Why BN Is Likely To Win GE14

Posted on December 23, 2015




I know I am going to upset some friends and probably even lose some with this article but I have to be brutally honest here. I think Barisan Nasional (BN) will win the 14th General Election in Malaysia.

I have at least 10 reasons why I have come to this conclusion but here is the first one: the Opposition coalition and parties are in disarray and despite the massive 1MDB scandal and unpopularity of GST, the Opposition has not been able to fully exploit BN’s weaknesses and deliver it a mortal blow.

Since GE13, the Opposition coalition has faltered from one crisis to another, starting with the Kajang Move, the Selangor Chief Minister crisis, the death of key stalwarts like Karpal Singh and PAS’ spiritual leader Nik Aziz and the imprisonment of Anwar Ibrahim in February of 2015 for alleged sodomy of his former aide.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back came in July this year. The almost total annihilation of the progressive faction in PAS at their party’s election and the declaration by PAS’ Syura Council to cut ties with DAP killed off Pakatan Rakyat as a political coalition.

The PAS progressives who lost then split from the party and formed Parti Amanah Negara in September and a week later, a new coalition called Pakatan Harapan(PH) was birthed with Amanah, DAP and PKR. The formation of the new Opposition coalition was expected but the seeming haste to announce it took many by surprise.

Nonetheless, for the many supporters of the previous Pakatan, the formal announcement of the new Pakatan rekindled lost hopes that had been battered since GE13. Could we finally have an Opposition coalition that is unencumbered by the narrow Islamic agenda of PAS and ready to challenge BN as a united force?

But alas, these hopes that had the potential of being fanned into a raging flame for change are slowly being snuffed out by the lack of cohesion, focus and unity among the partners. The enormity of the lost of Anwar due to incarceration cannot be over-stated when it comes to the perception that the new Pakatan lacks a strong leadership who can command the respect of the various partners.

One of the first order of business for Pakatan Harapan was to coordinate the tabling of the motion of no-confidence in Parliament against PM Najib Razak. The motion was filed by the PKR MP for Petaling Selatan but was openly rejected by the Gen-Sec of DAP who said that the party would not support the motion unless it was tabled by the Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah, the wife of the jailed Anwar Ibrahim.

Then Wan Azizah filed the motion only to be told by the Speaker that it should have been submitted 14 days before the Parliament began. Nonetheless, it was eventually accepted and made it to No.31 of the Order Paper, the last motion for the current sitting. In all probability, it will never be heard as Government’s business has priority.

Open disagreements as to how to treat PAS also show that not all the key players were consulted or in agreement before the birth of PH. Confusing signals from PAS and PKR as to whether the old Pakatan Rakyat is still functioning or not, especially in Selangor, where PAS still has assemblypersons in the State Exco is disheartening.

Meanwhile, DAP and to some extent, Amanah politicians, continue to attack PAS and especially its President Hadi Awang. Such attacks may please their own constituents but unlikely to win over new ones. They would further strengthen support for Hadi, who is seen as under-siege and to some extent, isolate Malay voters. In politics, you need friends more than you need enemies especially when you are facing a Goliath like BN in less than 3 years from now.

To use football as an analogy, the Opposition is not going for an open goal. BN and Najib’s popularity is at an all-time low and yet the Opposition players are tackling each other and wasting time tackling a player on the bench, PAS. They cannot assume that UMNO will not resolve their issues and that the open goal will always be there.

No doubt there are many very talented players on the PH’s team but until they have a manager or coach they can all look up to and are united in taking on Barisan Nasional, they will never score the goals needed to win the cup.

There are many other reasons why I think Pakatan Harapan will not capture Putrajaya in GE14 which I will elaborate on in the other articles on the subject, but this is the single factor that can negate all the other challenges. Pakatan cannot take for granted the fragile hope that many voters place on them. Once this hope is dashed again, it may be like Humpty Dumpty’s broken shell, no number of horses or the king’s men could put it together again.

Posted in: Election, Thomas Fann