A TOTALLY DIFFERENT POLITICAL EQUATION LOOMS IN MALACCA – WHAT IF UMNO GETS TRASHED? IF ZAHID REFUSES TO WORK WITH MUHYIDDIN – UMNO HAS TO FIGHT TOOTH & NAIL AGAINST PAS & BERSATU

Analysts differ on Umno’s chances in Melaka polls

GEORGE TOWN: An analyst has predicted victory for Umno in the Melaka state election, but another sees a likelihood of defeat for the party if it doesn’t resolve its dispute with Bersatu over seat allocations.

Shamsul Amri Baharuddin of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said Umno could depend on its power of incumbency and strong grassroots support in the state, but Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said these advantages would mean nothing and the victory would go to Pakatan Harapan if Umno’s disagreements with Bersatu were to lead to three-cornered fights.

Shamsul told FMT he believed it would be easy for Umno to win 12 seats and to get three more representatives to support it for a simple majority.

Azeem predicted that most of the contests would be three-cornered because of infighting in Umno over whether to work with Bersatu and PAS.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday that Umno and Barisan Nasional would decide which party to work with before nomination day, which is Nov 8.

Azeem noted reports that Melaka Bersatu was willing to work with Umno but he also noted that the Bersatu central leadership did not want to do so.

“With all of this taken into account,” he told FMT, “I think things are looking up for PH politically. It has its seat allocations sorted out. Umno and PN (Perikatan Nasional) will have problems in that regard. PH could win if there are many three-cornered fights.

“This is a test for Umno. If Zahid wants to go it alone, then you will see PAS and Bersatu contesting against Umno.

“We might have another Sabah in Melaka, but with a completely different political equation.”

Shamsul said the polls would be interesting to watch as both former prime minister Najib Razak and Zahid would be away from the country during the campaign period.

Najib and Zahid, who are facing trial, have applied to the courts for the temporary return of their passports to enable them to travel abroad, Najib to Singapore to visit his daughter and Zahid to Germany for medical treatment.

Melaka goes to the polls on Nov 20.

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