KUALA LUMPUR – Faced with the possibility of contests not only against Barisan Nasional (BN) but PAS in the next general election, Selangor Pakatan Harapan (PH) says it has a strategy to even the odds.
The state chapter aims to win over PAS members who are sympathisers of jailed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in hopes that this will decrease the Islamist party’s chances at winning some seats in the country’s richest state.
Selangor PH secretary Zuraida Kamaruddin claimed that not all of PAS’ grassroot members are hard-core PAS supporters, since some of them only joined the party during the Reformasi Movement at the turn of the millennium in support of Anwar.
“They wanted to show their displeasure to Umno but there was no PKR for them to join. They did not join DAP as they thought it was a Chinese party so they opted for PAS. We plan on targeting this group of Anwar sympathisers in PAS and those that joined the party during the Reformasi Movement.
“We also understand the (PAS) grassroots. Many of them want to see what the politician can do on the ground, and we have been performing well. In a situation where they know PAS cannot win, they should give their votes to Pakatan Harapan,” Zuraida said.
Speaking to Malay Mail Online recently, the Ampang MP projected confidence in defending the state and possibly gaining more ground with its machinery prepping for three-cornered battles, although its preferences lies in a one-on-one match.
“Our machinery is ready for a three-corner fight, but we would prefer to fight one-on-one because it will be easier for us. Right now we are trying our best to minimise three-corner fights,” Zuraida said.
In the arena of Malaysian politics, pundits have always observed that traditionally a three-corner fight will almost always result in a BN win, although this time around Selangor is aiming at challenging that assumption.
Zuraida is hoping that PH can completely remove BN from Selangor in GE14.
She pointed out that with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad now in the Opposition under Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), they can begin targeting the Malay votes.
“There’s only 12 state seats under BN and we are working very hard there because that is the Malay belt area, the Umno strongholds. We have programmes targeted towards the Malay community, especially the impoverished like the fishermen and farmers,” she said.
Zuraida believes that with PPBM’s backing through influential names such as Dr Mahathir, his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and even former Umno-vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, they can achieve a 5 to 6 per cent shift in voter support.
She also said that based on the two previous election voting patterns, the residents of Selangor are supportive of the current state administration.
“If you look at my performance in Ampang, in 2008 I won by a 3,676 majority. In 2013 I won by a 13,278 majority. Where do you think that huge majority came from, especially since pre-2008, Ampang was a BN stronghold?
“I believe this support comes from the civil servants and the Umno supporters living there,” she said.
– Malay Mail