Focus on common folk too, says Wan Saiful –

Policy analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan of PPBM says the small voters must not be forgotten.

PETALING JAYA: Policy analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan of PPBM has urged government leaders to give priority to the welfare of the people and alleviate their hardship. The common folk, who voted for a change in government last year, must also be assisted, he said.

“This includes the small time contractors and rural entrepreneurs, as well as the activists,” he said today in a statement responding to remarks by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim about a Malay backlash to the new government led by Pakatan Harapan.

Anwar said the backlash arose because Pakatan Harapan had “succumbed too much to pressure from the urban elite and civil society”. He had not heard the government address poverty and inequality.

Yesterday, the polling firm Merdeka Center released results of a survey which showed that only 39% of Malaysians gave a positive rating to the PH government, less than two weeks before it marks its first year in power.

Wan Saiful reminded the ruling coalition that a majority of Malaysians lived outside the “Bangsar bubble” a term he used last year to describe the upper-middle-class urban areas, whose residents he said tended to champion for human rights and judicial reform among others.

However, “it is their views and support (from those outside the Bangsar bubble) that will determine the current government’s popularity.”

The Merdeka Center survey indicated that perceptions over the economy, governance and concerns among Malays, as well as treatment of the races in Malaysia, were among factors that could have contributed to the decline in support from the people.