KUCHING (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition must change its approach in managing public perception to avoid losing its two-thirds majority in the last two general elections again, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
Datuk Seri Zahid said all BN components must play an important role in managing public perception to maintain the confidence and trust of voters, especially the Chinese community, so as to avoid a vote swing towards the opposition.
Dr Zahid said the BN machinery must be savvy enough to utilise the advance communications tools available today and strengthen its presence in the various social media platforms to counter the opposition.
"One of the most complex issues to be dealt with in politics is perception. We admit that Barisan failed to manage public perception in the 12th and 13th general elections," he said.
"We must change our approach in managing public perception to ensure a strong victory for the Barisan," he told a press conference in Kuching on Sunday (March 4).
The Barisan coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the 222-seat Parliament in the 2008 and 2013 polls.
Also present at the event were Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
While public perception, especially among the Chinese community, has significantly improved in favour of the ruling government, Dr Zahid reminded BN components not to rest on their laurels but continue to work hard and gain public confidence.
"Despite an improved public perception since the last general election, we must be wary of our opponents who might use last minute tactics to destroy all the positive perception towards the Barisan government," he added.