PETALING JAYA: Lack of information and the lack of reach of government channels has been blamed by PKR Youth for Pakatan Harapan’s loss in the Rantau by-election.
Poor communication between Putrajaya and the rakyat has resulted in information not trickling down to the grassroots, says PKR Youth secretary Ahmad Syukri Che Ab Razab.
The Information Department and Radio-TV Malaysia had a miniscule reach compared to some news media which had millions of followers on Facebook, he said.
Ahmad Syukri said PKR Youth had discovered during the election campaign for the Rantau by-election that the people were furious with the government.
Apart from Pakatan Harapan’s unfulfilled election pledges, the anger also stemmed from several national issues which the opposition were quick to capitalise on and turn it into a race and religious issue.
“Perceptions can be managed if there was an aggressive, creative and an organised campaign by the government to explain such matters,” he said.
Syukri then urged the government to enhance its communication immediately, especially in the digital domain.
He said some news portals had millions of followers on Facebook, but the Information Department only had 310,000 followers and RTM 124,000 followers.
He said the communications and multimedia ministry must ensure that the government’s official communication outlets perform well in the digital arena to ensure information can be provided to the people effectively.
Syukri’s call for Putrajaya to better explain issues echo that of the party’s vice-president Rafizi Ramli who urged ministers to explain issues clearly or risk being attack by political opponents.
Rafizi, former MP for Pandan, said the government’s failure to address issues such as the increase in prices of goods, or jewellery linked to Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak, shows that it does not have a good communication strategy.
On Saturday, acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan retained the Rantau state seat, defeating his challenger, Dr Streram Sinnasamy (PH-PKR) by 4,501 votes.