Amanah needs 'wow' factor to attract voters - Experts

Although there are changes in terms of state leadership, the transformation will not necessarily yield good results if Amanah does not have the right strategy. - Hussain Yusri

19 Feb 2024 06:17pm

SHAH ALAM – Although Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) recently announced changes in its state leadership lineup, including its Deputy President Adly Zahari, who has been appointed as Amanah Kelantan chairman, it is not enough to be a 'magnet' to attract public support, especially among Malay-Muslims.

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) Law and International Relations Faculty International Relations Studies chief Dr Hussain Yusri Zawawi said he sees Amanah as not only appearing lacklustre but also lacking a 'wow' factor to attract Malay-Muslims to support the Pas fragment party.

Hussain said that although there had been changes in state leadership, the transformation might not yield positive results if Amanah did not have the right strategy to garner public support, especially among Malay voters, middle-class and young generations.

"This is because I see Amanah as not very outstanding.

"That's why they need short-term as well as long-term strategies and a 'wow' factor that can make the people support them in the future.

"Although Amanah is seen as struggling to establish a foothold to compete with Pas in Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah at the moment, it is not an impossible feat if they have the right and effective strategies," he told Sinar Premium.

Hussain said Amanah could provide competition to Pas in Kelantan, Terengganu, and Kedah if they dare to undergo transformation and leadership changes at the grassroots level, starting from youth and women wing leaders to state levels.

He saw one of Amanah's advantages over Pas currently was that the party was now part of the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

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However, Hussain emphasised that the current Amanah leadership failed to capitalise on the advantage of being in the unity government to attract more voters, especially Malay-Muslims and young people, to join their cause.

As a result, he hoped that the appointment of Adly, who is also the Deputy Defence Minister could inject new energy into Amanah Kelantan to attract voter support, especially the younger generation, for the party in the upcoming 16th General Election (GE16).

"Adly's arrival in Kelantan will put some pressure on Pas to strategise better to remain in power in the Siti Wan Kembang state in GE16," he added.


Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Perdana Centre Technology and Informatics Razak Faculty Associate Professor Dr Mazlan Ali viewed the appointment of State Amanah Chairmen as a balanced move between young leaders and veteran leaders.

Mazlan said the selection of Senator Mohd Hasbie Muda as the Terengganu Amanah Chairman, who was seen as representing the younger generation, also demonstrated the openness of the party's leadership.

He said the action was necessary because despite being established in 2015, Amanah has yet to show significant results in elections in Terengganu and Pas's influence was seen to be stronger during the recent GE15.

"The party appointed Adly as the Amanah Kelantan chairman because we can see that the influence of Pakatan Harapan (PH) has yet to penetrate Pas's stronghold except for winning only one mixed voter seat in Kota Lama in the recent State Election.

"I am not surprised that Amanah could win in the Kota Lama State Assembly constituency because many non-Malay voters live there, but in other areas, they still fail to match Pas's influence," he said.

Thus, Mazlan sees Adly's appointment as an attempt or a test case for Amanah to see whether the former Melaka Chief Minister could be a 'wow' factor in encouraging Kelantanese to support the party in GE16.

This follows Adly's success in winning the Alor Gajah Parliamentary seat despite facing fierce competition from all sides, including from the incumbent Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof from Perikatan Nasional (PN); Barisan Nasional candidate Shahril Sufian Hamdan and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) representative Muhammad Nazriq Abdul Rahman.

However, he said, the results of GE15 saw Adly won after obtaining 28,178 votes; followed by Shahril Sufian (27,288 votes), Mohd Redzuan (17,211 votes), while Muhammad Nazriq lost his deposit after receiving only 323 votes.

"This shows that Adly won not only because of PH supporters' votes but also garnered support from all communities due to his leadership as the former Chief Minister of Melaka and the State Assemblyman for Bukit Katil, which was very effective.

"Therefore, I see the selection of Adly as the Kelantan Amanah chairman not because the party does not trust local leaders like Datuk Husam Musa or the former office-bearers.

"Instead, Amanah wants to see the appointment of individuals who are strong and authoritative workers like Adly who can change the political landscape of Kelantan, which has been governed and dominated by Pas for more than 33 years," he added.