Bersatu faces a wipe-out in snap elections unless it can secure an electoral pact with Umno and PAS, said Ibrahim Suffian.
“(The party’s) strengths are limited and no non-Malay voter will vote for it. There is a limited number of Malay voters who will support them too,” the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research executive director said yesterday during a webinar.
Ibrahim was speaking on the webinar “Coalitions, Covid-19 and Changes in Malaysia” hosted by organised by Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).
He said Bersatu is in for a hard time in the “very real” possibility of snap elections unless it manages to make an electoral pact with Umno and PAS.
Ibrahim said Umno and PAS have the upper hand in fresh polls as they can get up to 80% of the Malay votes.
“In the last elections, the two parties obtained 78% of the Malay votes. Last year’s by-elections showed that they could maintain that level of support.
“But where does Bersatu fit in?” said Ibrahim.
He said while Bersatu will want to maintain at least 30 seats, the question remains if Umno and PAS will give up their seats to a splinter party.
“It must be remembered that all three parties contest in Malay seats. Umno and PAS may be able to arrive at a consensus, but will they give way to Bersatu?”
Ibrahim was responding to questions about whether Malaysia is headed for snap elections soon following political uncertainties.
“The narrow majority that Perikatan Nasional has does not give confidence. If this is prolonged, the government will not be able to move any bills and the palace may be forced to move for elections (by dissolving parliament).”
PN is estimated to have the vote of 114 of the 222 MPs supporting its government. But recent events have shaken the new government.
Deputy Works Minister Shaharuddin Salleh, from Bersatu, resigned from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s three-month-old cabinet this week.
Another minister is rumoured to be resigning soon, further reducing Perikatan’s slim majority.
In the last elections, Pakatan Harapan won 113 seats before gaining the support of Parti Warisan Sabah. Before Muhyiddin withdrew Bersatu from the coalition, PH had 139 seats. – TMI