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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters at the Penang High Court in George Town November 22, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters at the Penang High Court in George Town November 22, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 22 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) will need to look at its own weaknesses and correct them before the general elections, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

The Penang lawmaker said social media engagement alone will not win an election and that they will still need to go down to the ground to meet and talk to voters to win over their confidence.

“There are some weaknesses in our election machinery, especially faced with the money machinery by Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional, so we need to look into improving our machinery,” he told reporters after attending a civil suit in the Penang High Court here. 

Lim said there is still hope yet for PH to win in the general election if voter turnout is similar to 2018, and if they are allowed to campaign on the ground through rallies instead of only depending on social media. 

“If we look at the popular votes, the difference is slim, only three per cent difference so there is still a chance for us as long as we work hard,” he said.

Lim said BN only garnered 38 per cent in popular votes while PH took 35 per cent so it is a very slim difference.

PH only won five of the 28 seats contested in the Melaka state elections compared to 15 seats previously.

Lim claimed that the federal government may want to apply the same approach that led to BN’s win in Melaka. 

He said one of the reasons for BN’s victory was that there were no rallies so that candidates could not personally meet the voters.

“So, we suspect they will apply the same tactics nationally. If you project what happened in Melaka, likely they think that they will achieve the same purpose,” he said.

He said the voters’ turnout, which is 20 per cent lower than previously, was also another factor.

“We only lost marginally in many of our seats due to the low voter turnout, if we are to see an increase in the number of voter turnout in the general election, I think we will have a better performance,” he said.

He also blamed PH’s loss in the Melaka state election on voters’ suppression in which they were not able to meet voters, they were unable to hold physical rallies and had to only rely on social media. 

“Basically, this also highlights the fact that whilst we can run a social media campaign, we did a lot of online ‘ceramah’, there is only a limit,” he said.

He stressed that elections cannot be won using only social media and that the traditional method of meeting and interacting with voters is still crucial.

“The government, by stopping that, I think that gives them a very very unfair advantage. So, it is something we need to address for the coming general election,” he said.

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