Unlikely for Kedah state elections to happen, according to pundits

04 Feb 2022 06:05am
Highly unlikely for a state election to be held in the northern state Kedah as Perikatan Nasional have a strong grip even without Umno, according to political observers. - 123RF Photo.
Highly unlikely for a state election to be held in the northern state Kedah as Perikatan Nasional have a strong grip even without Umno, according to political observers. - 123RF Photo.

SHAH ALAM - It is highly unlikely for a state election to be triggered in the northern state of Kedah as the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition have a solid hold in the state, according to political observers.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Sun stated that there is no need for a state election to be called in Kedah since PN commands 21 seats out of 36 seats in the state assembly which secured their position at the top of the political pyramid in the northern state.

He said that it is pointless for a state election to be called since PN is likely very confident in sweeping the seats of Umno and Pakatan Harapan (PH) thanks to their stable position in Kedah.

“It appears that PN commands 21 seats in Kedah state assembly, so unless some Pas or Bersatu ADUNs defect, they could maintain a state government by themselves, even with Umno’s two token seats absent,” he told Sinar Daily.

Currently, PAS hold 15 seats, Bersatu (6), Umno (2), while PH held 11 seats with PKR (5), Amanah (4), DAP (2), while another two seats are held by Parti Pejuang Tanah Air.

He pointed out that a resurgent Umno in Melaka and Johor does not necessarily imply a similar winning streak for Umno in Kedah, instead, the party could not even trigger a state election in Kedah if its two assemblymen withdrew support for the state government.

“Not only that, but Pas, which appears to have a firm grasp on the state government, does not require the needless distraction in the form of a state election,” he added.

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Weighing in on the matter is also Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) Senior Fellow Dr Azmi Hassan, who said that the state election in Kedah does not seem to receive a positive response from these political parties and further indicated that a state election is very unlikely.

“More importantly, Pas and Bersatu which have the power to trigger the state election in Kedah, are not keen for a state election.

“Not only Umno in Kedah is not that eager for the state election, but also Umno in Kelantan and Terengganu, where they are not that strong compared to Pas,” he said.

According to Dr Azmi, the direction of Muafakat Nasional will be determined by the willingness of Pas and Umno to share power in states under their governance.

Azmi however said PN is uneager to enter into any elections as they seem less prepared compared to other political coalitions.

“But the question is, Pas and Bersatu are still not ready for election be it state or general and if a general election is triggered I’m not sure whether Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will follow suit.

“Because from what I can see, PN is still not ready for any type of election,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia political science professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said that there is a possibility for a Kedah state election to be triggered as animosity between Umno and Pas increases.

“Chances are higher should Umno emerge as the dominant triumphant party in Johor, obviating the need for it to accommodate Pas and Bersatu in the state government.

“As for the future of Muafakat Nasional, it is likely to be doomed to failure,” he added.

Recently, Umno's Bandar Baharu assemblyman Datuk Norsabrina Mohd Noor has denied allegations that she and another assemblyman from the party will withdraw their support for the Kedah state government.

Similarly, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there isn't any need for an election in Kedah ever unless the state Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhamad Sanusi Md Nor and Pas felt a new mandate is required in the state.

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