Three essentials Harapan needs to win GE14

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The war bells have been rung. The machinery greased with money and the media choked by fear. Race and religion will once again be used as the silver bullets to take out Pakatan Harapan. Umno-BN’s forces are ready for battle. With PAS out of the fold, the critical question then becomes, is Pakatan Harapan ready to win in a three-cornered fight with Umno-BN and PAS?

I believe there are three essential ‘must dos’ to make Pakatan Harapan a possible government in waiting.

Before I start with the list, I’d like to give a short briefing on what the battlefield will look like. As we speak, the opposition is outnumbered by Umno’s machinery, outgunned by Umno’s money and exposed to a three-way fight which relatively benefits the ruling coalition. As expected, DAP will be made the boogeyman and anyone who allies themselves with the party will be seen as a complicit to the alleged weakening of bumiputra-Muslim rule.

The fact that Harapan is already labelled as ‘Pakatan DAP’ or ‘Pakatan Kit Siang’ is living proof of this.

Despite being outnumber and outgunned, the general sentiment is against Umno. Recent polls show that Umno’s popularity has dipped to record low of 40-45 percent (Merdeka Centre and Invoke). Issues like the increase in cost of living, systemic corruption and a huge influx of foreign labor are the electorally determinative issues according to multiple different polls.

If handled well, these advantages could easily be translated into ‘silver bullets’ to end BN’s grip on Putrajaya. Money and machinery can be defeated by creating a wave which is driven by issues. Notice how the Barack Obama campaign outpowered the cash-rich Mitt Romney campaign. Notice how Bernie Sanders who was outgunned by Hillary Clinton by a factor of 10-1 almost won despite being cash-strapped.

In Malaysia, we witnessed the first wave in 2008 where Umno-BN lost control of five states due to the rakyat’s anger against the ruling regime.

Harapan could win GE14 if they got their act together and minimise unnecessary self-inflicted disastrous blows which take away the negative limelight from Umno-BN. The room for error is exceptionally small when you are up against the well-funded BN machinery.

What are the three essentials?...

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