Umno’s rush for GE15 due to waning Malay support: Rafizi
PKR deputy president cites survey showing 9% dip, reflecting voters’ frustrations over scandals
GEORGE TOWN – The latest survey sampling of Malay voters by PKR has shown that support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) is slowly returning after controversy over the littoral combat ships (LCS), and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s imprisonment over a corruption conviction.
Party deputy president Rafizi Ramli said that the trend, which also marks a dip in support for the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN), is indicative of people being fed up with the constant barrage of financial scandals under BN along with record rising living costs.
He said that the latest census, which he claimed was done scientifically, showed that support for Umno among the Malays dipped to 18% in September from 27% the month before.
“It is a significant swing of 9%. When PH contested in the 2013 election, the Malay swing was just 5%. It rose to 7% in 2018 and now we have a swing of 9%,” he said.
“Something is amiss with Umno making claims of support.”
He told a packed crowd at a rally in Sg Ara here last night that PH needs to focus on regaining ground among the fence-sitters, especially when the utmost thought on their mind is whether PH can win in the 15th general election (GE15).
“I’ll tell you now that there is a chance for PH to win, especially when people begin to digest the arrogant manner of how Umno wants to hold an election during the floods season (based on the northeast monsoon weather pattern),” he said.
He said that the reason Umno wants to hasten the election is that they are also informed of waning support, especially after Najib was sent to prison.
The Umno Supreme Council at its meeting on Friday decided that GE15 should be held this year.
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had told reporters after the meeting that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is an Umno vice-president, will present a suitable date to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament and pave the way for the polls to be held this year.
“It is the other way around – Umno accuses PKR of being scared when in reality, it is them who are concerned over the erosion of support from their base,” Rafizi said.
If they are confident of Malay support, they can wait until the flood season ends to see the polls.
Why rush through one at the expense of inconveniencing the voters, who may have to wade through floods to cast their ballots, he asked
PKR is not afraid of an election, as the party is attuned to winning and losing, and it also has been betrayed countless times. However, it wants the election to be held later to allow focus on preparing for the floods first, he said.
He also added that some Umno leaders want to call for elections now because they are afraid of losing support in their court cases, rather than the loss of support among the electorate.
Financial problems afflicting people
Rafizi also revealed that he did a fast comparison of food prices in Malaysia and Thailand. He also gave an example of the Bangkok Transit System – a ride from its international airport to the centre of Thailand’s capital city costs only RM9.
In Malaysia, a journey from KL Sentral to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang costs RM55. “The price of a half-boiled egg in Bangkok is 40 sen and in Kuala Lumpur it is 90 sen. Need we say more?”
He said the reason is that Malaysia is a nett food importer with many items quoted in US dollars. Hence, there will be a rise in costs passed onto the average consumer due to the ringgit weakening against the dollar, he said.
Also, the outflow of capital funds due to the country’s political instability, the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, and the LCS controversy serve to weaken the ringgit, he added.
A forensic audit report on the RM9 billion LCS naval procurement for the past two years which was declassified recently highlighted all manner of financial irregularities, with none of the nine combat vessels delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy
– The Vibes, October 2, 2022