Political analysts have questioned Amanah’s Mat Sabu in Shah Alam ability to win the parliamentary seat in the next general election (GE14) if it were to go ahead with their plan.
Although the current Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad had previously won in the last two elections, political analysts said Pakatan Harapan had to consider several factors.
They said Khalid had previously won on a PAS ticket and the controversies surrounding his last opponent, Zulkifli Nordin, could have been contributed to Khalid’s victory.
Now, not only has Khalid left PAS for a relatively new splinter party, Amanah, but there have also been reports that instead of Khalid, it could be Mohamad who will contest the Shah Alam seat.
Speaking to FMT, Universiti Malaya associate professor Awang Azman Pawi said it would be an easy win for Amanah on one condition — that Khalid contests.
“Khalid Samad can win because Shah Alam’s voters are largely from the middle class and are urbanites,” he said.
“There are many politically-aware professionals in Shah Alam who are also moderates.
“Khalid has been seen to be quite vocal on national issues and they want Khalid to stay so that more quality issues will be brought to the Dewan Rakyat.”
However, he said if Amanah were to field Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, the outcome could be different.
“Mat Sabu is better accepted in rural areas.
“If Amanah were to field Mat Sabu, then they’ll have to work very hard in making sure Mat Sabu is seen as more serious and less comedic.”
Universiti Utara Malaysia’s (UUM) lecturer Prof Azizuddin Mohd Sani agreed that Mat Sabu would not fare as well as Khalid in Shah Alam.
“Even when Mat Sabu contested in Pendang, in his capacity as PAS deputy president, he lost,” he told FMT.
He also claimed Shah Alam belonged to voters who were largely loyal to PAS.
“Votes will certainly be split if Amanah, PAS and Umno contest in Shah Alam.
“Even if Mat Sabu wins, his majority will be smaller.
“Shah Alam is PAS’ area and Amanah’s strength there is doubtful, unless PPBM and PKR are able to help.”
In GE13, Khalid garnered over 49,000 votes compared with Zulkifli, contesting under the BN ticket, who received over 38,000 votes.
Khalid told FMT he was confident that Shah Alam would be an easy win for Amanah regardless of who contests there, partly because Amanah was carrying Pakatan Harapan’s name.
“Even if Amanah manages to win 30% of PAS’ votes, you have to remember we also have PPBM taking another 30% from Umno voters,” he said.
“In the case of Shah Alam, let’s say Umno previously had 60% of the Malay votes. Now, PPBM will take at least 20% of that away for Pakatan.
“If previously 30% of the Malays in Shah Alam supported PAS, Amanah can at least take 15% of that away.
“You have to remember that the Shah Alam Amanah is the second biggest Amanah division and the Shah Alam PPBM is the fourth biggest PPBM division.”
When asked what challenges Amanah would likely face in Shah Alam, Khalid said spreading the word regarding Amanah’s existence and its mission was still a challenge.
“Until today, there are still one or two who think I’m still in PAS.”
Shah Alam Umno chief Azhari Shaari, however, felt Umno still had a good chance, provided it fielded a local.
“Umno must field someone from Shah Alam, whether or not the candidate is popular, because Shah Alam people will vote for their own,” he told FMT.-FMT