Do voters share any concerns about national scandals and controversies? This was a question posed by PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli after Barisan Nasional (BN) won two by-elections yesterday.
Rafizi said he was “shocked” with the results from Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.
The candidates from BN won with larger majorities: Sungai Besar candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi by 9,191 votes and Kuala Kangsar candidate Mastura Mohd Yazid by 6,969 votes.
He said that the result was a clear sign that the voters in the two areas did not care about the hardships that Malaysians face caused by the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the rising cost of living and the affairs of 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
“Does this mean the rakyat does not actually care about the hardships caused by GST? They do not feel angry about the money scandals that added to their burden?” he said in a Facebook posting today.
He added that voters appeared to be still influenced by racial sentiments or religion and materialism, which he said were the two strongest weapons of Umno and BN.
Many voters surrender to corruption and embezzlement when it comes to racial or religious issues because fighting ‘Cina DAP’, PKR and Amanah is more important than the voters themselves, he said.
In terms of materialism, Rafizi explained that BN promises of projects and money were effective in retaining a good number of votes.
“The Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections are proof that the ‘materialistic disease’ has nothing to do with race, religion, time or place,” he said.
Asked whether PAS should rejoin its former partners in the new opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan, Rafizi said it had been in discussions from the beginning and whether PAS wanted to be the third bloc was for PAS to decide.