Malaysia – In order to regain voter appeal in the 15th general election (GE15), Pakatan Harapan (PH) has to change its political narrative as well as infuse new blood into its line-up, according to a forum panel.
Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, speaking at an event titled “Does Parliament Hold Key Reforms?” remarked that certain PH leaders still have the old patronage politics mentality, which causes them to fail to address public issues and perform badly in recent state elections.
Ambiga cited DAP Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang as an example of a politician who just declared his retirement from political politics.
“If there ever was a statesman, it is Lim Kit Siang. But when he felt it was time to depart, he went, so we thanked everyone for their contributions up to this point, but you better have to work on what the people want.
“I know people who don’t vote because PH repeated the same thing over and again in the elections,” he told a crowd of approximately 100 people at the Sogo Convention Center.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, head of the Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda), claimed his party is now working to mobilize the youth to disrupt conventional political parties and compel them to change.
He said that political parties, even the opposition, have fought reforms, leading to the public’s refusal to vote for them because they believed their ballots were pointless.
“We won’t change until Umno has. In the state elections, Umno fielded more new and fresh faces.
“If they don’t want to change,” he remarked, alluding to the GE15 election.
Tan Sri Munir Majid, Chairman of CARI-Asean Research and Advocacy of Asean Business Advisory Council Malaysia, and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh were among the other panelists during the session.
The event was organized to honor the publication earlier this year of Parliament, Interrupted, a book by former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Ariff Yusof.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ariff said that the book is neither a narrative of his life or the Sheraton Move in 2020, which saw him relinquish his position to current Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Harun.
He remarked in his keynote address that the book not only tells the narrative, but it also asks the issue of what is truly wrong with our Parliament.