KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Barisan Nasional (BN) could win the general elections because of unprecedented spending on the public, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik told Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily in an interview published today.
“I think BN can still win, because the government is spending money non-stop under different names, and this has never happened before,” he told Sin Chew in an exclusive interview.
Recently, the government has been spending heavily on various schemes to aid the public, including book vouchers for students and Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M).
A recent poll showed that the prime minister’s approval rating has surged by 10 per centage points to 69 per cent on the back of an improving economy and the cash handouts of RM500 to low-income households under BR1M.
Pollsters Merdeka Centre found that the prime minister’s support was highest among households earning less than RM1,500 a month at 78 per cent, with four-fifths of Indians and 74 per cent of Malays also giving Najib the thumbs up.
However Dr Ling (picture) thinks that the effect of the BR1M aid on voters has “long faded”.
The former MCA president acknowledged the perception that Chinese voters did not view BN favourably.
“Generally speaking, Chinese are not good towards BN, but in Perlis there is no other choice (besides BN), (BN) may also lack support in Johor, but not to the point of losing,” he was quoted as saying by Sin Chew.
Dr Ling said, however, that a failure to keep a supermajority in Parliament would not be a big problem, as he found nothing wrong with the public’s desire for change.
“A lot of things will change, the past example (March 2008) proved that things improved when there was a change, what’s the problem (with change)?”
“I think BN knows what kind of results they will face, they know this is a very hard battle,” he said, stressing that “this time the general elections is very hard and difficult for BN.”