PN winning S'gr, Negeri Sembilan is mission impossible, says expert
Perikatan Nasional (PN) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement, which gives the illusion that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)'s leaders will be appointed as Selangor and Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar if the coalition wins in the upcoming state polls, bags 1,001 questions, including the new polemic in the country.
It is deemed difficult on the PN's mission paper to win Selangor and Negeri Sembilan based on the history of losses faced by Bersatu, Pas and Gerakan's coalition during 15th general election (GE15) in the two states.
Based on PN's track record which is not very compelling, the coalition had only won six out of 16 parliament seats in Selangor and zero in Negeri Sembilan in the last general election.
Muhyiddin's statement could also be seen as a political gimmick because Pas leaders have not voiced their opinions on the Bersatu leader's promise to make the party's leaders head the two states.
"If Muhyiddin's statement to win Selangor and Negeri Sembilan was expressed before the announcement of GE15 on March 19, it would have made some kind of sense.
"However, after GE15, it is notable that PN has gained support from greenwave and people from the east coast states like Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, as well as people in Kedah and Perlis.
"But the situation is different in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan where the support for PN is still relatively small. This is despite the fact that several seats in these states were won by Bersatu.
"With Muhyiddin and Bersatu's Information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan's ongoing court case, including several others, it will be an uphill task for PN to wrest these states," said Senior fellow at Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research Political analyst Dr Azmi Hassan to Sinar Premium.
Azmi said Muhyiddin's statement seemed like a nerve war to gain the support of PN members in the two states.
Also naming leaders from Berstu as menteri besar in the two states was a compromise after Pas was given Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah after GE15.
Among the candidates who will be named as menteri besar if PN wins are former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali,Selangor Bersatu chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari and Bersatu vice-president Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.
Meanwhile, Bersatu Kuala Pilah member of parliament Datuk Eddin Syazlee Shith is the only candidate for the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar post.
PH is expected to continue to lead the Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Penang state governments despite being forecast to lose a few seats in the state to PN, he said.
According to sources close to Bersatu, there are better potential candidates to be Selangor menteri besar other than Azmn, Rashid and Radzi.
"Azmin is definitely among the top leaders who will lead the Bersatu election machinery in Selangor but that doesn't necessarily mean he will be the candidate for menteri besar. "Same goes to Eddin. It doesn't necessarily mean that he would be made menteri besar.
"What is certain is that PN will place its best candidate for the post. Not only to topple the PH-BN coalition in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan but also to make sure they will be able to lead the states if they win the state poll," he added.
Explaining further, Azmi said the reason why PN lost in Negeri Sembilan was due to a lack of preparation and campaign strategies by the election machinery.
"If we look at the parliamentary votes, PN had won three state assembly seats and lost with a slim margin of eight seats, despite the lack of preparation.
"Negeri Sembilan has 36 state assembly seats; PN has to win 19 to achieve a simple majority to form a state government.
"Hence, I see 19 as a plausible number for PN. The failure of the state government to address cost of living issues, increases in prices for essential items, and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) issues could deter the support of PH-BN in Selangor in the state polls," he added.
He added that efforts to win in Selangor could be easier for PN leaders as many of them are residents of the state.
"If former Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, Radzi and a few others go down to compete in Selangor, then it would be easier to win Selangor.
He also revealed that some big names from other parties are likely to join Bersatu soon, thus strengthening the PN's position to win Selangor and Negeri Sembilan from the ruling government.