PH likely to retain Selangor but Islamic revivalism setting in, say analysts

02 Aug 2023 08:01pm
Dr Oh (left) and Dr Syaza
Dr Oh (left) and Dr Syaza

SHAH ALAM - Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) are head on with different ideologies and approaches to woo voters in the upcoming Aug 12 state elections.

Pacific Research Centre of Malaysia principal adviser Dr Oh Ei Sun said Pas has the highest level of confidence among competing parties in Selangor.

He said the resurgence of Islamic revivalism as seen in several Muslim-majority nations, including Turkey and Indonesia and believes this revivalism is influencing Malaysia.

Oh said the Islamic party Pas has the advantage to appeal to many Malay voters seeking a religiously-oriented society.

However, PH lacks religious credentials and its socioeconomic appeals are increasingly taken for granted, diminishing their electoral attraction among the majority of Malay voters.

On the other hand, PN faces a challenge to strike a balance between attracting the Chinese and Indian voters while retaining their Malay support.

Oh said PN needs to focus on socioeconomic issues to widen their appeal.

Echoing with Oh’s statement, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) associate professor of political Science Dr Syaza Shukri said PN has a chance in Selangor because of the state being mixed with more than 60 per cent of Malays who might swing to PN.

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She said voters are more likely to vote for a party they believe have a chance to win and PN appears to be confident in winning Selangor.

"The main advantage is that PN continues to use race and religious sentiment and that is attractive to some Malay voters whereas PH as the incumbent in Selangor have appeared a bit out of touch with the people.

She also said that PN should focus on economic issues in their manifesto as that is the main concern of voters today.

However, she feels PH will win Selangor’s state election this Aug 12.