In Penang, Pakatan’s decision to snub GE15 comes home to roost

“Reduced voter turnout might significantly affect the performance of DAP”

(MMO) – Penang DAP’s failed bid to hold the state’s elections together with the 15th general election (GE15) could leave the party vulnerable when the poll is held later this year, Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders have conceded.

After the coalition vowed not to hold elections in states under its control during GE15 to protest Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s decision to call for polls during the annual flood season, DAP tried unsuccessfully to convince PH to change its mind.

Now, DAP leaders believe the consequences were about to be seen in turnouts that are set to be low since GE15 was held just months ago, to the detriment of the party’s chances in some seats.

Penang DAP vice chairman Zairil Khir Johari said this was among risks considered when the coalition chose to hold the state elections separately from GE15, citing the Johor and Melaka polls in which Barisan Nasional took seats from PH, before the two joined in the national unity government.

“When the state election is held separately, there is less excitement among voters to come back so this might work against us,” he said.

He said this is because there were many PH voters in the state who were based outside of Penang, typically working in the Klang Valley or Singapore.

The Penang election would require these out-of-state voters to travel home just to choose their assemblyman, as they have already elected their federal lawmaker last November.

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