Intense showdown ahead


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Apr 2018

SELANGOR is set to be a war zone during the election with Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan colliding head on to win the state.

All weapons from both sides will be fully drawn in a battle to defeat each other.

For Selangor Barisan, it is a do or die situation as their top national leaders have clearly indicated there is no other objective besides retaking the state after a 10-year hiatus.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said at events in Sabak Bernam and Sungai Panjang recently that Pakatan was enjoying the benefits of hard work put in by Selangor’s previous Barisan leaders.

He has likened the situation to Pakatan harvesting crops that were planted by Barisan.

“We ploughed the soil, sowed the seeds and fertilised it. But others are harvesting and taking credit for it,” he said.

The pressure is on Selangor Barisan and Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar, his deputy Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan and state Umno secretary Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz to win back Selangor.

Noh is aware that even if he retains his Tanjong Karang parliamentary seat, he will drift into political oblivion if Pakatan manages to keep Selangor.

Knowing that Barisan is all out to get them, Pakatan partner parties are also not taking their victory in 2008 and 2013 for granted and have laid out plans to shield themselves from Umno’s attacks.

In 2008, Pakatan won a total of 36 seats as opposed to Barisan’s 20 seats and in 2013, Pakatan had 44 seats as opposed to Barisan’s 12.

Not wanting to have lasted for just two terms, PKR, DAP, Pribumi and Parti Amanah Negara are ready to launch their collective shields to prevent Barisan from regaining Selangor.

Given the new electoral boundaries after the recent re-delineation exercise, insiders say Pakatan may end up losing some seats but would still be able to keep Selangor.

Selangor PKR information chief Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei says his party has conducted in-depth and comprehensive research on the matter.

He says the analysis was carried out by Merdeka Centre, Institut Darul Ehsan and an independent research organisation by taking into account the results of the last few general elections, as well as the impact of the re-delineation.

“We will still be able to retain Selangor,” he reckons.

But Mat Shuhaimi acknowledges that PKR is concerned about several seats which have now become difficult.

Noh: He is aware that, even if he retains his Tanjong Karang parliamentary seat, he will drift into political oblivion if Pakatan manages to keep Selangor. — Bernama
Noh: He is aware that, even if he retains his Tanjong Karang parliamentary seat, he will drift into political oblivion if Pakatan manages to keep Selangor. — Bernama

“There are about four seats which we think we could lose or manage to win with a very thin majority due to the change in voter demographics.”

Among the PKR state seats “in danger” are Kota Anggerik, Port Klang, Sementa and a few others, says Mat Shuhaimi.

“We have laid out our strategy to counter all these issues as well as perform well in the 33 state seats which have now become Malay majority seats after re-delineation,” he adds.

A source who declined to be named says it was initially doom and gloom in Pakatan regarding the 33 seats with a Malay majority electorate.

“But we are quite optimistic now after our research indicated that 17 out of the 33 seats have voters who are die-hard supporters of Pakatan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,” she adds.

Because of this factor, Pribumi is expected to do well and win most of the seats it will be contesting for.

DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago says all will be well if there is indeed a Malay tsunami waiting to happen.

The possibility of this happening, however, has been dismissed by many political analysts and observers.

“Whatever glitches Pakatan may seem to have now can be overcome if the number of Malays voting for Pakatan increases,” he adds.

Azmin: His Gombak parliamentary seat may also be shaky as it is located on PAS’ turf.
Azmin: His Gombak parliamentary seat may also be shaky as it is located on PAS’ turf.

Santiago says this is possible, as the Malay community is the biggest beneficiary of the Selangor state government’s social policies such as the Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (Kiss) and Peduli Sihat prog­rammes.

As for DAP, only three out of its 15 state seats, which received the lowest majorities in the last polls, are in imminent danger.

Sg Pelek, Kuala Kubu Baru and Sekinchan were won by Lai Nyuk Lan, Lee Kee Hiong and Ng Suee Lim with a majority of 1,972, 1,702 and 2,239 respectively.

According to a DAP insider, the Kuala Kubu Baru seat was won with help from PAS.

Kuala Kubu Baru comes under the Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency which also consists of the Hulu Bernam and Batang Kali state seats. Only Kuala Kubu Baru is held by Pakatan, while the other three are all Barisan seats.

According to the source, it is going to be an uphill task for the DAP to retain Kuala Kubu Baru without PAS’ help, more so as their candidate will have to fight Hulu Selangor MCA division chief Datuk Wong Koon Mun for it.

PAS’ absence in Pakatan is expected to create a big impact as the Islamist party’s very efficient and well-oiled grassroots machinery played a pivotal role in garnering rural and suburban Malay votes in the 2008 and 2013 elections.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s Gombak parliamentary seat may also be shaky as it is located on PAS’ turf.

A Pakatan source says Azmin is being very wise and practical in trying to salvage the relationship with PAS after it was booted out of the then Pakatan Rakyat.

“It could also be what PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants,” she adds.

Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences says that Azmin, being a smart politician, understands the need to maintain a cordial relationship with PAS.

“Azmin has been trying to keep peace with PAS because if a hung state assembly situation arises, the Islamist party will be the king maker,’’ said Prof Sivamurugan.

However, DAP is adamant in completely severing ties with PAS after the latter was banished from Pakatan Rakyat over its Private Member’s Bill (RUU355) and its stand on hudud.

There were also some unwarranted attacks and ridicule by certain DAP members of the three PAS Selangor executive councillors who remained in the state government after their party was thrown out.

DAP’s stance may have become an act of “cutting off one’s nose to spite the face”.

Although some say PAS will work with Barisan post-election, many Selangor PAS members have apparently indicated their reluctance to do so.

Sources say that about five PAS elected representatives are negotiating to move to PKR either after nomination or after the polls.

Meanwhile, Kapar Umno division chief Datuk Faizal Abdullah, who is also Noh’s political secretary, says Selangor Barisan has been working extremely hard among the grassroots.

“We are going all out to woo the grassroots and unlike Pakatan, which builds its campaigns around advocacy; ours will revolve around service to the masses.

“This will ensure our win.”

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