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STATE POLLS: PH, BN COLLABORATION HAS THE ADVANTAGE TO DEFEND NEGERI SEMBILAN – ANALYSTS

The political agreement between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) will give the coalition an advantage to defend Negeri Sembilan in the upcoming state polls, according to analysts.The parties’ performance in the 15th General Election (GE1…

The political agreement between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) will give the coalition an advantage to defend Negeri Sembilan in the upcoming state polls, according to analysts.

The parties’ performance in the 15th General Election (GE15) where they won all eight parliamentary seats with BN controlling five and PH three, augurs well for the coalition to continue being a state without the opposition bloc.

In the GE14, out of 36 state seats, PH won 20 seats (DAP-11, PKR-6, Amanah-3) while BN secured 16 seats (UMNO-15 and MIC-1).

Some analysts think that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is facing a formidable task in their effort to dominate Negeri Sembilan although leaders of the parties under the coalition namely Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan have expressed confidence that they will be victorious in the state polls.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Institution of Malay Rulers Chair Fellow Mujibu Abd Muis, said on paper, PH and BN have the advantage to continue their domination in Negeri Sembilan, adding it is the only state that PN failed to win any parliamentary seats.

"This PH and BN cooperation shows a more consolidated front based on several factors, including BN's performance in GE15 where it managed to recapture the Tampin and Kuala Pilah parliamentary seats and PH’s victory, especially in urban areas," he told Bernama.

Besides that, the leadership of Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun and his predecessor Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan is also vital for the coalition in ensuring victory in the state election, he said.

"Tok Mat (Mohamad Hasan) and Datuk Aminuddin are two strong figures. If the cooperation can be translated well towards efforts to maintain the existing votes, then there is no problem for the coalition (PH-BN) to defend this state," he said, adding both parties must intensify efforts in maintaining voter support to avoid protest votes.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political analyst, Associate Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the distribution of seats between PH and BN should be done in the best way possible for the coalition to win the state polls.

"Politics in Negeri Sembilan is quite different because there is no opposition compared to Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. In addition, the potential candidates will not only represent their respective parties but will move as a coalition to convince voters.

"PH and BN must also ensure that the issues they are championing are in line with the manifesto that reflects their unity, as the coalition was formed by the Unity Government," he said.

He said PH and BN must also intensify their ‘political marketing’ efforts on social media that allow for real-time, quick and easy reach to woo voters, especially the younger people without abandoning conventional methods.

Meanwhile, a political analyst at Nusantara Academy of Strategic Research (NASR) Dr Azmi Hassan said although the odds are in favour of PH-BN, the two parties cannot take lightly the challenge posed by their opponents.

"Based on the results of the GE15, it is true that the opposition did not win seats here (Negeri Sembilan), but the political scenario has slightly changed due to several issues played up by the opponents. So, it should be taken into consideration by PH and BN if they want to win in the upcoming state polls," he said.

The Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly officially dissolved today.

Kelantan was the first state to dissolve its State Legislative Assembly on June 22, followed by Selangor (June 23), Penang, Kedah and Terengganu (June 28).

Source: BERNAMA News Agency