PN comeback not out of the picture, say analysts

They say that taking over the government is contingent on the level of support received in the Dewan Rakyat, and look ahead to the six state elections expected next year.

(Malaysia Now) – Analysts say that Perikatan Nasional (PN) stands a fair chance of returning to federal power, even as the coalition that won the second highest number of seats at the recent general election buckles in for a stint on the opposition bench.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, they cited the Nov 19 polls which ended in uncertainty, with no single party or coalition winning enough support to form the government on its own.

The stalemate broke only days later, when Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim managed to obtain the support of MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Warisan.

At the recent Dewan Rakyat sitting, PN’s Hamzah Zainudin, speaking as opposition chief, said the coalition was ready to play the role of an effective opposition, adding however that it was prepared to take control of the government when the time came.

James Chin of Australia’s University of Tasmania said the same could apply to any political party, as all that is needed to take over the government is the support of 112 MPs.

“PN or anybody can take over the government,” he said.

“The problem is getting enough seats or getting elected, not so much about their ability. If you look at some of the past ministers, they were actually not fit to be ministers in the first place.”

Meanwhile, Jeniri Amir, a senior fellow at the National Professors Council, said the trend of coalition governments might continue for the foreseeable future due to changes in the country’s political landscape.

He said it would be difficult for any coalition, including PN, to form the government on its own, adding that it would need the support of at least the political blocs in Sabah and Sarawak.

“For now, it’s not a given that parties that win big can form the government,” he said.

“In other words, we need to take into consideration the political situation as a whole, including the support of smaller parties that succeed in winning a place in Parliament.”