'Tough battle for BN in winning back Bersatu seats' - Analyst

BN's prospects challenging amid strong Malay voter sentiment for Bersatu

Aisyah Basaruddin
Aisyah Basaruddin
05 Mar 2024 10:12am
Image for illustrative purposes only - BERNAMA
Image for illustrative purposes only - BERNAMA
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SHAH ALAM - Barisan Nasional (BN) faces an uphill battle to win back the six seats currently held by Bersatu MPs, a challenge exacerbated by the rejection of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as BN Chairman and the prevailing high cost of living.

Universiti Malaya Political Science Senior Lecturer Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub stressed the difficulty of BN's prospects, noting that the Malay voter sentiment continues to strongly favour Bersatu.

"Claiming that BN could win is quite challenging given the prevailing Malay wave at the grassroots level.

"To suggest otherwise would be to ignore the political realities on the ground.

"The potential outcome between Bersatu and BN stands at '6-0'.

"So, winning the six contested seats poses no significant challenge for Bersatu, despite potential sentiments and propaganda surrounding issues such as party loyalty or Bersatu's ability to safeguard its MPs.

"However, the undeniable Malay sentiment is now awaiting by-elections to translate into voting behaviour," he told Sinar yesterday.

Tawfik's remarks come in response to Zahid's assertion of readiness to nominate candidates to reclaim the seats held by Bersatu MPs should these seats become vacant.

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He also cautioned against excessive partisanship or the exploitation of sensitive issues such as race, religion, and royalty (3Rs) among voters.

"Raising sentiments related to the 3Rs, particularly in Malay-majority areas, risks exacerbating divisions within the Malay community at the grassroots level," he added.