Opposition's five key challenges leading up to GE16

07 Jan 2024 07:30am
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by SINAR/ROSLI TALIB
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by SINAR/ROSLI TALIB

SHAH ALAM - With the 16th General Election looming, Perikatan Nasional (PN) faces a daunting gauntlet of challenges.

Political analyst Dr Zaharul Abdullah believed that the issue of unity among the parties within the coalition was a critical matter that needed to be addressed to ensure the Opposition's functions were more effective and systematic.

"Concerning rumours of conflicts within the leadership of Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) between Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (President) and Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (Secretary-General) must be effectively handled.

"The crisis of confidence in the party's top leadership also needs to be rectified following the open support expressed by five Bersatu Members of Parliament for the Prime Minister," he told Sinar.

Zaharul said that the Opposition's efforts to garner support from non-Malay voters were still weak, as evidenced by several state elections where the coalition only managed to dominate Malay votes.

Therefore, he said, PN needed to present not only an image of a party representing Malay and Islamic interests but one that encompasses all ethnicities.

"Besides eroding the image of religious extremism, Gerakan also needs to strengthen itself as an alternative to DAP, although it appears challenging.

"The PN top leadership is also advised to reconsider Bersatu's dependence on machinery and grassroots support from Pas following recent victory of Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar," he added.

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Meanwhile, he also said that the Opposition was currently challenged to showcase its ability to manage and govern effectively in Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

He said the administrative capabilities and efficiency in these four states could serve as an alternative example to the federal government.

He saw the need for PN to maintain a good federalism relationship with the government to enable effective planning at both federal and state levels.

"PN needs to demonstrate that they are an alternative to the government as the performance of the Shadow Cabinet in Parliament has been less satisfactory, while playing a more constructive check-and-balance role.

"Although discussions about constituency allocations should not take place, PN should act in line with the government's pace by reaching mutually agreeable MoUs for the benefit and well-being of the people.

"PN needs to build a credible image as the opposition and refrain from any steps or maneuvers to overthrow the government," he added.