No certain votes for BN despite uniform pay hike, say analysts 

(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya’s move to increase the pay of the police and the armed forces personnel close to Election 2013 may not necessarily mean strengthened support for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, say analysts.

The Najib administration agreed to streamline the salaries of uniformed voters to be on par with other civil servants, announcing yesterday an extra allocation of RM1.5 billion to boost the wages of those without increment last year in a move seen to be shoring up support for BN in the upcoming polls.

The common perception was that such announcements mean stronger support from the security forces as the army and police are seen as BN’s key traditional votebank. But with freer information through the Internet, a crucial campaigning platform for the opposition, analysts say that conventional belief may now be challenged.

“Traditionally, they are known to support the government but to say that they will not be able to make an informed decision with the free flow of information now is an overstatement,” Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer Agus Yusof told The Malaysian Insider.

Before the announcement, PAS moved to pre-empt Najib’s last minute push to woo civil servants by promising to match and improve on any promise by the prime minister to raise salaries and allowances under a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.

The move illustrated the race to court civil servants, who form a key demographic among the 13.3 million voters eligible to cast their ballots in this year’s general election.

Read more at: