MIRI: United People’s Party (UPP) Pujut chairman Bruce Chai says although a survey on the perception on the performance of Pakatan Harapan government which shows apprehension and scepticism among the respondents is confined only to the youth, the federal government should take heed of their response.
He said this yesterday in response to a post GE14 study which indicated youth’s apprehension over the new PH government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“From my interaction on the ground, I find that the apprehension is real and not confined to just the youth but also the older generation, so PH has to prove itself as Malaysians have voted for a change and not so much as about voting PH.
“Bear in mind that the youths are not easily fooled and they have lots of information out there and this is not an easy time to be the government,” he warned.
A common theme found in the study, based on data compiled from focus group discussions held nationwide by Iman Research is most youths viewed Dr Mahathir negatively due to his political past and majority felt that PH resembled Barisan Nasional (BN), the coalition it defeated in the election, he added.
Many youths felt there is an absence of a real economic plan or how to create jobs they wanted from PH government.
Iman Research director Badrul Hisham Ismail told a media briefing in KL on Thursday that the research on youth perception of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration found a majority of young Malaysians had trust issues and some scepticism towards the new government.
The same voters were also aware of the allegations of corruption and power abuse levelled against the previous BN administration helmed by Dr Mahathir, who ruled as Malaysia’s longest-serving premier for 22 years.
A majority of those in the discussions, aged between 21 and 35, said they were cautious about the return of “Mahathirism” and felt the 93-year-old remained very powerful eventhough PH pledged for reforms to curtail the prime minister’s influence.
Bruce said the votes to change the government were due to the bigger picture of people wanting change instead of PH manifesto and Dr Mahathir to be appointed Prime Minister through the 14th General Election.
“People want a change and that was the biggest factor which caused BN to lose its majority. It is not so much that they wanted Pakatan Harapan more than BN,” he said.
The older generation knows Dr Mahathir and the government that he ran for 22 years, including the controversial ISA, and other issues associated with his rule as prime minister from Umno.
Malaysians, he said must move on regardless whether the country is led by Dr Mahathir, prime minister in-waiting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and those who come after them.
He said the focus of the nation should be on the change – attitude of the government of the day- and the general public was right to point out that there is lack of master plan in moving forward.