Monday, November 29, 2021

PH squabbles could spell trouble in Sarawak and GE15, say analysts - more so when Anthony Loke appears to have discarded Anwar

PH squabbles could spell trouble in Sarawak and GE15, say analysts

Analyst Azmi Hassan said the friction within Pakatan Harapan following the Melaka state elections may appear in Sarawak and the next general election.

PETALING JAYA: Internal strife within Pakatan Harapan (PH) could spell trouble for the opposition heading into the Sarawak state elections, and could spill over into the next general election if not kept in check, analysts warn.

Former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer Azmi Hassan said recent infighting over seat allocations suggested that all is not well in PH, especially in Sarawak.

“In Miri, for example, I think both PKR and DAP will want to contest, which could explain why the PH parties are planning to use their own symbols (rather than the PH logo).

“There seems to be friction after the Melaka elections, and I think it will probably be seen in Sarawak, which will affect the big picture that is GE15 (the next general election),” he told FMT.

Azmi Hassan.

He said the opposition parties would need to get their house in order to face the formidable GPS coalition in Sarawak, as Barisan Nasional is likely to prove an equally stiff test at the federal level.

This week, Sarawak PKR accused the state DAP of not cooperating in seat negotiations for the coming state elections. DAP has already announced candidates in 18 of the 26 constituencies it will contest.

DAP denied PKR’s accusation, saying the party should focus on winning its 47 allocated seats rather than attempting to claim more.

Azmi said the parties need to start coming to an agreement, “but there seem to be huge differences within PH.”

He said these disagreements could see DAP push for one of its own to contest against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the candidate for prime minister, with some in DAP already pinning blame on Anwar for the bloc’s poor Melaka showing.

Oh Ei Sun.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said internal conflicts only serve to hurt all parties and their electoral prospects when the conflict spills out in public.

“Sarawak PKR has been essentially decapitated after the departures of Baru Bian and Larry Sng (who both served as state party chairmen before leaving), and yet it still wants to forge ahead and contest a lot of seats even if it means clashing with DAP.”

He said PKR had yet to prove it could win any seats at all, having zero representatives in the Sarawak state assembly at the time of dissolution, following the departure of their three assemblymen from the party in 2020.

“DAP, too, appears to be entangled in disagreements that have come out to the open. However, DAP even at its lowest ebb, is likely to still retain substantial support in the urban seats.”

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