MUDA’s participation in Malaysia’s 12 Aug State Elections risks splitting PH vote

Muda president Syed Saddiq speaking at a press conference

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s youth-centric political party, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA), is set to contest the same constituencies that Pakatan Harapan (PH) won in the 14th general election, potentially splitting the PH vote in the upcoming six-state elections on 12 August.

MUDA has announced 20 candidates who will contest in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, and Terengganu. Nineteen of them will contest in constituencies PH won in the 14th general election.

“The biggest danger for PH is in seats where they hold a small majority. MUDA will (eat into) their votes and this will allow PN to win,” said James Chin, professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania, Australia.

Chin, quoted by Malaysia online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT), said PH would become even more incensed with Muda if PN were to win seats due to a split in votes caused by the presence of Muda’s candidates.

“If that happens, I think MUDA’s chances of getting into PH (after the state elections) will be completely burnt because PH cannot afford to lose,” he said.

Mazlan Ali, a political analyst from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said MUDA’s decision to contest for seats previously held by PH risks widening Muda’s rift with the coalition, and may see the party “completely rejected” for being disloyal.

MUDA’s limited participation in the coming state elections shows it is only a fringe party and suggests it may be on the path towards irrelevance, said Mazlan quoted by FMT.

“MUDA’s decision shows it is not a mainstream party and cannot serve as a viable alternative to Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional, and PH.

He said MUDA risks going down a path similar to Pejuang, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), and Ibrahim Ali’s Putra, which he described as small parties without a track record of winning in any election.

“I expect (all) MUDA (candidates) to lose their deposits. They will be defeated in all the contested seats because, I believe, voters will not choose MUDA.

“They will opt for PH, which has been long-established in Malaysia and has proven its ability to form the government,” he said.

Previously, MUDA president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the party would only contest 10% of the 245 state seats up for grabs in the coming state elections in Selangor, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, and Terengganu.

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