PETALING JAYA: Fence-sitters in Kedah could favour the Barisan Nasional if state Umno deputy chief Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is unveiled as the “Mentri Besar-in-waiting”.
UKM political scientist Samsu Adabi Mamat revealed that this was the findings of a survey conducted by the university in Kedah between January and March.
According to the survey as reported by a news portal, naming Mukhriz as Barisan's choice to be mentri besar should it wrest the state from Pakatan Rakyat could prove decisive as far as fence-sitters were concerned.
He said PAS seemed to lack candidates to fill the post, made worse by caretaker mentri besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak's advanced age.
“The general sentiment in Kedah is that fence-sitters value Mukhriz's leadership qualities,” Samsu Adabi was quoted as saying in the report.
Mukhriz won the Jerlun parliamentary seat in the last general election and was appointed Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister.
Officials do not discount him contesting a state seat this time to spearhead the challenge against Pakatan's dominance in Kedah.
Samsu Adabi said fence-sitters comprised between 25% and 30% of the electorate in Kedah, adding that naming Mukhriz early on would be advantageous to the Barisan.
Other results from the survey, participated by about 3,000 respondents in Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan and Penang, will be unveiled later this month.
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