Convoluted Analysis, Incomplete Discourse, Confused Voters

MALAYSIA MEMILIH

Convoluted Analysis, Incomplete Discourse, Confused Voters

Partisan politicking in the guise of learned analysis in the various platforms and portals are flooding social media. AWANI Review’s Zakiah Koya sits in the discussion at a pre-GE 14 roundtable and sifts out the chaff from pre-elections political discourse amongst various stakeholders.

Convoluted political analyses and the biased concentration of polls amongst the middle classes residing in the Klang Valley hardly gives an accurate picture of which way the votes will swing in the looming 14th General Election. 

Professor Ulung Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin of the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) took a swipe at those attempting to predict what will happen in GE14, let alone those who attempt to predict the possible winners for the state and parliamentary seats nationwide.

Shamsul said that questions being bandied about in the social and mass media pertaining to the general election were questions from the middle class and from people living in Kuala Lumpur.

He opines that this may mean the prodding was not enough.

“There are five important things in a political analysis: personalities, State issues, Federal level issues, interracial relations and big issues. What seems to be discussed are merely personalities and big issues,” said Shamsul.

He even stated that the analyses by some of the portals were “convoluted” as they were made by people who did not feel the heartbeat of the grassroots.

Shamsul, along with Datuk Kamaruddin Md Nor of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki of PAS were asked to comment on the issue of “BN vs PH vs PAS: Who wins? Who decides?”

Shamsul summed up that it is important for the political parties, no matter who, to beware that voters have matured and may even decide to make the third decision – which is to spoil their votes

However, those very questions obviously went unanswered as politicians (from Bersatu and PAS) hogged the session with their long-winded arguments of why their party should be voted for.

Kamaruddin said that while there is no denying that Umno the ruling party is the mother of all Malay political parties, the Malays are asking for more choices in politics.

“But we can’t keep looking to the back and we have to move forward. The strong ones in Umno have moved out,” said Kamaruddin.

He pointed out that Malaysians today were unlike their predecessors in the 60s, despite still being classified as urban and rural.

“Social media has allowed access – even villagers have the same thinking of those in Shah Alam. We provide choices to the rakyat,” said Kamaruddin.

He pointed out that despite its short existence, even the voters in the rural areas know of Bersatu, albeit known as former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s party.

Zuhdi, meanwhile, cut a very different picture of the politics that the Malay parties should play.

He said that PAS is now committed to working for the betterment of the people and God, not for itself.

In a sermon-like argument, Zuhdi said that PAS is leading the evolution of realpolitik in Malaysia by willing to work together with its rival Umno, for the sake of betterment of the people.

He said PAS did sacrifice its principles in 2008 and 2013 in order to work together with the non-Malay opposition parties but this coming elections, it has decided to go on its own by not forsaking its Islamic state and Syariah law agendas.

He also argued that a three way fight during the election would avoid lobbying which tends to happen should there be only two sides vying for a seat.

Shamsul summed up that it is important for the political parties, no matter who, to beware that voters have matured and may even decide to make the third decision – which is to spoil their votes.

His contention is that these are voters who are more concerned of the post electoral promises the political parties are willing to offer.

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