Pakatan BN likely to retain Selangor Negri Penang say analysts
Pakatan BN likely to retain Selangor Negri Penang say analysts

Pakatan-BN likely to retain Selangor, Negri, Penang, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR: The groundswell of support drummed up by political heavyweights from both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional in the first week of the campaigning period bodes well for the unity government alliance, which is likely to retain Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang when state elections are held on Aug 12.

The aggressive campaigning, especially political ceramahs and visits by Pakatan chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, an attractive manifesto and sterling track records by the respective state governments are what will give the Unity Government alliance of Pakatan-Barisan the advantage of triumphing over their erstwhile rivals in the Perikatan Nasional bloc, political analysts and observers shared with BK recently.

The fight for 56 seats in Selangor, 36 in Negri Sembilan and 40 in Penang will likely be between Pakatan-Barisan and Perikatan as other parties like Muda, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), Parti Utama Rakyat (PUR) and Penang Front Party (PFP) have yet to show that they can mount any sort of meaningful challenge against the two dominant coalitions.

Universiti Selangor (Unisel) deputy vice-chancellor Assoc Prof Dr Hamdan Mohd Salleh said that the Pakatan-Barisan partnership is expected to win Selangor comfortably, as the coordination and mobilisation of party machineries were well-organised and running smoothly in the past week of campaigning.

He predicted that Pakatan-Barisan could win 34 seats, a few seats shy of two-thirds majority of 37 seats from the total of 56 seats, including Sabak, Hulu Bernam, Sungai Burong, Bukit Melawati, Kuang, Taman Templer, Hulu Kelang, Lembah Jaya, Paya Jaras and Pelabuhan Klang, despite tough competition from Perikatan.

Hamdan’s observations were matched by Selangor Pakatan election director Dr Yaakob Sapari’s opinion that the Pakatan-Barisan alliance was on track to secure 36 seats, a prediction that is in total contrast to Selangor Perikatan election director Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi confident claim that Perikatan could form the next state government with a simple majority of 29 seats.

Hamdan said that Anwar’s presence has helped boost the Unity Government’s candidates’ campaigns in Selangor, heavily impacting support from fence-sitters and served to raise morale among party machinery, resulting in greater efforts to help candidates win.

Face-to-face campaigning went into full swing as soon as nominations closed on July 29, with candidates organising various programmes to meet voters at the usual locations such as markets and eateries, as well as dropping by their party’s operation rooms to engage with their party machinery. Pakatan-Barisan state chairmen of Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang have reported that most of their candidates have managed to engage voters in almost 80% of their constituencies so far and that response is very encouraging.

Candidates were also placing effort into campaigning on social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok, using them to broadcast their missions and visions to reach a wider audience.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia political analyst Dr Mohd Faizal Kasmani shared with BK that the Pakatan-Barisan alliance would not face any difficulty in forming the state government just based on the previous track record and its administrative experience as the previous state government.

His opinion mirrors that of state Pakatan chairman Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun, who has said that the Unity Government parties would be capable of obtaining more than two-thirds majority of 24 seats from a total of 36.

“There was one or two gray areas at the initial stages due to miscommunication but now we can see the light… we are focusing on certain areas, so in two or three more days, we’ll see some changes… we will try to defend the 19 seats (simple majority) and Barisan is confident of obtaining 17 seats,” he said.

In Penang, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political analyst Prof Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said that the Perikatan-Barisan alliance is still ahead in the race, but added that the second phase of the campaign period was critical to parties and candidates, especially the last 72 hours, as they must convince as many fence sitters as they could, as that group was prone to making decisions at the last minute.

Penang Pakatan chairman Chow Kon Yeow expressed his confidence that 95% of voters were behind Pakatan and that the Unity Government alliance would retain the state, a Pakatan stronghold, with at least 32 state seats while rival Penang Perikatan deputy chairman, Oh Tong Keong, shared that campaigning had received positive response from local voters so far.

With only five more days left before voters go to the polls on Aug 12, candidates will be upping the tempo, packing nearly every available hour with various activities to win over voters’ hearts and minds and the lack of big issues has steered campaigns to focus on the various deals and visions to develop the six states and its many constituencies.

Voters in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will go to the polls on Aug 12 to elect their new state governments, with early voting being held on Aug 8. The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election will also be held simultaneously on the same day. – BK

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