The Pakatan-BN alliance is to stop the rise of political Islam a.k.a. Green Wave
From P Ramasamy, Free Malaysia Today
The green wave unleashed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) components Bersatu and PAS has unsettled Pakatan Harapan (PH) to some extent.
Now with parliamentary elections over, the focus is on PH winning the state polls in Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, and at the same time reducing the majority of PN in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
While there might not be much hope for PH or PH-Umno combined to exhibit a strong showing in PAS-controlled states, denting PN’s majority would be just as important.
Also, this time around there is a new political landscape on the PH front.
There is a strong possibility that PH might join forces with Umno to thwart the ambitions of PN.
However, to what extent could Umno attract Malay votes to PH remains to be seen.
It is worth pointing out that even Umno was the victim of the green wave phenomenon in the recent general election (GE15).
Since the unity government was formed with the help of Umno, its alliance with PH seems to be a foregone conclusion.
There is no real choice as PH and Umno have to combine forces to thwart the possibility of PN making inroads in the three PH-controlled states of Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.
Compared with Penang in the north, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan being more urbanised and out of the northern belt might dilute the impact of the green wave.
Out of the 40 state constituencies in Penang, 13 are either ethnically mixed or Malay-majority seats. I believe PH might have a problem in such seats.
With Umno in, depending on the state seats it might contest, there is also a need to shore up the support for Amanah and PKR, parties that might be vulnerable to the impact of the green wave.
While there might be differences between state and federal elections, the influence of PN cannot be underestimated, especially in Penang.
The green wave felt during GE15 might not have abated. It is still around and there is a possibility that it might come back.
This is the reason why the unity government at the federal level must ensure teachers and school principals do not use the platform of schools to influence parents and students to think along the lines of Bersatu and PAS.
Social media, particularly Tik Tok, was used extensively by PN in the propaganda campaign during GE15.
Rather than banning the use of Tik Tok and other social media platforms, PH and possibly Umno might want to engage in their own cultural propaganda war to dent the success of the green wave.
It serves no purpose to complain about the extremism of PAS or Bersatu when nothing is done to counter the ideological propaganda.
A new cultural front has to be opened in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Malays.
Apart from the use of social media, PH should rely on its incumbency both at the federal and state levels to enhance its reputation on the grounds of good governance.
It is not that Malays did not support PH in GE15, but their support was low.
In certain areas in Penang, Malays voted for PH on the grounds of good governance and competency.
So, why shouldn’t such practices be given the extra political mileage in the states under PH.
It is not that the green wave is going to be perpetual, but the political propaganda surrounding the green wave has no material base.
In other words, it rests on a shaky base and its continuation needs a sound economic rationale.
However, PAS and Bersatu cannot give a solid foundation to the extensive propaganda because of their own internal contradictions.
Therefore, it falls upon PH to exploit the contradictions of the strange racial and religious alliance between Bersatu and PAS to the fullest.
Good governance alone is not enough. PH must judiciously combine it with a new battle on the cultural front to expose the lies and deceit of PN, especially with PAS’ “holier than thou” attitude.
The unity government might be helmed by PH at the federal level, but its longevity might depend on winning the three states it currently holds.
P Ramasamy is Penang deputy chief minister II.