On the political front, the ground is sensing a possibility of early elections. Conventional wisdom suggests it will either be May or September this year. However all eyes are on PAS with the big question whether they will indirectly support BN in the next GE. All eyes are also on Bersatu, whether this new party can make significant inroads into UMNO strongholds.
Despite all the permutations, there is still a path of victory, but the challenge is daunting because all the stars need to align. We need the same overall rakyat support level of 2013 at 52% plus an 8% swing of Malay rural votes.
On paper, UMNO under Najib is extremely weak; currently with 40% Malay support level. The last time UMNO was so weak was after Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking in 1998. In almost 4 years since 2013, UMNO’s Malay support has fallen from 55% to 40%. With this significant drop in Malay support, can PKR, Amanah and Bersatu capitalise on this? Or will Hadi Awang order its supporters to shore up UMNO’s base by pursuing three corner fights with the rest of us. That decision time will come soon enough.
This week we are poised to release our policy paper on helping the police to be corrupt free. Target for that release is on Wednesday. I have also been directed to focus more heavily on manifesto and policy work at the Pakatan Harapan level, as we prepare for a possible snap election.