THE ALL-IMPORTANT MALAY VOTE
Parties had to scramble to prepare for the general election, which was not due until September 2023, but was called when caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolved Parliament on Oct 10.
Malaysia has a total of 222 parliamentary seats up for grabs. A minimum of 112 seats is needed to clinch a simple majority and form a new government.
Observers are expecting an intense contest for the crucial Malay votes in rural and urban seats, as this is likely to be decisive in determining who forms the next government.
Nearly 60 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats have Malay-Muslims as their majority demographic.
Dr Saravanamuttu said the battles in some areas will be more intense and there are concerns that the ethic Malay vote will be split with the multi-cornered contests.
For the urban areas, PH will have an upper hand compared to PN and BN, said Dr Lau Zhe Wei, assistant professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia’s Department of Political Science.
But for the rural areas, “it is the reverse”, he added, with BN having stronger support there.
WILL ISMAIL SABRI CONTINUE AS PRIME MINISTER IF BN WINS?
Prime Minister and UMNO vice-president Ismail Sabri will be challenged by PN’s Asmawi Harun and PH’s Abas Awang in a three-cornered battle for the Bera parliamentary seat in Pahang.
UMNO has picked Mr Ismail Sabri as its candidate for prime minister in GE15, but some analysts are not sure if he will continue in that role should the ruling BN coalition win.