PETALING JAYA: Watch out for last-minute “tricks up their sleeves” from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan nearer to polling day, says PPBM strategist Rais Hussin, who predicts that there would be surprises from both sides in the final week of the election campaign.
People were yet to see the “black swans” from the two rival coalitions, he told FMT.
“Black swans are tricks up the sleeves to turn the tide,” said Rais, a PPBM Supreme Council member who heads his party’s Policy and Strategy Bureau.
“There is enough literature available worldwide, even in not-so-free democracies, which suggest that the last week determines the outcome of an election.”
Many political analysts have speculated about how Malay voters will cast their ballots, with PH claiming there would be a “Malay tsunami” in their favour, a claim rejected by BN.
Rais was concerned whether Umno would turn up the heat with racial and religious politicking. “One way to win the election is to inculcate a deep fear within the people,” he said, while rural people preferred the status quo and feared change.
“No one knows for sure what will happen because things can change in that last one week,” he said.
“What if BN suddenly turns around and says that goods and services tax (GST) will be abolished from May 1? What if BN says there is a transition plan in place (for Najib Razak to step down) should BN win?
“These are just some examples of black swans – they may or may not happen.”
Rais believes both sides would produce “black swans”, as neither side could afford to lose.
“For BN, the consequences of losing could be massive, and PH has their best chance ever to win, simply because the ground is fertile: people are angry and they want change.”
“This is going to be a very big thing in Malaysia because at the end of the day a large chunk of parliamentary seats are determined by rural voters. For them, the most important thing is the status-quo. They get very worried about change.”