Make Anwar ‘poster boy’ for coming state polls, PH-BN told

USM’s Azmil Tayeb says the prime minister’s popularity will attract votes for the unity coalition.

(FMT) – Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional should make Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim their “poster boy” for the coming state elections, two political analysts said.

Azmil Tayeb of Universiti Sains Malaysia and Mujibu Abd Muis of Universiti Teknologi Mara said having Anwar as the unity coalition’s “poster boy” will attract support from voters.

“Anwar is still the most popular figure in the PH-BN leadership. So, it is better to highlight Anwar in the campaign,” Azmil told FMT.

He also said it was better to make Anwar the “poster boy” because of the uncertainty over the unity coalition’s nominees for the posts of menteri besar in Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Azmil said both PH and BN supporters would accept Anwar as a “neutral” figure because he was not running for the top post in any of the six states.

In the Melaka and Johor elections, Perikatan Nasional put forward former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as the coalition’s “poster boy” although he did not contest in either state.

Mujibu said as prime minister, Anwar would fare better as the “poster boy” compared to Muhyiddin who no longer holds office.

“PH’s message to voters should be clear. It should be that they (voters) need to have a state government that is aligned with the federal government for better development of the state.

“The menteri besar candidate may not be as big a factor (for Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) and can be settled after the polls,” he said.

Economy minister Rafizi Ramli had previously said it was crucial to have state governments that were aligned with Putrajaya to expedite the country’s push towards becoming a high-income state.

“In any case, it also depends on negotiations between the parties and the discretion of the sultan of the state,” said Mujibu.