An analyst known for his articles on Malaysia and geopolitical affairs said Mahathir Mohamad has made an impact among the Malay voters and this has reduced PM Najib Razak chances of winning big, or winning at all.
The controversial blogger also saud there is not much time left for the PM to call for the elections this year.
In the article published on TISG, the analyst Cordoba Ali said if Najib were to call for elections in the first quarter of the year, he might seal a narrow victory for his party and remain in power.
But later than that would mean his margin snatching a victory from the grip of former PM Mahathir Mohamad could be even more difficult.
Cordoba wrote: Najib Razak has a tiny window of opportunity to call for polls that could seal a victory for his ruling coalition but waiting in the wings with the undercurrents of the Malay voters slowly swinging towards him is Mahathir Mohamad.
“The margin is so thin that he might be in difficulty if he were to call for the general elections after the first quarter of the year,” he said.
Cordoba was recently the object of criticism from a local newspaper and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who lambasted the analyst for saying the recent RCI on Bank Negara’s loss of foreign exchange funds in the 1990’s was an attempt at ‘nailing Mahathir’.
Cordoba believes the longer Najib waits, the more time he is giving to his opponents, in particular to Mahathir to campaign to the Malays to rope them against him.
The impact of Mahathir, who was chosen as prime minister candidate by the opposition coalition, is being felt across Selangor and in other parts of peninsular Malaysia, said the article.
The article also quoted The Malaysian Insight which interviewed two analysts who seemed to admit that Mahathir is making an impact among the Malay voters outside the urban areas in the peninsula Malaysia.
The analysts did not believe a Malay ‘tsunami’ is happening, but one of them said it is in the making.
What Mahathir needs, Cordoba argued, is more time and that is what Najib is giving him by delaying the polls.
Cordoba also listed the core strategy of Mahathir in his campaign to rid the country of Najib.
He said Mahathir understood through his campaigns in Selangor that the urban areas were already in the bags for the opposition Pakatan Harapan, but that Umno needed more Malay support to remain in power.
Thus, the old fox is campaigning among the Malays in the outskirts of urban areas where he his hitting hard on with his messages on the corrupt practices of which he accuses Najib’s government.
“Mahathir has only one strategy: garner Malay support and this can only be bad for the Barisan Nasional which is counting mostly on Malay support to remain in power.
“But Mahathir seems to be doing it right, with his campaigns in the villages and in less urbanised areas drawing a fair number of folks who want to hear the other side of the political dialogues. These folks are constantly bombarded with Najib’s interactions on national television and in the tightly controlled local mainstream medias.
“They have no choice but to come out whenever they hear – at times by word of mouth – that Mahathir the former PM who has turned against his once protege Najib is around the corner,” Cordoba wrote.
For Najib, the time frame in which he could call for the polls is fast closing on him. There is an atmosphere of elections in the air whenever he intervenes or wherever he visits.
It is only a question of time for the PM to call for the elections, though the pundits are divided on whether it will be in February, right after the Chinese New Year or much later in July before the cut-off date for elections to be held almost automatically in August.
The last elections were held in May 2013. The Barisan lost more seats than ever before in its history and lost the majority of the popular votes but it retained power because the first past the post is not such a valid equation in the country.
The ruling party won most of its seats in marginal areas in Selangor but it won big in rural areas where it however met with rising contestation against its rule.
The story first appeared in TISG