Not naming CM-designate could cost PH, say analysts

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s failure to name its chief minister-designate should it win the Melaka state election could be costly for the coalition, say analysts.

“To me, this is a blunder by PH,” said former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer Azmi Hassan. “People want to know who could potentially become the CM after the elections.”

The lack of a name would have a negative impact on voters, especially among fence-sitters, he said.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said the decision to not name Adly Zahari of Amanah, a former chief minister, as the candidate did not instil confidence.

He said the decision was “obviously to not close the door for Idris Haron”. Idris is also a former chief minister.

Wong said it would be naive to think that DAP, likely to be the largest party after the polls, would accept Idris as CM in the unlikely event of PH’s victory.

On PH’s selection of former Umno assemblymen Idris and Nor Azman Hassan for the Asahan and Pantai Kundor seats, Azmi said this was a double-edged sword.

Idris and Nor Azman could certainly attract Malay votes in the constituencies they are contesting but the fact that PH is fielding them as candidates could turn off their own supporters.

“I believe the negative impact of their candidacy will outweigh the benefits.”

Wong said PH’s taking in of Idris and Nor Azman greatly damages the coalition’s moral high ground on the issue of party hopping, especially for PKR and Amanah.

He said while Umno and Bersatu both had party hoppers in their list of candidates, many PH supporters consider themselves to be more “principled” than Umno or Bersatu supporters.

“So, this will hurt PH’s morale, including DAP which put up a strong stand against the party hoppers.

“The only way for PH to recover might be a pledge to table or support an anti-hopping or recall bill after elections.”

This article first appeared in Free Malaysia Today on 07 November 2021.

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