PETALING JAYA: The unity coalition will struggle in the upcoming Pelangai by-election if Perikatan Nasional has hit the peak of its appeal to voters, an analyst said.
Azmi Hassan of think tank Akademi Nusantara said his assessment of PH-BN’s chances at the Oct 7 by-election in Pahang was based on the results of polls held for Pulai and Simpang Jeram recently.
“Although voter turnout was low in Pulai, PN still managed to get 9,000 more votes compared with the general election in November.
“If PN can maintain the best position they have had in collecting Malay voters, then it is very dangerous for the unity government, which was proven in Pulai,” Azmi told FMT.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Johor DAP chief and strategist Liew Chin Tong claimed that Pakatan Harapan’s double victory in the Aug 12 by-elections in Johor was proof that PN’s influence was waning.
Liew said PN’s results in the six state elections held last month could possibly be the height of the opposition coalition’s achievements, adding that the coalition had reached its “peak” through the use of racial and religious rhetoric.
Azmi said even if Liew’s observations were correct, the PH-BN coalition will struggle in the Pelangai by-election.
“The seat has a Malay majority of over 70%, which will put BN and PH in danger. If the peak is maintained, the unity government will struggle,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia agreed with Liew, saying that PN’s victory was a result of PAS’s contributions.
“This explains their (influence) over traditional Malay voters and Malays who are into race politics,” said Mazlan.
“That is why their strength in Selangor is only in traditionally Malay areas such as Tanjong Karang, Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam,” he said.
According to him, PN will find it difficult to dominate Malaysian politics if they only focus on the Malays.
“They have to focus on the non-Malays, which is now dominated mainly by PH,” said Mazlan.
However, for PH and BN to continue dominating Malaysian politics, Mazlan said the unity coalition would “need to win at least 30% Malay votes in every Malay-majority area”.
— Elill Easwaran ,FMT