PETALING JAYA: A recent speech by a DAP figure about Pakatan Harapan’s concern with rural Malay votes has prompted an Amanah official to clarify his party’s importance to the coalition.
Amanah’s primary targets are religiously inclined Malays, according to its communications director, Khalid Samad.
He was commenting on Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy’s recent statement that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) could win rural votes where PKR and Amanah might not hold enough sway.
Speaking to FMT, Khalid, who is also Shah Alam MP, said he essentially agreed with Ramasamy, adding that PPBM played an integral part in Pakatan’s plan to win over voters who used to support Umno.
“There is basically an erosion of support for Umno among rural Malays due to the fact that PPBM is from Umno and, furthermore, is led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said. “So PPBM is obviously of great assistance to the coalition and we’re not complaining.”
Like Ramasamy, Khalid cited Felda settlements as an example of where PPBM had been able to win over Umno loyalists.
“The fact of the matter is that all this while, we have not been able to break through to the Felda market because the settlers are not willing to support any party other than Umno.
“However, with PPBM in Pakatan Harapan, Felda settlers are willing to open their hearts to the coalition because the party’s members were previously in Umno and Tun Mahathir leads it.”
He said this did not diminish Amanah’s role in the coalition. “We are concentrating on people who are more inclined towards Islamic issues. We bring in that element to Pakatan Harapan and it’s an important element.
“So while PPBM is taking away support for Umno, Amanah is trying to attract those who were previously strong supporters of PAS.
“Meanwhile, PKR has it’s own niche Malay market, as does DAP.”