Pakatan Harapan held a final pre-campaign convention in Ipoh, Perak last night after finalising several key details for their campaign.
The event attracted 5,000 supporters, which saw coalition leader Anwar Ibrahim being formally announced as the coalition’s candidate for prime minister and candidate for the Tambun parliamentary seat.
Other key announcements are as follows:
Perak is Harapan’s new front line
Harapan saw Perak as their main battleground state and was expected to assign several of their top generals as candidates.
During the 2018 elections, Harapan adopted a similar strategy in Johor, aimed at breaking Umno’s hold on the state for the first time.
Perak is not unfamiliar territory to Harapan. Their components PKR and DAP have governed the state before.
Experts told Malaysiakini that Harapan’s goal was likely to use Perak as a platform to make inroads among rural Malay voters.
Harapan has adopted the slogan “Kita boleh” (We can).
Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Nasution Ismail explained that the “Kita boleh” slogan would be able to lift up the spirits of the party activists during the campaign.
In addition, Harapan’s new theme song is called ‘Harapan Malaysia’ (Malaysian hope).
Unlike most political songs which have a march tempo, ‘Harapan Malaysia’ adopts a contemporary pop format and includes a rap breakdown.
Harapan will be sporting a new mascot dubbed “Jaguh the Kancil” – a reference to the Malay folk tale of a mousedeer who overcame crocodiles with guile and bravery.
According to the emcee for the event, “Jaguh” represented wise voters who will be deciding on who gets to govern the country.
In addition, “Jaguh” was said to be related to “Tony Tony Chopper” – a character in the famous Japanese manga series ‘One Piece’.
All four Harapan parties will be adopting a common logo throughout the country with one glaring exception – Sarawak DAP.
This was considered a major breakthrough as PKR had refused to use the Harapan logo during the Johor elections in March.
As for Sarawak DAP, they are sticking to their long-standing tradition of only using their own logo.
PSM likely on board
A Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) delegation was spotted at the convention last night.
They are not officially in a pact with Harapan yet. Saifuddin Nasution said Harapan would finalise a pact with non-Harapan parties in “two or three days”.
Muda’s top brass were not spotted at the convention. They are believed to have concluded talks with Harapan.
Unlike Muda, who has shown that it commands a following during the Johor elections, PSM was approaching negotiations with Harapan from a position of weakness.
PSM does not have any stronghold as all four of its Parliamentary candidates lost their deposits during the 2018 general election. – Malaysiakini