Malaysia GE: Najib's Barisan Nasional loses grip on peninsular Malaysia

Barisan Nasional's Najib Razak voting at a polling station during the 14th general elections in Malaysia on May 9, 2018.
Barisan Nasional's Najib Razak voting at a polling station during the 14th general elections in Malaysia on May 9, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost its grip on peninsular Malaysia in Wednesday's (May 9) general election, ceding control of Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Melaka and Terengganu states.

As at 2.55am on Thursday, in the erstwhile BN-controlled states of Perak and Kedah, the race for state assembly seats did not throw up clear winners - leaving the control of the state subject to future political negotiations.

 

Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) won a majority in the Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Melaka state assemblies, while retaining control over Penang and Selangor.

Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), meanwhile, seized control of Terengganu, while winning more than half the seats in Kelantan, where it already runs the government.

In Johor, an affluent state neighbouring Singapore, opposition Pakatan Harapan won at least 29 of the 56 seats contested, the Election Commission announced early on Thursday morning.

In Negeri Sembilan, PH won 20 of the 36 seats. The Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP), a member of PH, which won at least 11 of the PH seats in Negeri Sembilan, was quick to assure voters that control of the west coast state would remain in the hands of the majority Malays.

DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke told reporters on Wednesday night: "On behalf of DAP, although we won 11 seats, as promised, we will still support a Malay Muslim candidate as Menteri Besar (chief minister)."

 
 

The small state was long been controlled by incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition. After the 2013 election, BN commanded 22 seats in the assembly.

In Melaka, PH won at least 15 out of the 28 seats.

Over in Terengganu state, PAS won at least 18 out of the 32 state assembly seats. The Islamist party retained control of the Kelantan state assembly with at least 28 out of the 45 available seats.

In the two states with hung parliaments, Perak and Kedah, PAS, through alliances it wishes to make in the future - will get to decide which party will eventually govern. In Perak, PH won 29 of the 59 seats, while BN won 27. PAS bagged the last three.

In Kedah, PAS, won 15 seats out of the 36 up for grabs. PH won 18 and BN, just three.