Pakatan has strong grip on Selangor but certain victory is still a mystery -- analysts

01 Jun 2023 12:53pm
UiTM political analyst Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam viewed it as hard to predict whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Perikatan Nasional (PN) the rakyat of Selangor would choose. - FILEPIC
UiTM political analyst Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam viewed it as hard to predict whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Perikatan Nasional (PN) the rakyat of Selangor would choose. - FILEPIC

SHAH ALAM - While it had been governing the state for the past 15 years, analysts were still uncertain of Pakatan Harapan (PH) victorious odds in Selangor in the coming state polls.

They believed that the current scenario is too fluid and that the dynamics and perceptions were constantly changing, making it difficult to predict crucial political outcomes such as election results.

Nonetheless, Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam of Universiti Teknologi Mara, was also of the opinion that Selangorians’ voting pattern may be fairly influenced by their confidence towards the performance of the Federal Government.

"When the rakyat have confidence and feel comfortable with the government, they are likely to vote for the ruling party.

“However, if the government fails to provide comfort to the public; they will opt for the alternative,” Aziz reasoned.

Currently, the ruling party, he added, seemed to be facing difficulties in garnering the people’s confidence due to the Federal Government’s inability to solve bread-and-butter issues.

Such issues include, the recent overnight policy rate hike, the increasing cost of living and some religious issues such as the ‘Kalimah Allah’ controversy.

Selangor has 56 state seats in which Pakatan Harapan has the lion’s share of 46 seats, followed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) at seven; Parti Bangsa Malaysia at two and Warisan holding a single seat.

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Pakatan has been ruling Selangor following its maiden electoral victory in the 2008 General Election (GE12) where it contested under the banner of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs Senior Fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun also echoed Aziz’s outlook on PH’s chances in the coming state polls, where the former described it as being a 50-50 battle.

He contended that PH will, expectedly, maintain its dominance in non-Malay constituencies, but the real battle will be in Malay-majority seats in both urban and rural constituencies; in which PN appeared to have the upper-hand, for now.

"With Pas support, Pribumi Bersatu has permeated and nurtured these constituencies over the years, such that the traditional socio economic concerns no longer appear to dominate the electoral discourse.

"Rather, it has become a contest of religiosity, a race to see which side could present a more pious, conservative outlook -- a race in which, Pas undoubtedly has the upper hand," Oh remarked.

However, unlike Aziz and Oh, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri gave a different view.

She argued that PH will retain its rule on Selangor but the coalition may lose some of its incumbent seats in the northern and western part of Selangor.

"I think this is where the battle will be. In fact, PN will continue to portray the PH government as not Islamic or Malay enough whereas PH will center their campaign based on its past achievements,” said Syaza.

Selangor, along with Kedah, Kelantan Terengganu, Penang and Negeri Sembilan are due for an election this year, following their respective Menter Besari’s decision not to dissolve the state assembly and go to the poll in tandem with last year’s 15th General Election.

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