Open house in 6 states linked to polls, say analysts

(FMT) – The Hari Raya open house by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in six states is very much to gain support for the upcoming state elections, analysts say.

Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said Anwar wants to win over the fence-sitters and young voters.

“During the previous elections, we saw that many youths were not in favour of Anwar.

“However, after the events with the public that Anwar has attended, there is a growing support for him among the youths,” Mazlan told FMT.

James Chin of the University of Tasmania agreed that holding open houses in the states that are due for elections is aimed mainly at winning over the voters.

“We can only wait and see if it will help him (Anwar) win extra votes,” he said.

Asked about Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Nor’s comments that the open houses were merely “election events”, Chin said “the idea of government leaders holding Hari Raya open houses has been going on for many years”.

He said Sanusi himself “would have done it previously, so there is no point complaining”.

“Probably, he is just not happy about Anwar doing it in the PAS-held states,” he said.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said although holding open houses in the opposition-controlled states is “undoubtedly a political move”, it is not likely to sway too many voters.

“Perhaps it is necessary to at least put up some semblance of a fight among Perikatan Nasional supporters in their strongholds.

“I think it would have very low voter returns, but you have to do something,” he said.