15 November 2015
Resentment is building up against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) following the recent spate of price hikes and subsidy cuts that will return to haunt the coalition in the next general election, political analysts said.
The current government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s rollback of the subsidy on rice — a staple in this Southeast Asian nation — while at the same time raising toll rates and public transport fares has triggered a backlash, even among the demographic group seen as its biggest supporters, the low-income Malays.
But the 14th General Election is only due in 2018 — and the prime minister has indicated he plans to serve out his full term — which, the pundits say will give the BN sufficient time to mitigate the damage through feel-good policies that can be dished out in three more Budgets.
“The harsh political reality is that Najib’s fate is to be decided by Umno and Umno alone, and not by any mounting discontent of the general population at the moment,” Dr Ei Sun Oh, political analyst with Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told Malay Mail Online when contacted last week.
“General election is a few years away, and some sort of sweeteners could always be added in the budget closest to the election. And Malaysian public forgets and forgives easily, especially if the general economy turns better in coming years,” he added.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015