Praba Ganesan: Grading the upcoming state elections – Anwar’s passing marks (Malay Mail)


Excerpts from:

Grading the upcoming state elections: Anwar’s passing marks

Thursday, 27 Apr 2023 7:07 AM MYTBy Praba Ganesan

APRIL 27 — What is success for Anwar Ibrahim when Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan hold elections in less than three months?

In politics, perception tops actual results.

This is why the outcomes have to be weighted to what constitutes success for Pakatan-BN in their first large effort to campaign together.

Kelantan: Koce Kelate folks travel well

2018 score: Total 45 seats. PAS-PN 37, BN 8

If Pakatan-BN manage to scrape past five seats, it’s not a disaster. Anything above 10 and PN worries. If Pakatan-BN manage 12-13, it would be a clear success.

Passing mark: five

Terengganu: Take a walk along Rusila

2018 score: Total 32 seats. PAS 22, Umno 10

Passing mark: five

Kedah: What was Mahathir-land before

2018 score: Total 36 seats. 18 Pakatan, 15 PAS, 3 Umno

Passing mark: 12. 19 is distinction, it is also the threshold to run the state.

Penang: On the move without Gerakan

2018 score: Total 40 seats. Pakatan 37, Umno 2, PN 1

Penang falling to PN is inconceivable but if they lose more than 10, the whispers of a dark blue wave grow louder.

Passing mark: 30

Selangor: Where futures are made

2018 score: Pakatan 51, BN 4, PAS 1

If PN takes over Selangor it would mark the start of the end of the Anwar federal administration.

After picking up six of the 22 parliamentary seats last November, PN are hungry for more.

Though when analysed, the PN gains were in former BN northern strongholds; Tanjong Karang, Sabak Bernam, Sungai Besar and Hulu Selangor, combined with Klang zones; Kapar and Kuala Langat because they were led by state PAS veterans and former state excos Halimah Ali and Ahmad Yunus Hairi.

To expect those results to add seats from the urban central or rest of Klang is premature.

Passing mark: 42

Negeri Sembilan: Not even close to nine for PN

2018 score: Total 36 seats.Pakatan 20, BN 16

The state is peculiar in that Pakatan and Umno dominate it, both at the last state election in 2018 (Pakatan) and general election 2022 (BN) with no present MP or assemblyman from PN, and they now work together.

If PN, unlikely as it is, shines against the Pakatan-BN tandem then it would mean there has been a sizeable shift of votes from BN to PN.

Passing mark: 30


Countdown on

If Pakatan-BN exceeds expectations it can be the foundation for the formalisation of the unity secretariat and a period of blackout for PN — PAS sticks to religious lines with zero policy ideas and Bersatu clambers around for an identity issue or failure.

However, if the results are triumphant for PN and they bag four of the six states, then it is proof the dark blue wave is real and is ready to paint more parts of the peninsula.

The race and religion debates multiply and all missteps are flogged and parodied on social media.

The whole tone of the Anwar administration for the remaining four years or so will be shaped by the state elections. The earliest state election after these would be Sabah in 2025.

It is difficult to avert our eyes from what is set to transpire in the weeks to come.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.


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