Umno and MCA arrogance caused own downfall, Daim says

Debra Chong
Daim said he had come up with a two-pronged strategy for BN’s defeat in GE14: make voters believe MCA and MIC are irrelevant and then focus on Felda votes. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 ― There were clear signs that Barisan Nasional (BN) would fall in the May 9 general elections, former Umno veteran turned Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) secret weapon Tun Daim Zainuddin revealed last night in a tell-all interview on TV3.

The chairman of PH’s Council Eminent Persons said he had met with many politicians from both sides of the divide prior to GE14 and received many reports from insiders who predicted that the BN would lose.

“I received reports from Umno saying they will lose. Even during campaigning they said they would lose. These are Umno people. Their ‘think tank’ even told them they would lose during campaigning,” he was quoted saying by Malay daily Berita Harian on the “Soal Rakyat” talk show last night.

The former finance minister said that after receiving those reports, he had advised then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to expect defeat in the polls, but indicated that his warning went unheeded.

“Before that, I had advised the former PM to watch out for defeat. There were many reasons. The difference is just that we know they will lose.

“They are most arrogant. In our custom, they are rude too and we cannot accept. They were overconfident. MCA was also rude. They said ‘undi biru tua, jangan undi orang tua’. Malaysians cannot accept this.”

The veteran politician also revealed that he had come up with a two-pronged strategy for BN’s defeat: make voters believe MCA and MIC are irrelevant and then focus on Felda votes, which had become a BN “fixed deposit”.

“Umno at that time was prideful and believed it must win because it has issues, the machinery, figure and sponsors. We discussed and we said, Dr Mahathir must be the leader and Malays must accept and the rural people will also have no problems,” he was quoted saying further.

He said the strategy also meant PH would leave Sabah to Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal so that the coalition could concentrate on areas that it could win.

“What was important was Felda. Felda was its ‘fixed deposit’. If we can split the ‘fixed deposit’, they will have nothing,” he said of BN’s over-reliance on votes from the oil palm farmers.

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