Lisa J. Ariffin
Muhyiddin today accused PR and Bersih of perpetrating "psychological warfare" to swing voter support away from BN.
The next general election is the most crucial for Barisan Nasional (BN), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today to galvanise the ruling coalition's rank and file ahead of national polls.
"The upcoming general election is life or death. It's the rise or fall of BN all over the country," the deputy prime minister told a stadium here packed with BN supporters gearing up for the 13th national polls that must be called by April next year.
"Every constituency is important," stressed Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman.
BN has been stepping up efforts to claw back voter support after losing its traditional two-thirds majority in Election 2008.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who leads the BN bloc, is in Sarawak today for the Gawai festival to appeal to the diverse ethnic Bumiputera population there to continue their support for the 13-member ruling coalition.
The last election saw an unprecedented voter swing to the opposition parties, which led to PAS, DAP and PKR toppling BN from power in four states — economic powerhouses Selangor, Penang as well as Kedah and Perak while maintaining Kelantan.
The three parties formed the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact to rival BN shortly after the landmark elections four years ago.
The DAP has also made deeper inroads during the Sarawak election last year.
Muhyiddin today accused the opposition PR pact and electoral watchdog group, Bersih, of perpetrating "psychological warfare" to swing voter support away from BN.
Citing the recent Bersih 3.0 rally for electoral reforms, Muhyiddin said, "This is their way of conditioning people into thinking that if BN wins the election, then the process was not clean and fair."
"That is why they hold demonstrations, they hope to rally like the Arab Spring and overthrow the government," he said.
Muhyiddin repeated the Najib administration's stand that it had addressed seven of the eight demands by Bersih and said he was perplexed "why they had to hold a Bersih 3.0 rally" referring to the April 28 gathering which resulted in widespread chaos in the national capital despite peaceful assemblies elsewhere around the country.
"The government and the EC (Election Commission) have been working to clean the electoral roll. The EC is now looking into the last demand — overseas voting," he said.
Muhyiddin said there is no need for demonstrations "like those overseas" as Malaysia is fairing well economically and there is "full employment in the country".
Economists have warned that Malaysia's economic growth may slow due to China's cooling economy and the Euro-debt crisis.
"Many countries hold demonstrations because they do not have enough food and income. This unseen in Malaysia," he said.
He ended by asserting BN still is confident of a win in the polls.
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