Slight edge for Pakatan Harapan in Tanjung Piai: Analyst

(The Sun Daily) – Pakatan Harapan will have the advantage of incumbency in the impending Tanjung Piai by-election.

“As the ruling federal government, Pakatan has the machinery and influence to go into the by-election in a confident manner,” political analyst Khoo Kay Peng told theSun.

He said Pakatan should suitably field a young candidate who does not come with any baggage or scandal.

“He or she should not be tainted by any political agenda and he should possess the true spirit of Malaysia Baru,” Khoo said.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said the by-election will be a major “credibility” test for the Pakatan coalition.

He said every party in the coalition needs to work together to defend the seat.

Speaking in Seremban during the party’s annual convention yesterday, Loke said it is important that the Pakatan election machinery is mobilised as quickly as possible to ensure the ruling coalition retains the seat.

Universiti Malaya’s Assoc Prof Awang Azman Awang Pawi said it is too early to predict the outcome of the by-election.

He said: “This is because there are a lot of issues that have yet to be resolved by the ruling government.”

He said the political climate is not the same as it was before the 14th General Election when Pakatan rode on anti-Barisan Nasional feelings.

“Now, BN is working together with PAS, which makes it a tricky test for Pakatan,” he said.

A Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia insider said Pakatan will face an uphill task to retain the parliamentary seat.

He said the party won the seat by a whisker of 542 votes and PAS was a spoiler at the last general election.

He pointed out that now that Umno and PAS are working together, Bersatu must be ready for their expected onslaught.

The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant after the death of Datuk Md Farid Md Farik, 42, on Sunday from a heart attack.

He died early on Sunday just hours after meeting party leaders at his constituency.

He was a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“In the Cameron Highlands by-election, MIC had given up its seat for a Barisan Nasional candidate, which helped the opposition win the by-election.

“We don’t know what MCA will do because its candidate Wee Jeck Seng lost the seat by only 542 votes,” he said.

The Bersatu insider said the party will not be rushed into naming a candidate.

He said: “We will pick a person who gives us the best chance of winning.”

He said the outcome of the Umno-PAS cooperation could be seen in the outcome of the by-elections in Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau.

The Tanjung Piai constituency voter base consists of 57% Malay voters, 42% Chinese and 1% Indians.