Swing states to decide Malaysian polls

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When voters head to the polls this Sunday in Malaysia, the hotly contested race could very well be decided in Sabah and Sarawak, potential swing states on the island of Borneo.

While Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has traditionally carried the areas, there are indications that the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could this time make significant electoral gains.

Of parliament’s 222 seats, 25 are allocated to Sabah and 31 to Sarawak, together representing about one-quarter of the federal legislature. PR won five of 13 federal states at the 2008 general election, denying BN and its main component United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) party its coveted two-thirds majority in parliament. PR is nominally led by former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, who is campaigning on a clean governance platform after close to six decades of consecutive UMNO-led rule.

Opposition parties won only two seats – one each in Sabah and Sarawak – out of the 56 up for grabs in the two states at the 2008 polls. The other 54 were won by BN, providing an electoral cushion in its overall 140-82 parliamentary seat win. This time, opposition parties predict they will make significant inroads in Sabah and Sarawak, long regarded as “fixed deposits” of BN support, along with the peninsular states of Johor and Pahang.

Sarawak and Sabah are both rich in offshore oil, but the wealth from those deposits has not reached the grass roots population, especially for those situated in the two states’ underdeveloped interior. Sabah has the highest poverty rate in the country, while many Sarawak residents are restless after losing huge tracts of ancestral land to big BN-backed infrastructure projects and politically associated logging and plantation companies.

Full article on Asia Times Online.

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Catfish

Do not be influenced by the toxicity of the propaganda BN video clips on TV.

Watch this to cleanse your mind before you go to vote:

bigjoe99

From the start, everyone said the Malay votes is crucial, yet I still saw little coverage and few events being held in Malay heartland, Anwar himself did not make it through to Terengganu, Kelantan and most parts of Pahang in the two weeks of campaigning. BUT aging Nik Aziz did not/could not either, Hadi Awang, Husam and Mat Sabu did not come close to even 2008 performance..

The only saving grace is that UMNO/BN seems not to have done much either only when Najib showed up in a few places.. But they really don’t have to..

JOC

Merdeka Centre’s latest poll shows Najib’s approval rating sliding down a further 3% from its last poll. The survey carried out among voters in Peninsular Malaysia between April 28 and May 2 also placed Pakatan Rakyat ahead of BN in terms of the favoured party to form the government.

Najib’s popularity took a slight dip from 64% when the last poll was conducted in March to 61% now, just days before the country heads to polls.

Sam

Anil, I toured Selangor, NS, Melaka, and Johor to observe the campaigning by both PR and BN. My observations are: (1) Ceramahs by Pakatan are always well attended and in many places the crowd size was mammoth. (2) The attendees at the ceramahs were 95% Chinese. (3) The PAS campaign workers and PAS calons were effusive in their praise for the non-muslims’ support for PAS. They just couldn’t believe the support they got from the local Chinese and Indian communities. (4) Ceramahs and walkabouts by BN were dismal and the reception was mainly polite but most people would shy away… Read more »

SL Wong (@wong8898)

Heaven or hell? Good or bad? Clean or dirty? Democracy or non-democracy? Justice or injustice? Open your eyes and see clearly & cast your vote wisely.

UBAH !! God bless Pakatan Rakyat