PAKATAN Harapan is yet to be able to convince Malay voters that its “New Malaysia” is not a threat, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said today.
Asked about strategies the ruling coalition needed to convince Malay voters following its loss in the Cameron Highlands by-election, Lim said it must help Malay voters understand that inclusivity would not threaten their interests.
“The results show that we have a long way to go.
“We need to make them understand that a New Malaysia will fulfil the aspirations of all Malaysians and is not a threat,” he told reporters after a book launch in Petaling Jaya today.
“We realise from our loss that we need to improve our efficiency (executing) our policies,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said, adding that PH’s failure in the recent by-election was a good lesson for all its component parties.
Lim conceded that despite making small inroads among Orang Asli and Malay voters, these were not enough “to overcome the combined strength of Umno and PAS” in Cameron Highlands.
The two Malay parties used “very toxic and vicious politics of lies, race and religion” and dismissed the notion that voters were tired of hearing the PH narrative of the corruption of the previous Barisan Nasional government, he said.
“I don’t think so (that voters are tired of hearing that the previous government is corrupt).
“The problem was in Jelai (state seat) where the majority are Malay and Orang Asli… and it was hard to overcome BN’s toxic lies and falsehoods.”
BN won the by-election by 3,238 votes against the PH candidate and two independents. It was an increased majority compared with the 597 in GE14 last year.
Lim, who had campaigned extensively throughout the Cameron Highlands seat in the last two weeks, told the audience at the book launch that PH has to address the sensitivities and concerns of certain sectors.
PH’s agenda must not neglect rural constituencies, who would feel left behind even if the rest of the country had transformed.
PH will face another test in the Semenyih by-election on March 2, as Umno and PAS are again expected to join forces and use their “toxic politics”.
“The Semenyih by-election will be interesting, expect Umno and PAS to duplicate their toxic strategy. It would hugely impact PH if BN-PAS were to win in Semenyih.”