New Political Landscape To Colour GE14

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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 7 – The 14th general election (GE14) is shaping up to be an exciting affair with the prospect of numerous battles featuring Umno versus former Umno members on the cards, according to a political observer.

Prof Dr Faridah Ibrahim said the presence of former Umno stalwarts in the likes of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the fray would make for tantalising election encounters against Barisan National’s potential line-up especially candidates from Umno.

She opined that candidates capable of providing credible answers to the electorate would hold the upper hand in GE14, expected to take place anytime soon following the dissolution of Parliament effective yesterday, as announced in Putrajaya by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

“It’s going to be exciting because there are many issues that people believe need to be answered by the relevant parties. People are just waiting for the answers. Strong, solid and credible arguments can sway the votes,” Faridah, from Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL), told Bernama.

She said new media was going to be popular to get to the masses and with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogs, messages could be tailored to directly appeal to voters.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) said the opposition might take a combative and vitriolic approach to supposedly induce a ‘Malay tsunami’ in the general election, which could put BN’s strength and impermeability to the test. In this regard, he said, BN needed cogent strategies and approaches to counter the attacks.

“Its ability to wrest more seats depends on its effectiveness in addressing negative perceptions created by the opposition, selection of candidates, and bridling any potential discord or act of betrayal within the party,” he said.

He said the factors must be taken into account even though BN and its policies as a government had the support of rural voters, because winning the favour of urban voters could be a daunting task. “BN cannot rest its confidence solely on the weaknesses of the opposition,” he added.

Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain, also from USM said it was crucial for BN to get the people’s mandate in order to proceed with its policies and development plans for the nation. Numerous facilities for the people, he noted, were still at planning or construction stage, such as the mass rapid transit (MRT) project, east coast rail line (ECRL) and high speed rail (HSR), which could face uncertainty should the mandate go to other parties.

“From what can be seen, BN itself has certain matters in its last manifesto that have yet to be fully implemented because of the fact that certain things particularly mega projects cannot be completed in five years.

“BN’s chances in this election would probably be determined by what it had accomplished, as compared to the opposition which could only issue promises, without a track record like BN,” he said. — Bernama

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