How palm oil prices will affect voting trends
If the price of palm oil plummets as predicted, UMNO’s bastion of rural and semi-urban constituencies may be breached, claimed DAP Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong.
He said that the prosperity of small towns relied upon the surging price of palm oil which has sustained for a decade since the Iraq war in 2003.
“With more and more mature (palm oil) trees in Indonesia and potential soybean super harvest, will the palm oil price remain at the same high level?
“Let’s say if the palm oil price crashes by 30 or 50 percent, will UMNO be able to survive politically? Of course this may not happen.
But given that most of Malaysia’s rural and semi-urban areas are sustained though palm oil prices, what will be the challenges ahead?” the DAP political education director questioned at a conference organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) in Kuala Lumpur on 23 January.
Liew was speaking at the forum titled “Malaysia’s New Politics – What next after 13GE and party election” along with CEO of Global Movement of Moderate Foundation Dato Saifuddin Abdullah, PKR Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and former MCA veep Gan Ping Sieu.
Apart from declining price of palm oil, Liew said the nation is facing another three main challenges—inflation, the United States’ Quantitative Easing tapering and property bubbles.
As such, he predicted that the economy will be occupying the main discussion for the entire 2014.
To a question of recent religious disharmony, Liew opined that the ruling party has been using “race, religion and royalty” (3R) to distract Malaysian from focusing economic problem.
“I think if we have a democratic society and channel the people to have dialogue, the 3R is a non-issue.
The ‘3R’ is projected as main issue (in order to) divide the opposition pact and distract ordinary Malaysians from economic challenges, Liew said.