KUALA LUMPUR: The popularity of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not the main reason behind Pakatan Harapan (PH) winning the 14th General Election (GE14).
PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli said, on the contrary, it was the bread and butter issue coupled with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government that resulted in PH successfully making its way to Putrajaya.
The former Pandan parliamentarian said this was proven based on a post-GE14 survey conducted by Invoke Malaysia in which they found voters to have been more affected by these two issues compared to loyalty to Dr Mahathir.
Rafizi added that the poor performance of the Dr Mahathir led Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) in Kedah also served as proof that the 92-year-old politician was not the deciding factor in PH's success.
“We are doing a post-election polls. I’m inclined to conclude now and the data will verify it. End of the day, biggest issue is still bread and butter issue," he was quoted as saying in an article by The Malaysian Insight, adding that it was about GST more than anything else.
Rafizi said while Dr Mahathir previously had a huge impact in Kedah, this time around, PAS were the big winners in the northern state.
He opined that if the Malays had to choose between PPBM led by Dr Mahathir or PAS, they would go for PAS.
GE14 served up a blow to BN when they were ousted by PH after failing to secure a two-thirds majority to form a government.
Not only that, BN also lost several states to PH namely Kedah, Perak, Sabah, Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Johor.
Following PH's success, several quarters attributed the win to the 'Mahathir factor' as he managed to unite several opposition parties, specifically when all four parties; PPBM, PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara agreed to contest under one logo.