Malaysia votes 2018

SARAWAK: Little room for change

Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) with Tan Sri Adenan Satem (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the Sarawak state election in 2016.
Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) with Tan Sri Adenan Satem (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the Sarawak state election in 2016.PHOTO: STAR/ANN

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.

If you look at voting patterns in the 2016 state elections, there was a swing back to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and a similar result in federal elections can be expected now.

Much of the 2016 shift was due to the "Adenan Satem factor". The late Chief Minister was charismatic and popular, and championed the state's autonomy. But he is not in the picture anymore, so national issues such as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), rising costs of living and the goods and services tax will come to the fore.

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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 'SARAWAK: Little room for change '. Print Edition | Subscribe