No need for snap polls yet: Analysts

(Sun Daily) – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should avoid calling for a snap election just because Perikatan Nasional (PN) and its allies won in the recent polls in Sabah.

Analysts are of the view that interpreting the win in Sabah as a sign that the way is clear for victory at the national level could be erroneous.

The analysts cited the strained relations between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) as well as the less-than-hoped-for support each PN component party garnered as the reasons Muhyiddin should not yield to the temptation to seek a fresh mandate early.

They stressed that the Sabah election was just a test to determine the level of support for Muhyiddin and the PN government.

Dr Jeniri Amir, a senior fellow at the Malaysian Council of Professors, pointed out that before snap polls can be held, the question of seat allocation will have to be resolved.

“This issue has not been properly addressed yet, so it makes no sense to go to the polls now,” he told theSun yesterday.

He said the best way forward would be for the government to serve out what is left of its current five-year term.

Jeniri said the government will “most likely” survive the full five years because it is in the interest of all partners to ensure that. They will continue to work towards achieving their collective goals, he added.

For the record, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had announced last week that he now has the support of enough MPs to topple Muhyddin as head of government.

On the other hand, Jerniri said, Bersatu would be more at risk of losing in a snap election.

Universiti Teknoloji Malaysia geostrategist Prof Dr Azmi Hassan said that despite the win, the truth is that individual parties in PN did not do as well as hoped for in Sabah.

He pointed out that Bersatu, of which Muhyiddin is president, won only 30% of the seats it contested whereas only 44% of the candidates Umno fielded came home victorious.

“Neither party did very well. It certainly is not in PN’s interest to go and seek a fresh mandate now,” he said.

To top it off, he noted, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier made clear the point that support for PN was not from Umno but rather from its individual MPs.

“Umno can play hardball at the national level after their compromise in Sabah but it is also not in their interest to have a snap election,” he said.

Azmi said Umno does not trust Bersatu because the latter had allegedly fielded independent candidates in constituencies that had been allocated to Umno.

He said Umno feared that the same could happen in national elections.

Academic Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai said PN’s narrow victory in Sabah showed that there was work to be done to win wider support.

“It will be difficult for Muhyiddin to win a clear majority now,” he added.