PN must focus on administrative issues to win Selangor, says analyst

Awang Azman Awang Pawi says voters in the state are less inclined towards campaigns based on race and religion.

(FMT) – Perikatan Nasional (PN) will need to raise administrative issues over racial rhetoric if it intends to take Selangor in the 16th general election (GE16), a goal recently expressed by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, says a political analyst.

Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said that this would be key for the opposition coalition to win mixed and urban seats, especially in areas where voters are less inclined towards campaigns based on racial and religious issues.

“PN also needs to be accepted by Chinese voters, especially in mixed constituencies,” he told FMT.

“Voters, including the Malays and especially the moderates in urban areas who are able to discern what is really going on politically, will not accept approaches based on race and religion forever.”

Tuan Ibrahim had said on May 26 that the party was aiming to secure Selangor, Perak and Pahang in GE16.

In GE15, PN won six of the 22 parliamentary seats in Selangor: Sabak Bernam, Sungai Besar, Hulu Selangor, Tanjong Karang, Kapar and Kuala Langat.

It also denied the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional coalition a two-thirds majority in the state election last August, recording victory in 22 seats.

However, Tanjong Karang MP Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi later shifted his support towards Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, while Selat Klang assemblyman Abdul Rashid Asari declared his support for menteri besar Amirudin Shari.

Awang Azman said PN might be targeting Selangor as it felt it could take control of other states and, eventually, Putrajaya.

“Taking control of a developed state will make it easier for PN to take control of other governments, as it will have a bigger source of political influence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said PAS knew that Selangor was not as easy to win as Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis, which have many Malay voters.

“Selangor is more balanced, and its Malays have a different mentality from those in the four states PAS currently governs.

“PAS needs non-Malay voter support, and the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election shows that voters’ attitudes towards PAS have not changed much, as the party is seen to be extreme,” he said.