GEORGE TOWN: Penang Pakatan Harapan has identified 11 state seats where it will face tough fights with Perikatan Nasional.
They are Teluk Ayer Tawar, Permatang Berangan, Sungai Dua, Bertam, Penaga, Pinang Tunggal, Sungai Acheh and Sungai Bakap – all of which are Malay-populated constituencies.
Three other state seats under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency – Penanti, Seberang Jaya and Permatang Pasir – are also considered tough seats for Pakatan to win.
Once a fortress since 1982, Permatang Pauh saw PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar losing her father’s home seat when she was upset by PAS Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan in GE15 last November.
A Pakatan source said the DAP-led state government was aware of the “green tsunami” threat but remained confident it could muster enough seats to form the state government.
“This was the common feeling among those who attended a briefing on Sunday.
“We feel we may lose up to 11 seats to Perikatan, especially in the Malay-dominated constituencies.
“All Pakatan party representatives attended the meeting at Komtar,” he said.
The party insider said the briefing did not touch on Pakatan and Barisan Nasional seat allocations.
“The briefing allows us to evaluate our chances in each constituency and how we think we will fare in the elections,” said the party insider.
While most of the Pakatan-held seats in Chinese-populated areas on the island are not threatened, the same cannot be said of the three Malay majority areas in Teluk Bahang, Pulau Betong and Bayan Lepas.
“The coalition will have to work harder to win these seats. We’re quietly confident we can retain at least two of them, but it will be a close fight.
“We will know more after our talk with Barisan to form the unity government,” the party insider said.
Pakatan was supposed to discuss seat negotiations with Barisan, but it was postponed, and a briefing by Pakatan leaders was held instead.
Among those present during the briefing were state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow, state PKR deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abd Rahman, state DAP deputy chairman P. Ramasamy, state DAP secretary Lim Hui Ying, state DAP vice chairman Zairil Khir Johari, state Amanah chairman Dr Roslan Ahmad and Penang PKR leadership council committee member Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.In the last general election, Pakatan won 37 out of 40 state seats, with the remaining three seats won by Umno (2) and PAS (1).
DAP captured the most seats with 19, followed by PKR (14) and two each for Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
A total of 40 seats will be up for grabs in the coming state elections, likely to be held in July.
Penang is among six states that will need to hold state elections this year. The others are Kedah, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu.