Melaka voters' support for Ab Rauf uncertain despite popular figure in Umno - analysts

31 Mar 2023 07:25pm
Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.
Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.

SHAH ALAM: The newly sworn-in Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh may be influential in Umno but his popularity among voters is uncertain, say analysts.

Political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis said Ab Rauf is a popular and influential figure in Umno as he is a veteran leader in the party and holds the post of Umno Melaka chairman.

However, it is still uncertain how he would perform as a chief minister, he added.

"But if he is supported by a good team, I believe he will pull through.

"So much work to do for a small yet full potential state. He would know better and we wish him good luck," he said.

Echoing a similar opinion, political expert Dr Oh Ei Sun described Ab Rauf as 'quite powerful' in Melaka Umno but his popularity among voters is not certain.

"He appears to be quite powerful within Melaka Umno but I am not sure if he is particularly popular with the Melaka voters. Let’s wait and see," he told Sinar Daily.

Dr Oh said Ab Rauf could improve the state and promote the Unity Government brand by making sure that there were no internal arguments in Umno.

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"By ensuring that Umno Melaka no longer fight among themselves, he would make a significant contribution to promoting the Unity Government," he said.

The Tanjung Bidara assemblyman was sworn in as Melaka’s 13th Chief Minister today.

He took his oath of office in front of Melaka Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Ali Rustam at Seri Negeri here at 3.33pm in a private ceremony, with his predecessor, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, state assemblymen, MPs and heads of department present.

Sulaiman, who remains the Lendu assemblyman, resigned yesterday, midway through his second term as chief minister, having first been appointed on March 9, 2020 and then again on Nov 21, 2021.

Sulaiman was sworn in as Melaka chief minister at 1am on Nov 21, 2021.

It is understood that the decision to rush through the swearing-in was made after an unexpected attempt by Ab Rauf to claim the chief minister post.

Ab Rauf won the Tanjung Bidara seat in a tight three-corner contest, obtaining 3,599 votes against Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, (3,195 votes) and Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Zainal Hassan (489 votes) in the last state election.

He was then appointed as state Investment, Industry, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman in Sulaiman’s second administration.

During Sulaiman's first administration, he also served as Speaker of the Melaka State Assembly.

Ab Rauf is the Speaker of the Melaka State Assembly, replacing Datuk Wira Omar Jaafar after Barisan Nasional (BN) succeeded in taking over the administration of the Melaka State Government from Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by Adly Zahari as Melaka Chief Minister.

Ab Rauf, who has been Melaka Umno liaison committee chief since 2018, was reelected as an Umno Supreme Council member during the party’s election this year and retained his Masjid Tanah division chief post unopposed.

Ab Rauf holds the position of Umno Supreme Council Member and also serves as Umno Melaka chairman.