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Too optimistic to predict simple majority for BN, says analyst

Hisommudin Bakar says the general consensus is that no single coalition will have the support needed to form the government on its own.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
A Barisan Nasional flag billows overhead as traffic passes the Sri Kota flats in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
A Barisan Nasional flag billows overhead as traffic passes the Sri Kota flats in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.

An analyst has sounded a note of caution over the show of confidence by Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan, describing his recent remark that the coalition would be able to form the next government with a simple majority as "too optimistic". 

Hisommudin Bakar, the executive director of electoral think tank Ilham Centre, said there was a general agreement this time around that no single coalition would be able to form the government on its own after the general election. 

"The 15th general election (GE15) is seeing a tight clash between three coalitions, which will make it difficult for BN to win a simple majority," he said, referring to the fight among BN, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN). 

Mohamad, popularly known as Tok Mat, had said in a press conference that BN would be able to win more than the 112 seats needed to form the government after GE15. 

"I am confident that BN can cross the bridge and form the government," he said. 

"But strengthening the government with a bigger mandate will depend on who wants to work with us."  

He also said that BN did not want to form a coalition government with other political groups after the election, saying this would complicate the administrative process. 

There are 165 parliamentary seats in the peninsula and 57 in Sabah and Sarawak. 

Both PN and PH have also voiced confidence about the number of seats they expect to win at the polls.

But Hisommudin said Mohamad's projection would only make sense if it included the seats in Sabah and Sarawak through an alliance with Borneo parties. 

There, the focus of the competition is on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) which is looking to defend its position in the country's biggest state, and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah which will clash with other local parties like Warisan.  

Mohamad also said that the voters had already made up their minds even before the end of the campaign period this week. 

Hisomuddin said this, too, was too early to call. 

"Interviews with the youth show that even now, they are still weighing their choices," he said. 

"They will go out to vote, but there is no absolute attitude towards the parties in the race."

Hisomuddin said voters aged 18 to 25, in particular, were open to a range of options, and were studying the offers made by each coalition. 

"Some of them are also studying at institutions of higher education," he said. 

"They have just only returned to their home towns and do not yet have an idea of the candidate standing in their localities." 

GE15 will be held on Nov 19, when some 21 million voters are expected to cast their ballots. 

The state elections for Perlis, Pahang and Perak will be held alongside the national polls.

A total of 1,386 candidates are competing for support in both parliamentary and state seats.