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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Anwar's influence, not Mahathir, attracted Malay voters in GE14


Pakatan Harapan's increased Malay support in the 14th general election had nothing to do with Dr Mahathir Mohamad's influence, said Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

The PKR lawmaker rubbished the former premier's claims that Harapan may not be able to secure Malay supporting the future without the latter's involvement in the coalition.

Mahathir claimed to have been instrumental in attracting Malay support during the 2018 general election but Hassan stressed that based on Mahathir's previous party Bersatu's electoral record, it failed to secure Malay support notably in the rural and Felda areas.

"Bersatu contested 52 parliamentary seats in the peninsular especially in Malay-majority areas but they lost badly to Umno.

"From 52 seats, Bersatu, led by Mahathir, only won 13," he said in a statement.

Hassan added that this is in contrast with PKR which contested 50 seats and emerged victorious in 48, making it the party with the most seats in Harapan.

He said that Bersatu had also lost in fights for state seats.

"For instance, in Johor, from 56 assembly seats, Bersatu fought in 18 which were Malay-majority, but it only won eight.

"Where is Mahathir's strength among the Malays?"

Mahathir had promised to hand over power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim. However, the 22-month-old Harapan government collapsed in February this year after Bersatu withdrew itself from the coalition.

Mahathir had opposed Bersatu's move but he and his faction were eventually kicked out from the party, now led by Muhyiddin Yassin. He then formed a new party called Pejuang.

He reiterated that he is ready to work with Harapan again but alleged that Anwar has now refused to work with him.

In an interview with China Press, Mahathir said that even DAP managed to win 42 seats because of the Malay support which he brought in and stated that excluding him from Harapan amounts to excluding Malay support.

However, Hassan disagreed with the nonagenarian's confidence in his ability to attract Malay voters.

He said the increase in Malay support in the last election was due to Harapan rejecting the Najib Razak-led BN government as well as the voters sympathising with Anwar who was oppressed by the government.

"The suggestion to lift Anwar as the prime minister if Harapan managed to topple Najib and BN had resulted in the support of young Malay voters and the educated middle-income Malay segment.

"It's clear that Anwar's influence in these two groups had helped Harapan. It's not because of Mahathir's influence," he said.

Hassan added that, in fact, it was PKR and DAP that helped Bersatu candidates to win the polls. - Mkini

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