KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin is predicting a bleak outlook for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming general election.
He expects BN to have an easy victory in only three states — Johor, Malacca and Pahang.
He gave his views on the next polls in an exclusive interview with Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau that was published today.
According to excerpts of the interview published in Malaysiakini today, Daim (picture) also said BN had to have a suitable leadership line-up if it hopes to recapture Kedah and Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Retaining Perak would be an uphill battle for BN, he said, while in Negri Sembilan, where BN rules with a six-seat majority, the state BN must resolve some specific problems.
As for Kelantan and Penang, he said BN would be fighting a losing battle in the two Pakatan strongholds.
In the interview, Daim described Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his team as “generals without soldiers”.
“The prime minister and other key leaders have done enough. Their current situation is that of ‘generals without soldiers’. Where are BN’s soldiers? The leaders at division and branch level must be more proactive in engaging the people,” he was quoted as saying.
What Najib currently needs, he said, was a team “that is on the same page with him”.
“In parliamentary elections, depending on a single person, the prime minister, is not going to be enough for success. BN needs a team. The prime minister has done enough, but the problem is that people cannot see his team. He needs to tell the people where his team is,” he was quoted as saying.
The Umno veteran advised Najib to be more determined in cutting out the deadwood.
Daim was Umno treasurer from 1984-2001, and a close associate of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to the Malaysiakini report, a year before the 12th general election Daim had warned that BN would lose Penang, Selangor and Kedah.
His “prophecy” came true when BN was hit by a “political tsunami” on March 8, 2008, losing five states and also its two-thirds majority in Parliament.