Pakatan must buck up in Selangor

Several DAP grassroots leaders have sounded the alarm bells, telling Pakatan Rakyat to buck up or risk losing Selangor to the reinvigorated Barisan Nasional at the next general election.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Several grassroots DAP leaders have voiced their concern over the declining support for Pakatan Rakyat, the loosely formed opposition coalition, especially among the Indian community in the state.

This has raised concerns if Pakatan, which has been administering Selangor since the 2008 general election, would be able to withstand the mighty Barisan Nasional (BN) election machinery at the next general election.

The matter, some DAP grassroots leaders said, was also raised at a closed-door meeting by party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang chief minister, with some 100 DAP grassroots leaders in Kelana Jaya last night.

DAP grassroots leaders, who attended the meeting, told FMT that Lim had pointed out that several strategies used by BN chief and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was gathering momentum, and was indeed winning the hearts and minds of the Indian community.

“Lim in general believed Selangor DAP lacked leadership compared to Penang and Perak in reaching out to the people, especially those in lower income group.”

“They (Indian voters) are not aware of what is happening around them and they are clueless of state government programmes in uplifting the socio-economic status of the Indian community in Selangor,” said a DAP leader after the meeting.

Prior to 2008, Malaysian Indians were staunch supporters of the ruling BN. But several unresolved issues led the community to throw its backing for the opposition at the 2008 general election. This coupled with several other reasons resulted in the BN suffering an unprecedented loss at the polls.

The BN lost Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor in 2008. It also lost its long-held two-thirds majority in Parliament. However, Perak is back in the hands of the BN after three  state assemblymen pulled out and became independent state assemblymen in support of the BN.

Selangor main battle ground

There are 56 state seats in Selangor, which has about 1.56 million registered voters. Indian voters make up 220,000 or 14% of the total voters in Selangor.

Of the 56 seats, there are at least 20% Indian voters in at least 30 seats. This 20% could play a deciding role in the outcome of the 30 seats and ultimately decide on who forms the state government.

The DAP member said although Lim acknowledged that Pakatan in Selangor  had initiated several programmes for the community since taking power, there are certain areas which need to be ironed out.