PAS risks GE16 backlash without people-centric policies, says analyst

Ariff Aizuddin Azlan says PAS must offer policies beneficial to the public to be seen as a credible alternative to the unity government.

(FMT) – An analyst has warned that PAS’s strategy of attacking Umno and DAP without offering policies beneficial to the people could lead to a setback in the 16th general election (GE16), following the defeat of its umbrella coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election.

Free Malaysia Today
Ariff Aizuddin Azlan.

Ariff Aizuddin Azlan of Universiti Teknologi Mara said that with two to three years left before voters go to the polls, the PN-aligned PAS appeared to be short of new ideas and relying on outdated narrative campaigns.

He said PAS should introduce more fresh and comprehensive ideas so that the public could view the Islamic party as a credible alternative to the unity government.

“If they are not open to changing their approach, and the unity government consistently introduces more policies that have a positive impact on the public, PAS and (its PN ally) Bersatu will be punished in GE16,” he told FMT.

“PAS must adopt an inclusive political approach instead of targeting one race, to woo non-Malay voters. If this can be done, it could potentially enhance PN’s image within the community concerned.”

During the “Save Malaysia Tour” debut titled “KKB Signal Rakyat” in Bangi last Friday, PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari had attacked Umno by claiming that a significant number of its members had not voted in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election to support the party’s ally in the government, Pakatan Harapan.

He also urged Umno to think about its partnership with DAP, warning that failure to do so might render the party irrelevant after GE16.

In the same lecture, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad took aim at DAP by saying that PAS had severed ties with the party over suggestions that could affect the Malays and Islam, such as the proposal to introduce local government elections.

Free Malaysia Today
Azmi Hassan.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said PAS’s attacks on Umno and DAP might be an attempt to deflect attention from PN’s struggle to attract the voters in Kuala Kubu Baharu, who had elected Pang Sock Tao as their representative in the May 11 by-election.

Azmi, a fellow at the Academy of Professors Malaysia, said he found it perplexing that ethnicity-based narratives such as the matter of vernacular schools continued to be played up given that PN needs non-Maly votes to secure victory.

“PAS and Bersatu need to rethink their strategy of how to appeal to non-Malay voters to strengthen their electoral base,” he said.