PETALING JAYA: An academic has called for an overhaul of Barisan Nasional’s image if the coalition is interested in winning the support of progressives and non-Malays.
BN’s partnership with Pakatan Harapan in Putrajaya is not enough although its supporters have welcomed it, according to political scientist Wong Chin Huat.
“In the foreseeable future, BN can’t win back non-Malay support except when its main opponent is PAS or Bersatu,” Wong said.
However, electoral pacts with PH to ensure straight fights with Perikatan Nasional (PN) could see the partnership win more votes from both non-Malays and Malays.
Another academic, Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia said BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must swiftly respond to PN’s allegations of corruption in Umno if the coalition wished to regain the support of progressives and non-Malays.
“He must not be seen to have personally benefited in any way after successfully bringing BN to Anwar Ibrahim’s camp, even if only for the purpose of forming a working government,” he said.
Ahmad Fauzi also said BN should support some of PH’s reformist policies and move away from race-based politics.
“This is what PH parties have been doing for the past 15 years,” he said.
“BN leaders must lead by example by not manipulating racial issues for short-term gains.” FMT