MELAKA, Nov 6 — The Melaka state election will see a minimum of three-cornered fights or more in all the 28 seats to be contested if the nomination papers of the candidates selected by their respective parties are accepted by the Election Commission on Monday.
This is after Barisan Nasional (BN), Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) officially announced their respective candidates today.
Bersatu from PN will go against BN represented by Umno in 13 seats in Tanjung Bidara, Ayer Limau, Lendu, Rembia, Durian Tunggal, Sungai Udang, Pantai Kundor, Paya Rumput, Pengkalan Batu, Ayer Molek, Telok Mas, Rim and Sungai Rambai.
PAS, which has Umno as its ally in the yet-to-be-registered Muafakat Nasional (MN), will clash in six seats, namely Kuala Linggi, Taboh Naning, Bukit Katil, Duyong, Serkam and Merlimau.
The election will also see the maiden appearance of Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) and tomorrow, another party, the Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman) is expected to announce its candidates as well.
Parti Ikatan Demokratik Malaysia (MUDA), founded by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Sayed Abdul Rahman but which has not been approved for registration has decided to take a neutral stance despite previously stating its intention to contest.
To secure the people’s mandate, many of the parties have also taken the approach of fielding new candidates with BN at 86 percent, PH (50 percent) and PN (about 82 percent).
The parties are also mostly featuring candidates with convincing academic qualifications in addition to a line-up of young candidates, with the youngest understood to be from PH, namely Melaka PKR Srikandi (women’s youth wing) chief Farzana Hayani Mohd Nasir, who is only 21 years old.
The announcement of candidates, which was also done virtually to comply with standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb COVID-19, also attracted the attention of various parties, including political observers, especially in several seats such as Tanjung Bidara, Asahan, Lendu, Sungai Udang and Pantai Kundor.
The Tanjung Bidara seat will see a fierce clash of ‘heavyweight’ candidates involving Bersatu Srikandi vice chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Melaka BN chairman Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh and Masjid Tanah PKR Branch organising secretary Zainal Hassan.
Meanwhile, in Asahan, Melaka Umno Youth chief Fairul Nizam Roslan of BN will go up against PH’s candidate, namely former Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron, and PN’s B. Dhanesh.
For the Lendu seat, former chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, who represents BN, will take on Major (Rtd) Abdullah Mahadi (PN) and Mohamad Asri Ibrahim (PH), while for the Sungai Udang seat, BN is betting on Senate Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad.
Mohamad Ali who is also the deputy chairman of the Melaka Umno Liaison Committee is expected to contest against Dr Mohd Aleef Yusof (PN) and Hasmorni Tamby (PH).
Meanwhile, Datuk Nor Azman Hasan will look to defend his Pantai Kundor seat under the PH banner this time, as the former BN candidate for 14th General Election goes up against new BN candidate Tuminah Kadi @Mohd Hasim and Mohamad Ridzwan Mustafa of PN.
Apart from that, the participation of the new party ‘Putra’, is expected to see four-cornered contests in at least five seats, namely Gadek, Paya Rumput, Pengkalan Batu, Duyong and Sungai Rambai.
Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Izani Mohd Zain said the three-cornered fights, especially involving Umno and Bersatu, is seen as a contest to prove which Malay party had the people’s trust.
“The nomination scenario for the Melaka polls which could lead to the three-cornered contests will probably drag on to GE-15 if there is no electoral pact, especially between Umno and Bersatu.
“I also see the competition will be mostly among three parties, namely BN, PN and PH. Other parties are not expected to put up a strong fight, but it is not impossible that some voters may vote in protest or be neutral in choosing between BN, PN and PH by voting for other candidates such as Putra,” he told Bernama.