Will Melaka Go Back To Barisan Nasional?


Later this evening, the results from the Melaka State Election will be known. As at 3pm today, Bernama reports that there was 57% voter turnout, of which an expected 65% may be the final count of the voting which ends at 5 pm today.

According to Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, the results for the Melaka election will be known before midnight. “The earliest time, he said, would probably be at 10pm, adding that this would only happen if the EC managed to get the cooperation of all parties on Saturday,” he told the media on Friday..

According to tradition, a high voter turnout comprising the older Malay generation will mean a stronger chance of the National Coalition Front, Barisan Nasional, to gain a strong footing. However, if the voters comprise mainly of the younger generation, especially the non-Malays, then Pakatan Harapan will have more hopes. Point to note that many of the registered voters in Melaka who are working in Singapore are not able to return to vote due to the pandemic travelling restrictions, as such, this will have a strong bearing for PH hopes. On the part of Perikatan Nasional, however, whom most political observers see them as just attempting to split the votes to ensure that BN does not have a strong victory, things don’t look as rosy, despite the large number of flags and banners placed all over the state.

Observers have joked that the Melaka polls appear to be a fight between BN’s Datuk Sri Najib Razak and PN’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The former has tirelessly been leading the BN push to victory even before nomination day, while the posters of the latter are everywhere even though Muhyiddin is not even contesting in Melaka.

The snap election of the state was called prematurely following a political crisis. It came after four members of the assembly (MLA) who had previously supported incumbent Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali announced the loss of confidence and withdrawal of their support for him on 4 October 2021. They are former Chief Minister, Member of the State Executive Council (EXCO), Sungai Udang – Idris Haron and Pantai Kundor – Nor Azman Hassan from BN, independent (IND) EXCO member, Pengkalan Batu – Norhizam Hassan Baktee as well as EXCO member, Telok Mas – Noor Effandi Ahmad from PN.

Some pundits and analysts have indicated the possibility of a hung assembly or a coalition between two blocks. Whatever happens, it will be an interesting development as there seems to be trust deficit for each other among the three main parties. However, if there is any cooperation that have to be done, it would most likely be between BN and PN, following the Federal positioning. But as mentioned earlier, most political observers do not see much hope for PN in this state election.

What will the numbers tell us tonight Photocredit SPR

The Melaka State Legislative Assembly has 28 seats. Previously, these were held by BN (14), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (two), DAP (seven), PKR (two), Parti Amanah Negara (two), and one independent.

Many Firsts

The Melaka state election sees several firsts starting from the nomination day on 08 November.

Melaka made history as the first state to follow in the footsteps of Sabah which changed its chief minister three times after the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018.

In addition, the state, for the first time in its history, is holding the state election separately and not simultaneously with federal seats during a general election.

Simultaneously, it witnesses Gerakan using the Perikatan Nasional (PN) logo and PAS, as part of the PN coalition, for the first time “sacrificing” its logo and contesting under the PN logo.

The first time PAS did not use its logo was in the fourth general election (GE4) in 1974 when it contested on a Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket, before the Islamic party left BN in 1977 and contested as the Opposition in GE5 in 1978.

Gerakan meanwhile, had previously used the BN logo before leaving the coalition on 23 June 2018 after GE14, which saw the party defeated in all 11 parliamentary seats and 31 state seats it contested.

In this election too, Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee is contesting for the first time on an Independent ticket to defend the Pengkalan Batu state seat which he won in GE14 on a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket.

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On 02 March 2020, Norhizam, who was then Melaka DAP deputy chairman expressed his support for the new PN state government and was sacked by DAP.

Melaka will also create story if Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin who is fielded against Melaka BN chairman Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh and Zainal Hassan (PH) in Tanjung Bidara, is appointed the first female chief minister should PN secures sufficient seats to form the state government.

The Melaka Chief Minister post was first held by Tan Sri Osman Talib, followed by Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba, Datuk Talib Karim, Datuk Setia Abdul Ghani Ali, Datuk Seri Adib Adam and Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik.

Also in the list of 12 former Chief Ministers are Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Abdul Ghani, Datuk Seri Abu Zahar Ithnin, Tun Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Adly Zahari and the last, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

For the first time in the nation’s history too, with the new norm, public speeches, lectures, physical campaigning, house-to-house visits, walkabouts and leaflet distribution to the public were not allowed. ― New Malaysia Herald

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