PETALING JAYA, Nov 17 (Sin Chew Daily) – Political analysts are of the opinion that Barisan Nasional has the upper hand in the upcoming Melaka state election, as Umno continues to enjoy overwhelming support in Malay-majority constituencies.
However, they feel that there is still possibility of a hung assembly.
Umno reigns in Malay seats, DAP in Chinese
Political commentator cum International Islamic University law professor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod said he believed BN still has the upper hand based on the results of the last general election, as Umno still enjoys tremendous support in Malay-majority seats.
He said during a telephone interview with Sin Chew Daily that there is still possibility of a hung assembly if Umno wins the largest number of seats but not enough to form a government. Another situation is when BN and PH both win the same number of seats.
As for Perikatan Nasional, chances of winning majority of seats is slim.
Nik Ahmad doesn’t expect Bersatu or PAS to deliver any surprise in the election outcome due to strong grassroots support for Umno.
“If Bersatu manages to get more than two seats, that should be a pleasant surprise for the party!”
As for the effects of Kedah’s gambling and liquor sale ban as well as the Timah incident on the winning chances of PAS’ candidates in Melaka, Nik Ahmad said this might have some impact on non-Muslim votes, although all the party’s eight candidates contest in predominantly Malay constituencies which are traditionally Umno strongholds.
“As for non-Muslism, they never voted for PAS in the last election.”
He believed Chinese voters would still go for DAP, and it would be very difficult for MCA and Gerakan candidates to make a dent in Chinese constituencies.
Low Chinese voter turnout expected
Local political analyst Liew Wui Chern said the three factors that might affect the outcome of this weekend’s Melaka election are:
1. Many new faces this time;
2. Campaigning only allowed online and the effects are still unclear now;
3. Low turnout expected on polling day.
Liew, who is also UTAR journalism and politics lecturer, told Sin Chew Daily that voters appear to be less willing to vote this time due to the pandemic and the absence of physical campaign events to jazz up the mood.
“Currently BN has a 6:4 advantage but due to the above factors, the final outcome is hard to predict.”
He said Umno still enjoys strong grassroots support in Malay seats at this moment, but for Chinese constituencies, the direction is still not so clear.
“Many Chinese voters have grown indifferent to politics.
“I think they may not come out to vote, and the low voter turnout could make things very unpredictable.
“On the contrary, voter turnout may not be much lower in Malay constituencies compared to the last election.”
Liew believes there is still possibility for a hung assembly, especially if the number of seats won by each party remains much the same as in the previous election.