Difficult choices could make Melaka polls messy for coalitions, say analysts

Asia's Tech News Daily

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Political coalitions in Melaka are facing internal rifts as they go into the state election, which is seen as the testing ground before GE15.

PETALING JAYA: Almost all parties going into the state polls are trapped in internal conflicts and face possible sabotage.

Former academician Azmi Hassan said the coalitions and parties entering the state election would have to take decisions that would affect the results and cooperation between them.

He noted that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had expressed unhappiness over the possibility that one of the four assemblymen who pulled the plug on chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali’s administration, triggering the snap polls, would stand under a Pakatan Harapan ticket.

This is said to have come about after PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim met the four assemblymen.

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Azmi Hassan.

Lim said his party did not want former DAP member Norhizam Hassan Baktee to contest under the PH banner because he was among the assemblymen who had caused the collapse of the PH state government back in 2020.

However, Azmi said: “If PH does not accept Norhizam, it cannot accept the other three as they come in a package.

“If PKR accepts Norhizam, there will be a backlash from the DAP grassroots. If PH does not accept the other three, PKR members will be extremely unhappy.”

Besides Norhizam, the other three are former Umno duo Idris Haron and Nor Azman Hassan and ex-Bersatu man Noor Effandi Ahmad.

Azmi said: “Whatever decision they take, it is likely to turn ugly at the grassroots level.”

As for Umno and PAS, he said it would be difficult for them to work together at state level unless one party swallowed its pride.

He said Umno would likely keep winnable seats and give the scraps to PAS.

“This could trigger a backlash from dissatisfied PAS members. If Umno gives winnable seats to PAS, Umno grassroots will retaliate,” Azmi said.

Seat negotiations between PAS and Umno will be made even more difficult because PAS also wants to work with Bersatu.

Azizuddin Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia said PKR had a chance of winning in mixed seats if PKR and DAP worked together.

“However, party leaders need to please their grassroots by making the right choices,” he told FMT.

As for Umno, he said the party had to beware of internal sabotage from division and branch leaders.

“If Umno works with PAS and gives seats to the Islamist party at the expense of local Umno leaders, the grassroots will retaliate.”

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Azizuddin Sani.

Umno itself, he said, was divided.

“It’s usually Umno’s style to cooperate but this time it is different as local division leaders want to be candidates,” he added.

Both analysts said this was about the worst time for political parties to go into an election as most of them were unprepared.

“It is not going to be easy to resolve their differences as it is not only at the federal level but also at state, division and branch levels,” said Azmi.

“For political parties though, Melaka has become the testing ground for the general election. To survive, the daggers have to come out,” said Azizuddin.

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