KUALA LUMPUR – Analysts BMI Research suggested today that the chaos among opposition parties will divide their support base to the benefit of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).
The Fitch Group unit also said this entrenched BN’s image as “a stable and reliable government that provides for the people”, which bode well for both the political landscape and business environment.
“The disarray within the Opposition bodes well for BN, which we expect to be the biggest beneficiary from the three-cornered fights,” it said in a report.
BMI additionally said Umno has managed to remind the public of BN’s economic track record, a message that will likely be strengthened by Malaysia’s economic recovery since 2016.
Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has beaten targets for the last two quarters: 5.6 per cent in the first quarter, and 5.8 per cent in the second.
Bank Negara Malaysia has since raised its full-year 2017 GDP growth forecast to above 4.8 per cent, from a minimum of 4.3 per cent previously.
The firm also said that BN is making considerable inroads into the PAS stronghold of Kelantan, suggesting that voters are more concerned about economic issues rather than faith.
It also predicted that Umno will benefit in the east coast state as new parties Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia could further split the Opposition vote.
In the same report, BMI also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and BN would benefit from the return of former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.
In August, Pakatan Harapan unanimously decided to not include PAS in any seat negotiations and would find a way to overcome three-corner fights against BN and the Islamist party.