WHILE the unity government has achieved its goal of retaining three state governments, the impact of the green wave has been significant, particularly for PKR and UMNO, said Tun Dr Mahathir Thoughts Institute former director Dr Ahmad Zaharuddin Sani Sabri.He added that while the surface results indicate a “successful retention of three” states for the Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition, UMNO experienced a substantial loss of original supporters, particularly Malay votes while the PKR is bound to face more challenges now. Overall, he does not believe there will be a major shift in coalition partners with rumours persisting that BN might drop PH to join coalition partners. “DAP showcased resilience in the state election and Amanah also performed well, with an exception in Kedah where they faced strong opposition. UMNO experienced a substantial loss of original supporters, particularly Malay voters, who shifted allegiance to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) due to dissatisfaction with UMNO.
“This resulted in only 19 seats out of 127 contested. This situation is better described as “annihilation” rather than a simple defeat,” he added in his analysis of yesterday’s (Aug 12) state polls.This election’s green wave trend was an extension of the national election from the previous year, exacerbated by the global economic slowdown. He pointed out that despite political promises, prices didn’t decrease as anticipated, leading to grievances among certain ethnic groups. Simultaneously, the PN effectively employed manipulation strategies surrounding race and religion, bolstering its momentum. For him, the question arises: Will the central power undergo a significant shift? Although there’s speculation that BN might switch sides, he said the likelihood seems low due to various reasons. “UMNO would become marginalised if it supported the PN, losing its influence to PAS and Bersatu. Its status would further decline. UMNO’s current status within the unity government is favourable. Switching allegiance would jeopardise its benefits and position, necessitating a transformation. “The anti-hopping law requires UMNO MPs to resign and face by-elections if they privately support PN. Winning these by-elections is uncertain, and legal challenges could arise. “East Malaysian parties may resist aligning with PN, making a switch challenging,” he noted. According to him, these factors contribute to a more stable central power. On the challenges that PKR and UMNO will face from now on, he claimed that PN has labelled them with a metaphorical “green hat,” prompting introspection. “UMNO, in particular, must embark on reform or other actions. The fate of UMNO leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position remains uncertain as he faces increasing grassroots pressure. “The unity government’s next four years require focused governance and effective voter outreach to regain lost middle ground rather than appeasing extremist factions.” For him, the apparent departure of Khairy Jamaludin from politics in his show “Keluar Sekejap” hints at a temporary retreat for recovery while he remains attuned to political matters. “He seems poised for a resurgence, particularly if Zahid steps down.” – Aug 13, 2023
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