Politics

DAP supporters say Pua got it wrong about rural folks

Tony Pua

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – July 7, 2017: DAP supporters have expressed their unhappiness with the party’s chief publicist Tony Pua for making the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy as the centrepiece of his ongoing campaign tour of rural areas.

They think it is pointless to explain such a complex issue to a rural audience, who are mostly more interested in bread and butter issues.

Facebooker Choon Siew Thong argued that the correct way for DAP to win the support of rural voters was to explain to them how the opposition will improve their livelihoods if it wins the next general election.

“It is not that I am implying that rural voters are unintelligent, but the fact is that 1MDB hardly bothers them.

“Sir (Pua), it is better for you to talk to them about the opposition’s plans to reduce the cost of living,” he wrote.

“I agree. This is meaningless to them. It is business as usual for them with or without 1MDB. Why can’t you guys just tell them what you can do to make their lives better,” wrote Krishna Kumar on Pua’s Facebook wall.

In an article by The Malaysian Insight (TMI), Pua was quoted as saying that the allegation of a  RM117 million diamond necklace, being purchased with the “stolen funds” of 1MDB, will be a “magic bullet” that will alter the perception of rural voters towards the ruling Barisan Nasional.

“A picture paints a thousand words. The necklace is that picture that illustrates the extent of the excesses committed in this scandal,” said Pua.

However, some DAP supporters argued that he was wrong to think so.

Gary Lim said Pua was being naïve and had overestimated the political effectiveness of the necklace story to change the support of rural voters for BN.

“Compared to the fear of seeing DAP in power, the necklace is nothing to the rural Malays. This is something that you (Pua) do not understand about the Malay sentiment. The rural Malays will still prefer Umno than Pakatan (Pakatan Harapan). They already have the strong perception the Malays will lose a lot of things if DAP becomes too strong,” Lim reasoned.

Another DAP supporter, Wisnu Samad said Pua needs to learn the right way of addressing those in the rural areas..

“Kampong folks neither care nor understands 1MDB. Shouting profanities at Barisan Nasional will not work and please do not allow any uncouth firebrand to speak on the stage.

“If the diamond necklace is worth RM117 million, tell them how many cows or chickens they can buy with it or how many essentials goods they can buy with the necklace,” Samad wrote.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.