YOURSAY | The reasons why Harapan was vanquished in Johor
YOURSAY | ‘In the midst of the pandemic, the people are too tired to think of 1MDB.’
MP SPEAKS | No point killing each other to make BN stronger
Amanah rep: Harapan must fix 6 weaknesses or risk being 'election tourist'
Anonymous9483: Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming, since you are in the mood of offering excuses, just like your boss Lim Kit Siang, let me offer you some grassroots views on what might be the reason for DAP’s eroding support.
1) Lack of physical presence in constituencies: DAP always has a habit of moving its candidates around to different constituencies.
On paper, this seems like an attempt to train up leaders, but in actual fact, there is no sense of belonging between the candidates and the constituencies. Many of them don’t even live in the constituencies that they are voted in.
Say what you may about MCA, but at least they always try to field local candidates who are least more attuned to the needs of the locals.
2) Avoiding responsibilities on local issues: Whenever confronted with issues which are traditionally known as LLLS (longkang, lampu, lubang, sampah), DAP representatives in non-Pakatan Harapan states have a tendency of always shifting the responsibility to the local councils.
They will always tell you that their jobs as assemblypersons or MPs are to debate laws, and they should go look for the appointed BN/MCA local councillors to solve their local issues, expecting these councillors to fail and face the wrath of voters.
This smacks of arrogance and turns many local voters off. A case in point - Liow Cai Tung who got schooled in Johor Jaya recently.
3) Lack of new ideas and harping on old issues: If you notice the way DAP candidates canvass for votes, their modus operandi is always to build up anger among the voters against the ruling government. Their speeches are normally laced with angry rhetoric while offering little to no solutions to problems.
That was why when they were voted in as the federal government, they were more inclined to seek revenge rather than offering an alternative path for the country's development. It is also the reason why when there are no more issues to play up the anger of voters, they lose badly.
No doubt, DAP has managed to attract many capable people in the period between 2008 and 2018. Technocrats like Ong and Damansara MP Tony Pua, to name a few. But lest we forget, elections are not only a contest of capability. It is also a contest of popularity.
You can put up the most capable candidate, but if that person is arrogant, confrontational and anger-fuelled most of the time, then you need to look no further for the reason for DAP’s declining performances.
Betulmalubukanmaluapa: Umno/BN won the Johor state election mainly due to a few reasons.
One, the recent polls saw a fractured and weak opposition, thus splitting the Malay votes which benefited Umno.
Two, low voter turnout. Umno/BN’s vote share was just 43.5 percent while the opposition’s total vote share combined was 56 percent, which means the opposition should reconsider their strategy and unite under a “big tent”, however difficult it may be due to the distrust between them after Bersatu’s betrayal. PAS, however, should be left out totally and Muda given due recognition.
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim should also be made mentor/adviser and the party be led by Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah Anwar. Similarly, DAP should be led by Anthony Loke and Liew Chin Tong, going into GE15.
Jaded: Aside from minimising the internal fights for seats, there is also an issue of campaign messages. If there was one, it was definitely lost and it’s also clear that in the midst of the pandemic, the people are too tired to think of 1MDB while you continue to harp on it.
There is also perceived inaction or too much of a willingness to cooperate with the “government”. You didn’t manage to pull in the frogs, you didn’t manage to send Najib Abdul Razak to jail, you didn’t get MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki to resign.
There's something seriously wrong with the optics. Harapan was a formidable opposition bloc but there seemed to be a lack of action. Do you get the drift?
Koel: If you are getting in the ring with grizzled crooks, you need to understand some of the rules of the game and how the crooks play them.
Constant image building, for instance. The convict and ex-PM Najib has hired hands to keep him in the public eye. He even hires image consultants abroad for image repair. His constant social media posts, probably written by some media-savvy graduate, are being read like it’s the daily news.
Secondly, enough of the naive notion of fair play. This is why the old man Dr Mahathir Mohamad outplayed all of you. Speak up more and be abrasive when it involves the interests of justice, fair play etc.
You were not voted in for bland niceness or for being respectful to bullies. It is the law of the jungle and people need to see that you are not intimidated by pettiness and by bullying behaviour.
Also, turn promises into action as quickly as possible. Malaysian politicians spin great tales and mouth promises that are forgotten all too soon.
Finally, if you don’t have honest internal pow-wow sessions regularly, it will boil over into damaging public spats. Hammer things out with your coalition partners to ensure a united public image is maintained.
Find common ground on the most divisive of topics. Because other parties use such subjects to pick you off one by one. And emotionally weak leaders get vocally stupid when that happens.
Citizen22: Form a new coalition. Eat the humble pie. Forget past mistakes. Put Sheraton Move behind you. Bring Bersatu into the opposition bloc, as they are proving to be able to attract Malay votes, together with Harapan, Muda, and Warisan.
Convince Pejuang to come in as well and work out a formula for them to defend the current seats they hold (but please leave Mahathir out completely. He is an election liability). If Pejuang can’t accept this, then leave them to fight alone. Similarly, leave out PAS or convince them to focus only on Kelantan and Terengganu.
Give concessions to Muda to also compete for a few seats. PKR will have to take a haircut and give up some seats they won earlier. Greed doesn’t pay. They have lost their shine, as proven in the state elections.
Most importantly, bring in a new face as the opposition leader. Let the old guards remain only as advisers. With this, you’ll win the next election. Learn from the mistakes of the Sheraton Move and remain united after winning.
Freethinker: Political equilibrium needs to start with the introduction of fresh blood and those without baggage. Muda was one of the new parties that should theoretically attract more new voters in the wake of Undi18.
Political parties should also continue to support the newer generation of MPs that focuses on what’s important for the country, less on the afterlife.
That said, this is not a calling for all veterans to immediately retire, but succession planning should be the main focus. Both the opposition and the government have little fresh blood to offer. Admittedly, Harapan is in a better position in terms of next-gen MPs.
The same old racial, religious rhetoric is still being used by politicians today without much else to offer. We are in a crucial economic turning point now after weathering two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and now, the Russia-Ukraine war.
There are a lot of uncertainties in everyday life. How prepared are we to face the economic downturn? Should there be a global recession today, the consequences would be far more serious than in 1997 and 2008.
How much can our coffers be used to defend the country's economy and feed the poor (plus the freeloaders)? That’s assuming we continue to have enough money to service the 1MDB debt’s interest and pay off the principal.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.