Should Amirudin focus more on Malays in Selangor throughout the next 5 years?
SHAH ALAM - Although Perikatan Nasional wasn't able to wrest Selangor from Pakatan Harapan, its solid win of 22 state assembly seats out of 56 seats contested poses a great challenge to newly-appointed two-term Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.
On top of the responsibilities of governing the state, Amirudin now has to work harder to convince the people, especially the Malays, that Pakatan Harapan (PH) walks the talk, experts say.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) associate professor of political Science Dr Syaza Shukri said that she generally feels PN is making strides in Selangor.
However, she does not believe that support for the alliance of PH-BN is diminishing.
The turnout of voters was rather low on Aug 12, but yes it is impossible to deny that PN's support is growing in Selangor.
“In my opinion, the recently reappointed Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, should focus on equitable aid programmes in this golden state of Malaysia.
“The state already has fantastic initiatives, but the people are unaware of them. More work needs to be done to ensure that these initiatives reach every Selangor resident,” she added.
She also went on to say that she does not believe the PH-BN alliance, or anyone else, should prioritise one ethnic community over another in order to obtain support and votes.
“Amirudin, working alongside with PH and BN, should work on garnering the support of all Malaysians in Selangor, regardless of ethnicity or background,” Syaza said.
Echoing Syaza’s statement, Pacific Research Centre of Malaysia principal adviser Dr Oh Ei Sun also shared similar views.
“With PN having made strong election advances into Selangor, garnering up to 40 per cent of the state assembly seats, expect very lively and intense debates in the state assembly seatings.
“For example, if the PN side proposed a very conservative legislative agenda and the state government side denied it, they may play on the matter by calling the state government as ‘anti this’ or ‘anti that’ and so on.
“Hence, the next few years in the state of Selangor will be really intriguing,” he said.
Oh went on to say that Anwar and Amiruddin have been focusing on social and economic issues in Selangor in the hope that their policies will divert attention away from the more spiritual agenda of religious groups with nationalistic and racialist leanings, as proposed by PN.
“However, as we saw in the last state elections, this did not help them obtain a large number of votes, primarily from the majority of Malay voters. So, they might be tempted to win back those votes back from PN.
“But, if PH joins in such rivalry, it risks losing its founding base, particularly non-Malays, who are naturally hostile to such a tendency,” he added.
Oh explained that Selangor is a highly multicultural state, with non-Malays such as Chinese, Indians, and others constituting about half of the population.
“If PH or the Unity Government embrace policies that please PN supporters, whom the PN is currently winning over, they will almost definitely alienate their non-Malay voters.
“PH is torn between maintaining their own base and competing with PN to win over the bulk of Malays, it is in a pretty difficult situation,” Oh stated.
Earlier today, Amirudin was sworn in as the 17th Selangor Menteri Besar in front of Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, at the Alam Shah Palace in Klang.
This is Amirudin's second term as Selangor Menteri Besar.