BN-PH to snatch 34 Malay majority seats in Selangor

21 Mar 2023 11:23am
Umno/BN should be prepared to compromise with PH in the seat allocation negotiation - FILEPIC
Umno/BN should be prepared to compromise with PH in the seat allocation negotiation - FILEPIC

The political drama in Selangor is entering a new episode after Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, on March 17, announced that five State Legislative Assembly members from Barisan Nasional (BN) who previously led the opposition will work alongside the state government until the end of the term which is in June.

The development was in line with the Umno/BN and Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition of the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and was seen as a positive approach by the two largest political parties in Selangor

However, questions on seat allocations have arisen with the upcoming state election, on whether BN will continue their tradition to contest in the 56 State Legislative Assembly seats or will they be willing to compromise to ensure Selangor does not fall to the their opponents, especially Perikatan Nasional (PN) which had excellent results in the last 15th General Election (GE15).

From what political analysts can see, Umno/BN needs to be open-minded to accept the fact that the party led by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is unlikely to achieve great success considering the party's post-GE15 outing.

Based on the Election Commission's records in GE15, the number of registered voters in Selangor has increased by 52.28 per cent or 1.26 million voters, making the total number of voters currently at 3,677,848.

At least 34 state assembly seats with more than 60 per cent of Malay voters need to be snatched by Umno/Bn and PH through Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis said it is unrealistic for Umno/BN to compete in all 56 seats in this current political climate

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Mujibu Abd Muis - FILEPIC
Mujibu Abd Muis - FILEPIC

He stressed that the 34 seats in Selangor, with more than 60 per cent Malay voters, should be the main focus for Umno/BN instead of competing in all state assemblies.

"Selangor Umno/BN should focus on identifying areas that can be controlled and immediately discuss it with PH to ensure no clash that may benefit other parties like PN who are also eyeing opportunities in Selangor," he told Sinar Premium.

In addition to a concrete agreement with PH to face the state election, Mujibu also believed that Umno/BN in Selangor need to be brave enough to present convincing new faces among Umno leaders.

"Presenting new figures or faces is needed to not only act as the 'poster boy' but to also build voter's confidence in a fresher Umno/BN.

"Even more so when Selangor Umno/BN had failed to win the state since 2008 due to leadership problems and the of lack presentation of brave and capable young personalities," he added.

He said, learning from Umno/BN defeat in Selangor during GE15, the party also need to rise up and write a new narrative that matches the voter's image in the state.

Mujibu stressed that Umno/BN should adopt a moderate approach compared to the old, conservative-nationalists ideology

"The approach is to present ideas and practical alternatives to solve issues and fulfill the people's need as well as the economy instead of playing with outdated issues that do not benefit the people or help the party," said Mujibu.

Umno/BN need to compromise

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Social Sciences Political Sociology lecturer Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said in order to face challenges in the upcoming state election, especially in Selangor, Umno/BN should be prepared to compromise with PH in the seat allocation negotiation.

Sivamurugan said the coalition between Umno/BN and PH will be tested since they can no longer compete in all seats.

Sivamurugan Pandian. - Photo by Sinar Harian/Rafeq Redzuan
Sivamurugan Pandian. - Photo by Sinar Harian/Rafeq Redzuan

"The willingness to compromise and sacrifice in the seat allocation can prove that the coalition is not just nonsense," he said.

He added that the opportunity for Umno/BN to shine again in Selangor politics in the next state election will depend on the amount of PH voters' support for BN candidates in addition to their own ability to maintain support from its members.

"Therefore, the short time they have right now should be used to deliver clear message that the BN candidate is the PH candidate and vice versa.

"The ability to transfer support and votes between the two components can be done through strategic campaigning and the unity of BN and PH party machinery," he said.

Sivamurugan said the candidates selected for the state election must also be a 'winnable' candidates who are compatible with each areas' locality as each areas has its own tendencies as this is a state assembly seat.

"The main formula to attract support is by introducing 'winnable' candidates.

"Moreover, more professionals, women and young candidates need to be featured as candidates.

"They need to be placed in areas where they can win and not just to fulfill the party's election quota," he explained.