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Azmin Ali the biggest beneficiary if KKB by-election delivers a cruel blow to PH-BN alliance

Publish date: Sun, 21 Apr 2024, 03:02 PM

BOTH Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) are still debating who will be their candidates in the Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB) by-elections to be held on May 11.

The nomination day is on April 27 but the parties are still struggling to announce who will be their candidates. Gerakan, a component party of the PN, has announced that it will contest the seat and that it will pit it against the DAP, a major component of the PH.

Last year’s state elections in Selangor saw the Perikatan Nasional (PN) seize some important seats in the state but they lost in Kuala Kubu Bharu, where the former candidate won by a majority of more than 4000.

The May by-election is seen as a test for both PH and PN, and if PN were to win, thus delivering a blow to PH, it is the former henchman of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who will be the winner in the process.

For some, the KKB by-election is also a test of the leadership of Selangor state Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Azmin was the Selangor menteri besar, ruling under the banner of the PH until his split with the party of Anwar after the infamous ‘Sheraton Move’ in February 2020.

Nevertheless, a win by Gerakan could restore Azmin’s image in Selangor and weaken the PH.

PN will surely push national issues like the Kampung Baru Cina (UNESCO) proposal and concerns over religion (KK Mart socks issue), race (perception of loss of political power under the Madani government) and so on.

Besides that, PN will also benefit from the outbursts within the UMNO where its Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh is leading a solo campaign against the DAP and Anwar.

In such a high-stakes gambit, PN will aim to leverage Malay sentiments with these, knowing that if it emphasises Malay representation and addresses key concerns for the Muslim community, it can further boost its Malay support.

For PH, it does not seem that the coalition will face many difficulties in gaining the support of Chinese and Indian voters, amounting to 48% of its machinery.

It has to make sure that its machinery is working and that it will be able to get these voters to come out and give them some support.

Moreover, PH does not need to work hard to get the support of more than 50% of the Malay voters, instead, it only needs to channel the workforce by convincing the existing Malay voters.

This is because PH still has strong support from non-Malay voters, which is an advantage for them in KKB.

Despite challenges, PH has the advantage of being the incumbent government in Selangor.

But it is facing a rebellion from its unity government partner, the Barisan Nasional (BN) where both the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) have announced they will not campaign for the DAP in the constituency.

How will this impact their voting percentage? No one knows at this moment. - April 21, 2024

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