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‘Finish of an period’ for Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional, after corruption points damage candidates at GE15: Analysts

SINGAPORE: Analysts on Sunday (Nov 20) mentioned the outcomes of Malaysia’s 15th Common Election (GE15) marked the “finish of an period” for Barisan Nasional (BN), with corruption enjoying a key function within the downfall of the nation’s former ruling coalition.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) received 81 seats whereas Perikatan Nasional (PN) emerged victorious in 73 seats. BN completed a distant third with 30 seats, down from the 79 it received on the final election in 2018.

Among the many key BN figures who misplaced their seats had been finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, well being minister Khairy Jamaluddin and veteran MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Caretaker prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob did, nevertheless, retain his seat, as did BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“What we have been seeing tonight is that it is the finish of an period,” political observer Serina Abdul Rahman from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute mentioned throughout CNA’s election evening broadcast early on Sunday.

With lower than half of the variety of seats secured by different events, “they’ve simply misplaced all of the clout that they’ve had for greater than 61 years”, she added.

Dr Serina additionally described the end result as “pushback” for the final two to 3 years of tumultuous Malaysian politics.

Dr Francis Hutchinson, additionally from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, added later within the broadcast that BN didn’t do sufficient following its defeat on the final election in 2018.

“One of many issues that type of stands out is, given the massive loss that they’d in 2018, you actually did not see any inner celebration renewal, there was no cleaning,” he mentioned.

“It was very a lot the previous guard and the normal folks staying in energy, so what we’re actually now type of seeing is that this coming dwelling to roost – each by way of the folks leaving or being ejected within the run-up to the election … That is payback for not cleansing up,” he added.

Analysts CNA spoke to on Sunday mentioned that it was clear what introduced down the coalition.

“Zahid destroyed the celebration’s decisions by his management, and marketing campaign selections,” mentioned Ms Bridget Welsh, an honorary analysis fellow of the College of Nottingham Malaysia’s Asia Analysis Institute.

“He was not the correct chief to guide UMNO (United Malays Nationwide Organisation) into the marketing campaign and his give attention to himself … backfired.”

“Zahid could have received, however I do suppose he – and corruption usually as a difficulty – dragged them down,” mentioned Dr Meredith Weiss, professor of political science on the College at Albany.

Ms Aira Nur Ariana Azhari, supervisor of the democracy and governance unit at suppose tank Institute for Democracy and Financial Affairs (IDEAS), pointed to a swing within the Malay vote – in addition to youth vote – to PN, particularly within the northern states of Perak, Kedah and Penang.

“It has been the pattern the place UMNO Malay supporters have began to shift from UMNO to PN,” mentioned Dr Lau Zhe Wei, assistant professor on the Worldwide Islamic College Malaysia’s political science division, including that on this GE, the swing was “greater than sufficient” to assist PN triumph in numerous seats.

Singapore Institute of Worldwide Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Solar mentioned BN had referred to as the election too late.

“In the event that they (had referred to as) the polls proper after the Johor state election which noticed their overwhelming win, then maybe they might (have ridden) on the Johor win to a nationwide win,” Dr Oh mentioned.

“However greater than half a 12 months later, throughout this wet season, and when extra scandals (have) been dug out which kind of implicated numerous leaders within the Barisan Nasional, I believe maybe the voters had second ideas.”

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