Peninsula Pakatan seat allocations in 2013 vs 2018

The seat breakdowns for the peninsula among Pakatan Rakyat parties in 2013 and Pakatan Harapan parties in 2018. (The 2013 figures were provided to me by a source from PKR. Let me know if any corrections.):

2013 2018
PKR 64 51
Pas 65
Bersatu 52
Amanah 27
DAP 36 35
Total 165 165


Interesting breakdown. On the surface, Bersatu may have got a lot of seats for a new party, but I suspect many of those seats could be difficult-to-win Umno strongholds ie seats that Pas may have contested and lost in 2013.

But has Pakatan given a thought about how to accommodate Parti Sosialis Malaysia, which has championed many pro-people policies? Where does Sungai Siput figure in all this? Will they always be marginalised?

So what do you make of Mahathir and Wan Azizah as Pakatan’s choice for prime minister and deputy prime minister?

If you are idealistic or unable to accept that the circumstances surrounding this election warrant exceptional measures, then Mahathir, with all his baggage, would not be a suitable candidate. I can understand this view.

But if you feel that real change can only be achieved once we are able to move beyond race and religion, once Umno is dislodged from power without alarming many of its supporters, then Mahathir would be the pragmatic choice to reassure them during the transition period to a new government, ie if the BN was to lose.

In any case, it will be an uphill task for Pakatan to reach out to rural voters in the peninsula (let alone Sarawak), to deal with all the expected BN/government handouts, to overcome appeals on ethnic or religious grounds, to overcome the handicap of money politics and gerrymandering, and to convince Umno supporters that they will be better off with a cleaner, more accountable government that has the long-term interests of the country at heart.

Pakatan also has to offer real change rather than a Coke vs Pepsi kind of choice. They have to come up with genuine pro-people policies that will capture the imagination of the people including rural voters and the youth.