Malaysia votes 2018

SELANGOR: Uphill battle for BN

The stakes are high in Malaysia’s richest state Selangor, which has been under opposition control since 2008. Will the Pakatan Harapan coalition be able to retain its hold or will Barisan Nasional succeed in taking back the state?

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.

Barisan Nasional (BN) has set its sights on winning back Malaysia's richest state Selangor but it will be an uphill battle to prise it from opposition Pakatan Harapan's firm 10-year grip. In BN's favour is the prospect of three-cornered fights and a hefty federal budget with which to woo voters.

BN holds only 12 of the 56 seats in the state assembly, but PH's previous generous majority of 42 seats has been eroded to just 29, after the departure of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) from the opposition pact. PAS will not only split the opposition Malay vote - resulting in a favourable outcome to BN - it could team up with BN after the polls to dislodge the incumbent state government.

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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 'SELANGOR: Uphill battle for BN '. Print Edition | Subscribe