DAP and PH facing tougher times in Penang, says analyst

The ruling DAP and Pakatan Harapan are expected to face difficulties in Penang at the next general election – but not from Sabah-based Warisan, which says it will contest all the seats in the state.

(FMT) – Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said DAP and PH would not have it easy trying to earn their fourth term in office in the state, given the change in the make-up of voters and the country’s politics.

He said Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional may win a “few seats” if several factors emerge, the first being a low turnout among traditional supporters of DAP and PH.

The other factors were a change in the racial makeup of voters because of automatic voter registration, and the leaning of young Malay voters towards Umno and PAS at election time.

Wong Chin Huat.

“The other factor is the multi-cornered fights where Warisan can play a role, causing DAP and PH’s votes to be split for BN or PN to win with a narrow margin. This is what happened to DAP in Bemban, Melaka, and five state seats in Sarawak,” he told FMT.

He said Warisan will have a slim chance of winning seats in Penang. Any discontent with DAP and PH is unlikely to result in dissatisfied voters turning to a new party like Warisan, allowing it to win seats, he said.

Wong also gave newcomer Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) a “zero chance” of winning any seats in Penang, saying the only votes they would get were from party members and those aligned to known political personalities within the fold.

PBM had recently claimed that they had amassed 8,000 new members in Penang.

He compared Warisan and PBM’s attempts to the overtures of Parti Bersatu Sabah in the 1995 general election, in which the Sabah party lost in all the three Penang parliamentary seats and seven state seats they contested.

“All the 10 candidates won less than 1,000 votes and lost their deposits. One of them was Khor Gark Kim, once a key leader of Gerakan Penang. Warisan’s Jeff Ooi may be able to do better than Khor to keep his deposit but it would take a miracle for him to win,” he said.