Malaysia votes 2018

SABAH: Set to play big role

A sharp setback in Sabah, or worse still, an outright loss for Umno and BN, could push Malaysia into a political no-man's land.
A sharp setback in Sabah, or worse still, an outright loss for Umno and BN, could push Malaysia into a political no-man's land.PHOTO: REUTERS

Several states are set to see close fights or play key roles in the election. The Straits Times’ correspondents and observers on the ground give their take on how these battles might shape up.

Malaysia's eastern-most state is set to assume an oversized role at the polls, and the outcome here could determine whether the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition retains its once-unassailable grip on power.

Long-considered a political fixed deposit for BN and Umno, Sabah is shaping up to be the most serious unknown in the May 9 election. BN - which dominated Sabah with 21 of the 25 parliamentary seats and another 48 seats in the 60-member state assembly - is facing its most serious challenge.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2018, with the headline 'SABAH: Set to play big role '. Print Edition | Subscribe