SHAH ALAM: A political analyst has advised Pakatan Harapan (PH) to focus on women voters if it wants any chance of securing a victory come the 14th general election (GE14).
Speaking at a forum on PH and BN at Kumpulan Media Karangkraf here today, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer Maszlee Malik said it would be a mistake to think it was the Malay votes that PH needed to focus on.
He said more than half of those who turned up to vote in the last general election (GE13) comprised of women and the majority of these women voted for BN.
“Looking at GE13, we see that 52% of those who voted were women and out of these women, 70% voted for BN,” he said. “The tsunami that PH needs is a women’s tsunami.”
Recently, activist Hishamuddin Rais, who was detained under the Internal Security Act 1984 during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time as prime minister, said Mahathir would be a proven advantage in winning the hearts of rural Malay voters for PH.
He said previously, other opposition leaders had not been able to even set foot in Felda areas. “This is what will bring about the tsunami that PH wants,” he said.
Maszlee said it would not be easy to get the majority of women to vote against BN, claiming that the majority of women were not as politically aware as men. Therefore, they would most likely vote for the status quo, he said.
He said the most PH could do is to focus on issues which touch most women’s hearts, which are largely bread-and-butter issues.
“Women are the ones who take care of the home.
“The issues that concern them are things like the price of vegetables and fish, the increase in price of fuel.
“If you want to win them over, you need to campaign on the rising cost of living.”
Maszlee also noted that although PPBM had several prominent members, it lacked a woman icon.
However, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) lecturer Professor Azizuddin Mohd Sani, who was also present, disagreed with his counterpart.
He said it was the youth who would be the “game changers” in GE14.
“The fence-sitters are the youths. If you want to win, then you need to get the youth to vote for you.”
He also claimed that BN had done a better job at this than PH.
“BN knows that it needs to get the support of the youth and that’s why they came up with the 2050 National Transformation Plan (TN50).
“I still don’t see PH showing any signs that they are targeting the youth.”