Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Most fence-sitters now won over by BN policies'

PUTRAJAYA: An assessment conducted by the Barisan Nasional showed that the majority of the country's fence-sitter voters are with the coalition, said its information and publicity chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad said the assessment showed that the fence-sitters were now more inclined towards the "pull factors" in the form of people-centric initiatives introduced by the government.

He said the fence-sitters were also turning away from the inconsistent and chaotic signals given by the opposition.

There are 12 million voters in the country, of which 20 per cent, or 2.4 million, are fence- sitters.

Ahmad, who is also deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said the fence-sitters had been making a beeline to public sessions held to explain the government's policies.

"The people are of the opinion that BN has improved greatly and they now better understand the 1Malaysia concept," said Ahmad, who was appointed to the BN post three months ago.

"While the opposition has been playing up racial issues, BN is strongly promoting unity. At each public session, we have received an overwhelming response. "Many of these people are young voters who are inclined towards the new media and could well judge what had been reported about the leaders in the opposition." Ahmad added that the feedback from those who attended the sessions was positive.

Besides the state-level public engagement sessions, BN has also held more than 2,400 sessions at the division level involving the young, businessmen and non-governmental organisations.Ahmad said BN had since last year eaten significantly into the opposition's pie. He attributed this shift in support partly to the infighting among the opposition parties."We are working very hard to sway more of these fence-sitters, as well as those who have begun to lose faith in the opposition."Ahmad also said BN would need a few more months before it would be ready for the general election, which must be held by April 2013.He said while the government had put in place sound policies, it still needed to complete projects, such the 1Malaysia Clinic, 1Malaysia People's Menu, 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme, 1Malaysia Training Scheme and Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia.The BN machinery needed about three more months to fully reach the masses on the transformation plans.He said BN would not be apologetic about taking credit for introducing various initiatives for the people as they were in line with the People First, Performance Now concept, despite accusations that they were carried out because of the general election.Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said support for any political party could sway during the campaigning period. "The voting pattern has changed since 2008 and has become less predictable," he said yesterday."Voters take many things into consideration. The candidates fielded also play a major role." Sivamurugan said at present, the people were happy with the initiatives taken by the prime minister.

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