PETALING JAYA: Bersatu’s decision to not name a “poster boy” for the Selangor state elections could backfire, according to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) lecturer Mujibu Abd Muis.
He said the Melaka and Johor state elections had shown that a “poster boy” was a vital factor in attracting votes, and Bersatu would be at a disadvantage as Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) would be sure to field their own.
He said that in Johor last year, the selection of Hasni Mohammad as the focus of the Umno campaign had helped BN to secure a landslide victory.
However, Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said he does not believe there would be repercussions to Bersatu’s decision, which he said could prove to be a strategic move.
“Announcing too early could create some problems within the party, (like) sabotage and so on,” he said.
“What matters is for Bersatu to ensure that they can convince the voters in Selangor to vote for Perikatan Nasional (PN), rather than highlighting their poster boy or candidate for menteri besar,” Jeniri said.
Bersatu’s decision was announced by its Selangor chief Abdul Rashid Asari who said the party decided against naming a “poster boy” to allow its machinery to focus on winning the state elections, which must be held within the next four months.
Jeniri said PH and BN may try to capitalise on Bersatu’s lack of a poster boy, but only if they fielded one of their own.
“If BN and PH, announce a poster boy who will also likely be their candidate to be menteri besar, they will say PN is not confident enough to announce their own candidate and does not have a credible poster boy.”
However, there was no guarantee that the “poster boy” would become the menteri besar as it was up to the sultan to make the final decision.
In Johor last year, Hasni was not chosen to be menteri besar despite being named by Umno as their preferred candidate for the post. Another Umno assemblyman, Onn Hafiz Ghazi, was appointed by the sultan instead.