COMMENT | The 14th general election can be argued to be a battle for the Malay soul, with Pakatan Harapan calling for a ‘Malay tsunami’, BN rallying Malay nationalism on the ground while promising more ‘goodies’, and PAS pushing its ‘choose Islam’ agenda.
Nowhere is this battle more apparent than in the beautiful states of Terengganu and Kelantan. Making up only eight and 14 parliamentary seats respectively, or a total of 10 percent of the seats nationally, the number belie how critical they are for the political landscape.
In part, this is due to the intense level of political competition, with large numbers of competitive seats and both having had repeated changes in governments. More important, however, is the fact that these areas will determine the role that PAS will play on the national stage as either the victor or vanquished.
Pundits and pollsters have already repeatedly called Kelantan for BN, and applied this similar outlook to Terengganu, predicting BN will win the majority of parliamentary seats. On the ground, voting trends are harder to call, especially at the state level.
The sentiments do not have to do with the same political struggles in the Malay community elsewhere, namely battling a sense of disloyalty to Umno and anger with the perceived excesses of the Najib administration in a climate of broad perceived economic hardship.
Rather, in these east coast states, the question of loyalty is one of long-standing family ties to either PAS or Umno, and the sense of failures at the state leadership levels. Hardship and daily struggle are sadly an integral part of life in these areas, as development, social problems and poverty remain concerns for large shares of the populations.
While both those from Terengganu and Kelantan are well connected to developments outside, they have strong inward political orientations as local factors predominate. There is less attention to what is happening nationally, and as such, Harapan candidates and parties have limited traction, although the issues raised in rallies and on social media have permeated local discussions.
Messages and memories
The contests are largely between PAS and Umno, as these two parties have framed the competition for decades. Harapan’s campaign is only resonating significantly in urban areas, notably Kota Bharu where is has a chance of winning. BN chief Najib Abdul Razak’s picture is noticeably absent on the east coast, especially in Kelantan...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.