party’s objective was only to save the country from poor governance.
He blamed the current situation in the country – poor financial management and slow economy – on corruption.
“It has nothing to do with race. It is all because of corruption. I can’t see why we should worry about Chinese becoming leaders when the Malays themselves are corrupt,” Mohamad said, pointing to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
He said billions were lost through 1MDB and the people are paying for it through the goods and services tax.
Firdaus Baharuddin, 43, from Taman Kosas pointed out that no DAP leader is holding any top position in the PH presidential council line-up.
“So why is Umno saying that DAP will lead the country if PH wins in GE14?
“Dr Mahathir is leading PH. Even if DAP contest in 75 seats, they will not have the majority to form the government,” he said.
PAS and Umno have gone on the attack against DAP, branding the Chinese-majority party as anti-Islam and anti-Malay.
Umno hopes to create the perception among Malays that the four-party PH is being led by DAP, playing on their fears of being ruled by the Chinese.
PAS has also upped its vitriol against DAP after the latter opposed its parliamentary bill to amend a law that would enhance punishment for shariah offences.
Among the speakers at last night’s ceramah were Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, Amanah’s Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, DAP’s Tony Pua and Zuraida who urged the crowd of about 200 to attend the kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya tomorrow.
The PH anti-kleptocracy rally, to mark the end of the nationwide ceramah, will be held at Padang Timur on Saturday from 4pm to 11pm.