KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan should plan to win at least 80 seats in the coming general elections to become the largest coalition in Dewan Rakyat.
This will put the coalition in a better position to negotiate the formation of a new government, says Rafizi Ramli, the deputy presidential candidate in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) elections.
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Rafizi said based on the poll results of several state elections held recently, PH should be able to win 80 seats where Democratic Action Party (DAP) can win 35 seats, PKR 30, Parti Amanah Negara 10 and the rest from other anti-BN parties.
“If PH is the largest coalition in Dewan Rakyat, it will have the bargaining power to negotiate for forming a government,” he said.
“But how to win 80 seats? We will have to engage the fence-sitters as many seats won by PH, especially PKR, are mixed constituencies,” he said.
Rafizi said voter turnout for non-Malays were below 50% in the last three state elections.
If 65% to 70% non-Malay and urban Malay voters were to support PH in the coming election, and 5% of fence-sitters who supported Perikatan Nasional (PN) return to PH, then PH should be able to win in multi-cornered fights.
“We should work towards securing voters’ support. To win back the voters, we must not negotiate with Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Voters dislike this. We need to prove to voters we are not power-hungry,” he added.
‘No” to working with PN
Rafizi also said the combined votes for PH and PN seemed to be the easiest way out (in forming a government), but this was not what the voters wanted.
“Voters switched their support from PH to PN because of the former’s lackluster performance. If PH and PN were to form an alliance, the voters might turn to BN and this offers opportunity to Umno,” he explained.
Take the Johor state election as example, Rafizi said BN secured 40% of votes, PH 30% while Bersatu and PAS 27% each.
Based on mathematical calculation, will the combined votes of PH and PN really topple BN?
Rafizi said we should first know why voters supporting PH in 2018 switched to PN. Fence-sitters, especially the Malays who rejected Umno were equally unhappy with PH during its 22-month rule.
They felt that PH did not handle well the issues which touched on Malay sensitivities and switched to support Bersatu which is also against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and corruption.
Both Bersatu and PAS know how to handle Malay sensitivities.
Rafizi maintained that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was still the best person to unite all parties under PH.
“Anwar should continue to lead PH as he is still the most respected leader in the coalition,” he asserted.
On his personal stand, Rafizi is against working with Bersatu and PAS to form a new government even if the number of seats won by PH and BN is close.
This is because these two parties have betrayed PH, he explained.
Bersatu’s members of parliament have defected for their political survival, and working with the party will lead one to feel that PH is no different from them.
“I do not support working with them regardless of the outcome of the elections. We can work with parties from Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.
Nevertheless, the PH leadership could still make the final decision, he concluded.