KUALA LUMPUR – August 30, 2017: Political analysts are cautioning the Barisan Nasional against complacency, after Pakatan Harapan’s announcement yesterday that it will not work with PAS in the next general election.
One said it is misplaced thinking to assume that this decision will bring about an electoral scenario favourable to BN.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia associate professor Samsul Adabi Mamat pointed out that BN’s victories in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections last year were not a correct indicator of how things will turn out in three cornered fights in a general election.
“At that time (of the by-elections), Pribumi Bersatu had yet to be formed. So the only split voting that occurred was that of the opposition, specifically between PAS and its splinter party, Amanah.
“Now with a new party in the equation, BN, especially Umno, will experience the same split that PAS suffered in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar,” said Samsul.
Samsul also said that the voting split between Umno members could be even worse than that experienced by PAS due to the influence of Pribumi Bersatu chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad with the Malays.
Geostrategist Dr. Azmi Hassan from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia echoed a similar warning but unlike Samsul, he thinks that the split for BN will not be worse than that for the opposition.
He said it is also unlikely that a voters’ tsunami will occur against either side, unlike what happened in the last two general elections.
“As it is, BN still has the advantage but that does not mean the coalition will have an easy victory. There are still no concrete signs indicating that BN will bag a two-third majority.”