Three-cornered fights, low turnout will favour BN in Selangor, says Khir Toyo

Mohd Farhan Darwis

Dr Khir Toyo says the failure to explain national issues could be a problem for Barisan Nasional in Selangor. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, March 18, 2018.

BARISAN Nasional can retake Selangor as long as long as there are three-cornered contests and fewer younger voters casting their ballots in the next polls, former menteri besar Dr Khir Toyo said. 

The Umno man, under whose watch BN lost the state in the 2008 polls, however, said BN could still lose more votes due to a failure to explain national issues, and Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s defection to the opposition. 

“Now, there are many issues that are unexplainable. Dr Mahathir is on the other side and is the prime minister-designate.

“We are worried about Dr Mahathir’s influence on Umno,” he told The Malaysian Insight, adding that an Umno tsunami could happen – a mass defection of party supporters to the opposition.

He said even with Dr Mahathir’s full support to Umno in the 2013 elections, BN could not regain Selangor.

With Dr Mahathir now opposing BN in the run-up to the 14th general election, the only chance that Selangor will fall is if there are three-cornered fights to dilute the opposition vote, Dr Khir said.

He said BN will also stand to gain with a low turnout of younger voters and if the movement urging people to spoil their votes gains traction.

“When many young voters do not register, this gives Umno the advantage. The scenario now is that the young ones are against the government,” he said.

“Democratically, it’s not a good thing, but it is an advantage to Umno. If there is a large-scale movement to register voters, it’s hard for BN. Same goes for spoilt votes, it’s an advantage to BN.”

Dr Khir was one of three former Selangor menteri besar – the other two are Muhammad Muhammad Taib and Abu Hasaan Omar – who have been roped in to help the state BN machinery defeat PH in the polls.

In 2008, BN won only 20 out of 56 state seats and losing control of the state government to the opposition. DAP won 14 seats, PKR won 13 and PAS won four. All three parties were then part of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

In the 2013 polls, BN failed to retake the state, and lost eight more seats.

Dr Khir, 52, was menteri besar from 2000 to 2008, and state opposition leader from 2008 to 2010.

In 2010, he was charged with abuse of power and corruption over the purchase of his home in Shah Alam.

He was found guilty of using his position to obtain land and a large bungalow in Shah Alam for a fraction of the market price, and was sentenced to 12 months jail. After six months of serving his sentence at Kajang prison, he was released on parole.

Dr Khir said he was grateful that he was presented with “tests that gave me invaluable experience”.

He stressed that despite receiving offers from opposition parties, he will remain loyal to Umno.

“I will remain loyal even though there has been injustice.”

Last year, Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had blamed the fall of Selangor on Dr Khir.

In his defence, Dr Khir said the fact that BN Selangor had failed to wrest control of the state even after he was jailed proved that the problem lies with the state leadership.

Dr Khir said he is willing to put his past behind him and work towards regaining the people’s trust in BN.

“This is the toughest battle that will be faced by BN. This time, we are facing attacks not only from within the country, but from outside.

“If BN wins this, we are truly great.” – March 18, 2018.

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  • invaluable experience.....?

    Posted 6 years ago by Zureen ariff · Reply

  • In barisan Corrupted official have more influence then otherwise. WHY?

    Posted 6 years ago by Mohanarajan murugeson · Reply