State polls outcome shows UMNO supporters still uneasy of DAP, says analyst

STATISTICS of last Saturday’s six state polls have revealed that Malay voters, especially in Selangor, have indicated that there is uneasiness on part of UMNO supporters towards DAP, considering the fact that the 22 seats won by Perikatan Nasional in the state are at Malay-majority areas.

In an opinion piece published in Berita Harian, Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Dr Azmi Hassan said Malay voters have been uneasy of the UMNO-DAP collaboration ever since Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) had decided to cooperate to form the federal government post-15th general election (GE15).

“Despite the UMNO leadership’s efforts at various strategies especially during the recent UMNO General Assembly (to convince its members that) its cooperation with DAP is for the sake of all, it is clear that the efforts are not effective as DAP in the unity government is too dominant,” Azmi wrote.

In terms of the Selangor state polls, he said DAP candidates on average won Kinrara, Subang Jaya and Bandar Baru Klang by a comfortable margin and the pattern indicates that if the candidate is from PH and specifically from DAP, DAP supporters will come out in droves to vote in support of the candidate in question.

However, the UMNO’s Gombak Setia candidate Megat Zulkarnain Omardin lost to Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Muhammad Hilman Idham by a mere 58 votes while in Bukit Antarabangsa, PH’s Mohd Kamri Kamaruddin registered a victory with a majority of more than 16,000 votes despite both state seats being within the PH stronghold.

“This raises doubts about PH supporters’ support for the UMNO candidate in Gombak Setia,” Azmi further noted.

“During GE15, for the Gombak and Ampang parliamentary seats, PH voters in Gombak Setia and Bukit Antarabangsa were responsible for ensuring the victory of both candidates with a handsome majority of more than 13,000 and 29,000 votes respectively.

“Strangely, during the state polls, the same thing happened in Bukit Antarabangsa but not in Gombak Setia. This is why there is a possibility that PH supporters did not cast their votes for the UMNO candidate.”

Azmi went on to point out that Malay voters did not see a problem with Gerakan’s presence in PN because Bersatu and PAS are the heavyweights in the coalition, just like how MCA-MIC’s presence in the BN coalition was not a matter of contention for Malay voters.

“It can therefore be argued that to win back the support of Malay voters for the PH-BN coalition, the combination of UMNO-Amanah-PKR must be portrayed as the dominant party not just in the federal government but also within state administrations especially in Penang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor,” he opined.

“State governments whether under BN (Johor, Melaka, Pahang and Perak) or PH (Penang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor) both have a role to play to emphasise that the sovereignty of Islam remains protected.

“The most significant pressure is certainly on the three PH states because it is certain that the composition of excos is similar to that on the federal level, and this is why UMNO excos should not be allowed to ‘sink’ into any state policy that will be enacted so that the negative perception of UMNO being weak on federal level does not get repeated on state level.” – Aug 16, 2023


Main pic credit: Harakah Daily

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