KUALA TERENGGANU: Although Pakatan Harapan suffered defeat during GE14 in the state, the coalition says support from people in the east coast state is increasing.
Terengganu Pakatan chairman Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah said this has reignited hopes that the coalition will do well in the next general election.
He said confidence in the coalition has grown ever since it successfully formed the new Government, ending over 60 years of Barisan Nasional rule.
"However, in Terengganu and Kelantan, it will take some time for us to gain strength as historically, voters only know Umno and PAS," he said on Thursday.
He said among the reasons for Pakatan's loss in Terengganu was the fear factor spread by its opponents.
"They stirred up racial and religious issues, a tactic which has been used continuously for a long time.
"They stoked fears that if Pakatan came to power, a non-Malay would rule and Islam will be threatened. Unfortunately, such a tactic still works in Terengganu," he said, adding that efforts to convince people otherwise had not been effective.
He said another factor was that the coalition was new and voters were confused over its legal status.
"There was also pessimism surrounding our chances of winning. I believe voters did not want to waste their votes and opted for the parties they knew instead," he said.
With the growing confidence in the coalition following its win at federal level, Raja Kamarul said many have approached the party to lend their support, even though Pakatan did not win any seats in Terengganu.
"Strangers and those that we haven't seen in a while have come out and thrown their support for us. It is an unusual phenomenon," he said.
Despite not winning any seats in Terengganu, Raja Kamarul said Pakatan wants to help the PAS-led state government in its efforts to rebuild the state.
On Wednesday, Raja Kamarul, who is also state Parti Amanah Negara chief, met with Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and discussed plans to rebuild Terengganu.
"It also just so happens that he is an engineer and I am an architect, so building is our speciality," he quipped.