In Selangor, could protest votes menace Pakatan’s hold on state?
Pakatan Harapan (PH) must brace for protest votes against it in the Selangor state election from supporters still unsettled by its alliance with former rival Barisan Nasional (BN), according to political analysts polled by Malay Mail.
(MMO) – However, they said this would not be enough to put the coalition at risk of losing its hold on the country’s richest and most industrialised state, predicting that the phenomenon would be limited to fringes of the coalition’s support.
Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) senior fellow Azmi Hassan told Malay Mail PH would also not suffer badly if Umno supporters abstained from supporting the coalition’s candidates, as it was not dependent on the Malay vote in Selangor.
“I think PH supporters are pragmatic. Because if they protest by not voting Umno in the upcoming state election, they are basically supporting the other side, that is PAS.
“Between Umno and PAS, Umno is preferable [for PH supporters],” he said.
Political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis said Umno grassroots remained reluctant to support PH because of DAP, meaning the coalition could not count on the Malay nationalist party’s supporters for the August 12 state election.
“However, in the case of Selangor, it is not a big issue for PH as Umno is not as dominant as it used to be, due to the fact that it only won four seats there in the 14th general election compared to PH’s 51 seats,” he said.
While PH would be relatively safe against the so-called “green wave” — the term given to the groundswell of support for PN’s religious conservatism from the 15th general election — Mujibu said seats given to Umno to contest in Selangor could be at risk.
He said the Malay nationalist party could struggle to fend off Islamist party PAS in the Malay majority seats, particularly in the northern edge of the state.
However, he said Umno also could get an advantage in seats with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia incumbents, citing the backlash against the latter in GE15 that cost senior leaders such as Datuk Seri Azmin Ali his Gombak federal seat.
“But for PN to wrestle Selangor for PH is still mission impossible,” Mujibu concluded.