MUAR, May 7 2018 : With two days to go for polling in the 14th general election, analysts are optimistic the Barisan Nasional has a 50-50 chance of capturing Pagoh, last held by Pribumi Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who had retained the parliamentary seat on a BN ticket.
They are of the opinion that Muhyiddin still has some influence among the constituents as he had been their MP for a long time but they said the voters also know that the development in Pagoh was planned and implemented by the BN government.
Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Sualman of UiTM said a survey he had conducted showed that there was potential for the constituency to progress from a black area to a grey one in favour of the BN.
“Initially, the voters were sure about maintaining their support for the incumbent but, after several days of campaigning, they have begun to see the importance of BN having brought development there.”
“The seat will see a stiff contest between BN and Pakatan Harapan,” he said to Bernama when contacted.
Another analyst, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Zainal Kling, chairman of the Socio-Cultural Bureau of the Malay Consultative Council, shared Ismail’s opinion.
He said an intensified BN campaign in the last few days, including bringing top leaders to Pagoh, might help enlighten the voters on the deeds of the BN and Umno and give the coalition a 50-50 chance of victory.
He also said that a three-cornered fight for the seat, with Pas also in the fray, would give the BN candidate, Ismail Mohamed of UMNO, the advantage. Ismail is the acting chief of the Pagoh Umno Division and once had Muhyiddin as his mentor. Pas is represented by Ahmad Nawfal Mahfodz.
Ahmad Nawfal sees all three candidates having an equal chance of being the victor, and said: “We will leave our fate to the voters.”
Ismail expressed confidence, saying that about 26,000 voters had stated their support for the BN. He also said that about 3,000 voters of the constituency who lived elsewhere would back the coalition.
Pagoh has 51,512 registered electors, with 65.96 per cent of them Malays, 29.76 per cent Chinese and 3.72 per cent Indians. – Bernama