Barisan to use Sarawak template in polls

PUTRAJAYA: Barisan Nasional is going to replicate part of the template used in the Sarawak polls for the 14th General Election given its resounding success, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the strategy used for the last state polls was proven to be effective, delivering 72 seats to Barisan when the coalition had earlier anticipated to secure 60 seats.

“It is a proven template and if we can use part of it for the general election operations, it is not impossible that we can also replicate the overwhelming results,” he said when hosting tea for visiting members of the Kuching Division Jour­nalists Association.

In the 2016 Sarawak state election, Barisan won 72 of the 82 contested seats, with DAP and PKR ta­­king seven and three seats respectively.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that with continued strong cooperation between Barisan component parties coupled with good political strategy, the coalition could achieve great success in the election.

“I know that the Opposition aims to deny us two-thirds but it is our target to capture 148 so that we can have the majority voice in Parlia­ment,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said.

In the 2013 polls, Barisan won 134 of the 222 parliamentary.

He said the media played an important role not only to disseminate information but was also crucial in influencing the minds of the people, including voters come election time.

“How news and information is relayed by the media will mould the public’s perception either negatively or positively of the ruling party as well as the Opposition. Media can influence how voters decide when they go to the ballot box. That is how powerful the media is,” he said.

On another issue, Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has begun investigating a possible breach of party constitution when Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malay­sia held its annual general meeting last year.

Urging Pribumi members who lodged complaints to be patient, he said the RoS needed time to address the issue.

“I have been informed by the director-general that the investigation is ongoing but they need to go through the documents.

“I assure Pribumi members who have complained that it is being looked into.

“I hope they trust the RoS to do its work professionally and transpa­rently,” Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is the Home Minister, told reporters after addressing the Home Ministry’s monthly assembly.

A group of disgruntled Pribumi members are pressing the RoS to speed up its probe, giving the body a two-week deadline.

The members also claimed that the party had set up a wing which contravened the party constitution.

Earlier this week, Dr Ahmad Zahid had said that RoS was investigating 47 complaints submitted by Pribumi members which were among 248 it had received.