By Kaki Bedal
I don’t like to keep repeating things but sometimes it is necessary.
1MDB, free toll, PTPTN loan debt cancellation and GST had been popular and swayed voters to choose Pakatan Harapan (PH) in 2018 general elections.
Together with those, the campaign against then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife and Umno proved to be effective and succeeded in dethroning Umno from power.
With the 15th general elections looming either this year or the next, sentiments had changed once again and this time against PH and that include Perikatan Nasional (PN).
But first, we shall have to wait the results of the Johor state elections.
Secondly, we shall also see whether the voters will go for positive or negative campaigning .
Umno officials has stressed that the party is choosing to go positive by offering the voters their vision of how Johor will fare under a more solid state government under them.
However, rivals like PPBM, PKR, Pejuang, etc, once again have chosen to campaign negatively, portraying UMNO as corrupt and referring to ‘court cluster’ to fan the flames of hate among voters to shun Umno.
In this regard, what else is new; and what else can we say about PH strategy of negative campaigning?
Firstly, we can say that apart from Umno who don’t bring dirty laundry to the campaign, other parties are concentrating on just that – alleging and accusing their rivals of power crazy, etc.
Secondly, it’s a question of trust and mistrust.
Undoubtedly, the Johor elections will either maintain Barisan Nasional’s momentum of winning by-elections after by-elections since 2018 GE including the last one, the Malacca state elections.
In order to BN to lose, their rivals campaigning will have to show some proof of this.
But, until today BN’s opponents are floundering as they continue on the topic of making BN/Umno look bad.
Analysts and season political watchers have already had their say and leaning towards another win for BN/Umno.
One political bloc has come up with a plan to offer Johoreans a stable and better future and we know who they are.
We also know who can but cannot offer the same to Johor voters as people still remember what happened after GE14 when all promises went down the drain.
And for that matter, ladies and gentlemen, the rakyat will now know who they can trust and who they cannot trust.
- The writer is an experienced analyst and media practitioner of nearly 30 years in the industry