KUALA LUMPUR: PREPARATIONS for Perikatan Nasional’s maiden foray into the polls began last year to mitigate the challenges it may face in the next general election.
Besides preparing the list of candidates and engaging potential voters, PN leaders are hoping the use of media technology will be an advantage.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Supreme Council member Mohd Yazid Mohd Yunus said a lot was learnt from the 14th General Election (GE14).
The party is now better prepared for another battle for ballots, he said.
“In 2018, we faced some challenges. It was the first time Bersatu contested an election, so we were inexperienced. But since then, our divisions and branches have expanded.
“For example, some divisions only had 1,000 members previously, now have more. We have more branches now, too.
“Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented last year, our grassroots leaders have started engaging with people through social media. Their performance (in public engagement) can be seen in the Sabah state election, which PN won.
“Our branches are important as they house the party’s machinery (including for social media engagement). This time, Bersatu is better prepared with more experienced members.”
Pas vice-president Idris Ahmad said the Islamic party’s leaders and grassroots members had been preparing on the ground since last year.
“Whether through social media or physical campaigns, Pas’ grassroots are ready to play their part to ensure victory for the coalition.”
Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau said the party had also been preparing since last year, when rumours that the 15th General Election (GE15) would be held were rife.
He said Gerakan divisions nationwide had been instructed to be ready for the polls and discussions on GE15 would be the main agenda at the Gerakan delegates conference next month and in August.
“Firstly, candidates must be winnable and likeable. They will be vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police.
“They must also undergo medical check-ups because we want healthy candidates who can work for the people.”
It was reported that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president, had hinted that GE15 could be held at the end of the year.
Johor Bersatu committee member Datuk Osman Sapian, who is former Johor menteri besar, said this was stated by Muhyiddin, who is also PN chairman, during the party’s state-level online meeting on June 16.
“(GE15) could be held in September or October. If you think about it, it makes sense as the national budget is usually tabled in Parliament in October.
“If Parliament does not convene, there won’t be funds for the nation. So what is important is to get the Budget approved.”