KKB by-election: PSM, Muda acknowledge parties' capacities

Their chances of competing with PH and PN's financial resources and campaign machinery are like day and night.

Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
30 Apr 2024 03:36pm

SHAH ALAM - The decision of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) to announce that the coalition parties will not field candidates in the Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly by-election on May 11 is appropriate.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Social Studies lecturer Professor Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said stated that this was because although PSM was joining forces with Muda, their chances of competing with the financial resources and campaign machinery of the country's two main political coalitions, namely the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as well as the Perikatan Nasional (PN), are like night and day.

He said that previously, PSM and Muda had fielded candidates to contest the KKB state assembly seat in the previous state election, but they failed to compete with the strength of the two political coalitions.

Furthermore, Sivamurugan said that Muda and PSM also realised that the by-election not only requires strong party machinery but also strong financial resources, including logistics, campaign materials and speeches, in addition to the opening of media centres.

"Although there are individuals running as independent candidates, in the end, the KKB state assembly seat will either belong to the PH candidate representing the unity government or PN.

"Among the determining factors for which party's candidate will win the by-election depends on voter turnout, protest votes, anger, specific issues and sentiments played throughout the campaign, especially religion, ethnicity, sabotage and dissatisfaction.

"In this situation, every vote becomes crucial, even though many predict that the outcome of the by-election on May 11 will also depend on the Indian vote, representing 18 per cent of the total of over 40,000 registered voters in the KKB state assembly constituency," he told Sinar Premium.

The KKB state assembly by-election sees a four-cornered contest where PH, representing the unity government, fields Pang Sock Tao, while PN is represented by Khairul Azhari Saut, Hafizah Zainuddin (PRM), and independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin.

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Sivamurugan said that all candidates need to consider every vote important, even though the outcome of the KKB state assembly by-election would not change who will hold power in Putrajaya or change the unity government in Selangor.

Sivamurugan also said that the victory of any coalition depends on what happens during the 14-day campaign period for the KKB by-election.

"Although the PH representative, the late Lee Kee Hiong, won the seat with a majority of over 4,000 votes in the previous state election, it does not necessarily mean that the coalition will be easily given victory by PN," he said.