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PN needs poster boy in Selangor, say analysts

They say Selangor's diverse nature needs to be taken into consideration.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
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Perikatan Nasional flags fly along Jalan Batu Caves in Selangor ahead of the 15th general election on Oct 31, 2022.
Perikatan Nasional flags fly along Jalan Batu Caves in Selangor ahead of the 15th general election on Oct 31, 2022.

Analysts say Perikatan Nasional (PN) will need a poster boy to front its campaign in Selangor as the federal opposition pact eyes Malaysia's richest state following 15 years of Pakatan Harapan (PH) rule. 

Selangor came under PH in 2008, when the coalition was known as Pakatan Rakyat. It is one of six states facing critical elections this year, alongside Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. 

In Kedah and Terengganu, PN appears to have the edge as the incumbent government with menteris besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor and Ahmad Shamsuri Mokhtar expected to anchor the respective election campaigns. 

In Selangor, though, PN has yet to name a menteri besar candidate in the event that it wins.

Rabiah Aminudin of International Islamic University Malaysia said PN needed a poster boy, by hook or by crook. 

"PN should come up with a potential menteri besar candidate and the policies that it wants to propose in Selangor.

"Selangor is a diverse state. Anyone planning to capture Selangor should not depend on racial rhetoric but rather show their capacity to administer this rich state," she said. 

There are a total of 56 seats in Selangor's legislative assembly. 

PN aims to win at least 33 while PH has said it is confident of victory in 50. 

Analyst Kartini Aboo Talib said Selangor was by and large comfortable with the menteris besar appointed under PH since the days of Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is currently a Bersatu member. 

"This is a hurdle for those looking for the most qualified menteri besar candidate to compete with Amirudin Shari," she said, referring to the present state leader. 

Amirudin, a former protege of Azmin, was appointed as menteri besar in 2018 after Azmin relinquished the position following his inclusion in the federal Cabinet under Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

There has been speculation that Azmin could be tipped to lead PN's campaign at the coming polls, with a view of returning him to the top post where he served for four years following the failure of PKR's "Kajang Move" strategy in 2014.

Azmin recently said that while he wished to see younger leaders take over, he would leave all decisions to the PN leadership.

Kartini, of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said PN had time enough to come up with some surprises of its own. 

She said key issues which could be used in the campaign included climate change, floods, and public facilities. 

"The main thing is a lack of agenda for the Malays and Bumiputeras to rally support for the federal government," she said. 

Rabiah meanwhile said PN should field a technocrat who would also be seen as a moderate. 

"PN's odds of forming the government in Selangor are slim," she said. 

"But it could increase the number of seats that it holds in the legislative assembly." 

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