“In the last general election, we lost 24 federal seats we previously held, just like that. And many of these seats were in the rural Malay heartland,” said Mr Isham, who was recently inducted into the party supreme council.
“We were punished in 2018 and we have learned our lesson,” added the former BN Selangor information chief.
PH HAS AN ADVANTAGE AMONG URBAN MALAY VOTERS
Meanwhile, Malay voters in urban seats will also be decisive in determining the outcome. These constituencies are mainly concentrated within the Klang Valley and major cities on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
BowerGroupAsia’s Mr Adib pointed out that in GE14, PH won 33 out of 43 Malay-majority urban seats. PAS won six seats while BN won four.
Mr Fahmi Fadzil, who is the information chief of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), told CNA that the coalition has garnered strong trust among the urban Malays because PH champions issues that they care most about. PKR is a component party of PH.
“A lot of these concerns are related to rice bowl problems, cost of living, public transport and housing. Middle-class families are also against corruption and abuse of power that they have seen the last 50 years,” said Mr Fahmi during a phone interview.
“They have practical considerations and principled positions,” added the incumbent member of parliament for Lembah Pantai, a Malay-majority urban seat in Kuala Lumpur. Lembah Pantai has been a PH seat since 2008.