Najib has let slip a golden opportunity

PM’s failure to engage and accommodate middle ground voters is working to the advantage of Pakatan, a forum is told. 

(Free Malaysia Today) – GEORGE TOWN: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has let slip the opportunity to engage and accommodate fence-sitters who want good governance and reforms in the system.

The political gaffe could prove costly to the Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election, said DAP parliamentarian Liew Chin Tong.

He said Pakatan Rakyat has now seized Najib’s missed opportunity to take the initiative to engage and accommodate middle ground voters, who make up about 40% of electorates.

He estimated that both Pakatan and BN have die-hard supporters, each making up 30% of the voting population, thus making the fence-sitters a key factor on the polls outcome.

Liew said these voters were not supporters of any political blocks and mostly were cyber savvy young people who want democratisation of the country.

He said these voters were seeking changes for a better government, a fairer and freer election process and media, an open society and a less corrupted administration.

“Instead of engaging and accommodating the middle ground, Najib has ceded it to Pakatan. He failed to implement policies to accommodate the fence sitters.

“The police action during the Bersih 3.0 rally for instance has now agitated the people and created more anger and hatred against BN.

“He has missed the opportunity,” he told a post-Bersih 3.0 rally forum themed: “428 & Media Freedom – Awakening?” organised by civil rights group, Suaram.

The other panelists at the forum were Gerakan Kedah Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, Aliran secretary Mustafa K Anuar and journalist Himanshu Bhatt.

Mustafa said the Bersih chaos, in which journalists were roughed up and their media tools seized, was an awakening to the media.

He also criticised the biased coverage by mainstream media, focusing on untoward incidents rather than giving a correct narrative and perspective of the rally.

“The media has a social responsibility to get as close to the truth as possible,” he told about 30 people.

Bersih, mainstream media under attack

Tan stood out as the only panelist critical of the Bersih leadership.

He chided Bersih rally organisers for not holding the demonstration in a stadium for security reasons.

He also blamed the organisers’ failure to control the crowd which paved way for the ensuing chaos and violence.

However, he did not spare the police from blame, condemning their brutality especially against newsmen.