How motorcyclists will determine the outcome of the next GE
The lower income group exemplified by motorcyclists may be Pakatan Rakyat’s next key to winning federal power, said DAP Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong.
He pointed out that in 2013, Pakatan rode on the wave of urban support, relating it with an analogy about car drivers and motorcyclists.
“I think we have convinced all car drivers in this country that we are the better government.
“We talked about the rising prices of car, tolls and petrol. But we failed to convince the motorcyclists that we are a good government,” he said to the amusement of 200 audience members in the Malaysian Strategic Outlook Conference 2014 in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
Acknowledging that most motorcyclists are from the low income group, Liew predicted that the former is the next target for Pakatan to win over.
The DAP political education director also emphasised that semi-urban constituencies such as Ledang, Muar and Tanjung Malim are crucial battleground for Pakatan, along with the so-called “motorcycle” group of voters.
This, he said, is due to the petrol price hike which will affect the semi-urban residents as they have to drive longer distances and rely on private transport because of the substandard bus and rail service.
The semi-urban seats could be BN marginal seats which Pakatan has a chance to capture, he added.
Reform fuel subsidy
To win over motorcyclists and semi-urban voters, Liew proposed that the petrol subsidy should be retained while the price of diesel should be floated according to market price.
“I suspect that diesel forms the largest portion of (fuel) subsidies than petrol because of (higher number of) diesel smuggling.
Pakatan should have more imaginative policy on federal and state level to decouple petrol and diesel subsidies.”
All in all, he said the crux of resolving petrol price hike is to improve the efficiency of bus and rail transport, and not to focus on the MRT system.
Liew was speaking at the conference organised by Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) during the session titled “Malaysia’s New Politics – What next after 13GE and party election” along with former Umno supreme member Dato Saifuddin Abdullah, PKR Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and former MCA veep Gan Ping Sieu.