Pakatan Harapan’s onslaught against BN’s hold on Felda fixed deposit seats continued on Friday when the Pakatan Harapan leadership made a campaign stop visit at Felda Bukit Tangga, located in Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah. For your information, this falls under the N05 Bukit Kayu Hitam state seat in Kedah and P005 Jerlun in Kedah.
The event was very well attended and here are some of the pictures :-
Altogether for P005 Jerlun there are several Felda areas, namely FELDA Bukit Tangga (1,740), FELDA Laka Selatan (1,347) and FELDA Batu Lapan (1,287) . Together, there are 4,374 votes in this area. There are all together 51,178 voters in Jerlun, Kedah.
Now Jerlun was won by BN’s candidate Othman Aziz in 2013 with 24,161 votes in comparison to PAS candiate who polled 20,891 votes.
This area is a ‘must win’ Parliament seat to ensure that Pakatan Harapan wins the election.
There is certainly encouraging news from this very well attended event.
Remember that previously in 2013 any Pakatan Harapan event in Felda area will be either attended by crickets or chased out by the Ketua Peneroka( Chief Settler) for the area.
Moreover, from a marketing point of view, every settler and their immediate family who attended are considered ‘hard core’ Pakatan Harapan voters. This is because the decision entails a lot of risk as like it or not, people do look and like to ‘cantas’ others. For example, they may say ‘tu and tu hadir di ceramah pembangkang.‘ So all those who attended were willing to brave the risk of being labelled as ‘disloyal to BN’ and are willing to face the consequences.
Another interesting anecdote is that some of the attendees were out of state voters.
This actually is a very interesting development because it makes sense for settlers who are secret Pakatan Harapan / Tun Dr Mahathir fans to attend an event where they are not recognised. It may be very logical for a Felda settler in Perlis who wants to support Pakatan but wishes to reduce the personal risk, for example settlers from FELDA Mata Ayer , FELDA Rimba Emas or FELDA Chuping in P001 Padang Besar, Perlis to attend an event in Kedah as opposed to an event in Perlis because they may are comfortable to blend into a crowd where they are not recognised.
But, nonetheless, this enthusiasm must be tempered with some salient facts.
PAS is strong in Jerlun due to decades long influence in the area. Of the 20,000 voters polled by the previous Pakatan Rakyat candidate from PAS, we can safely assume that about 4,000 to 5,000 votes came from PAS members and their immediate families. It will be premature to announce that Pakatan Harapan will retain 100% of these votes, perhaps a more likely number is about 60% or 2,400 votes.
Thus the deficit, which was previously about 3,300 votes now increases by 2,600 votes to become 5,900 votes. Pakatan Harapan will need to convince about 3,500 BN voters or about 15% of BN voters to back them in order to win this seat.
A 15% swing is a big swing, but ‘doable’.
However, one factor that is holding back many FELDA voters from voting Pakatan Harapan candidates is the fear of recrimination. This fear must be addressed not only in the FELDA areas in Bukit Kayu Hitam but in FELDA areas throughout the country. Altogether there are 54 parliamentary seats where FELDA voters emerge as king makers. Currently, Pakatan Harapan believes there are about 30 FELDA areas which support Pakatan Harapan.
Remember, FELDA settlers do take a massive personal risk in supporting Pakatan Harapan candidates because should BN win, there will in all likelihood face recrimination or placed last in the queue to receive Government aid.
From a marketing perspective, one such way is to establish visible brand elements which are favourable to Pakatan Harapan but sufficiently ambiguous to establish plausible deniability. For example, the following is an example of establishing a brand element which may promote change among Felda settlers.
For this The Rembau Times wishes to conduct a simple experiment to see whether such a strategy is acceptable to our readers.