‘Green Wave a label to scare non-Malays, but unhappiness with govt is real’

A political analyst has warned that there is uneasiness and unhappiness in Malaysia, beyond the Malay community.

Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said the malaise is more widespread, and points to the poor performance of the ringgit versus the Singapore, and the United States dollar, which makes goods more expensive.

As of writing, one Singapore dollar is equivalent to RM3.46, while it is RM4.65 against the greenback.

Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin recently said that the Malay community was unhappy with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government.

“There has not been much improvement in the past seven months (since the new government came to power), and the people are feeling the pinch,” said Azeem, who is the director of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Policy Research and International Studies.

“The cost of living crisis needs to be addressed. Voters could use the upcoming state elections to express their feelings about the government.”

The Selangor state assembly will be dissolved on Friday, paving the way for the elections within two months. Other states, namely Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kelantan, Kedah, and Terengganu, will follow suit.

“There will not be a so-called ‘Green Wave’. That is a label to scare the non-Malays,” said Azeem.

“However, many people are unhappy with the government, and the state elections could see many people – Malays and non-Malays – voting against Pakatan Harapan (PH).”

The ‘Green Wave’ refers to Islamic party Pas’ rising dominance in the Malaysian political landscape.

Azeem said it was likely Kedah, Terengganu, and Kelantan, would remain under Perikatan Nasional, and that DAP would power PH to victory in Penang – but possibly with a lower majority.

He added Negeri Sembilan and Selangor would also likely remain under PH, but it would be close.

“There are no solid studies that we can use to determine how things would play out in the elections, but the sentiments against PH working with Umno is strong,” said Azeem.

“Voters feel betrayed that PH is working with Umno in the government. Having Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the deputy prime minister adds insult to injury.

“We cannot expect too much from the current government. Things may unravel, because the idea of PH and Umno working together is unacceptable to most voters, who feel hoodwinked.”

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