State polls in Malaysia leave Pahang and Perak with hung assemblies

In Pahang, Perikatan Nasional secured 17 seats out of 42 state seats up for grabs. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

KUALA LUMPUR – Barisan Nasional (BN) lost its hold on power in all three states that held legislative elections on Saturday concurrently with Malaysia’s general election, with two – Pahang and Perak – ending up with hung assemblies.

The former ruling coalition saw its 25 seats in Pahang whittled down to 16 on the back of a huge swing by Malay voters, which also saw its number of state seats in Perak shrink from 27 to nine.

BN was completely ousted from the rural state of Perlis, where it lost all 10 previously held seats.

The loss of so many seats in these three states was just one blow added to the series of massive losses suffered at the federal level.

In Pahang, Perikatan Nasional (PN) secured 17 seats out of 42 state seats up for grabs, while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan took eight.

What this means is that none of the coalitions has the simple majority of 21 seats needed to form the state government on its own, and will have to form a pact with another coalition.

Polling for the Tioman state seat under Pahang was postponed as a PN candidate died on Saturday.

Posting on Facebook on Sunday, Pahang BN chief Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said: “I would like to thank the people of Pahang for voting for Barisan Nasional.

“Not forgetting my thanks as well to the party machinery and others for helping BN. I really appreciate your service and efforts. Pray for the best for Pahang to remain prosperous,” added Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy, who had been Pahang Menteri Besar since 2018.

Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is the deputy president of the fundamentalist Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) – which is a key member of PN – has been touted as the party’s pick for Menteri Besar if the coalition seizes control of the state.

In Perak, where a simple majority of 30 seats is needed to form the state government, PN holds 26 of the 59 seats, while PH won 24 and BN has nine.

PN said it would hold talks with BN on forming the state government.

PN Perak deputy chairman Razman Zakaria, who is also Perak PAS commissioner, has ruled out working with Mr Anwar, his PH coalition and its member, the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party, but said that “there is room for our friends from BN”.

The PN coalition also swept to victory in Perlis, taking 14 out of 15 state seats. The final seat went to PH.

At the national level, Perikatan Nasional won 73 parliamentary seats after Saturday’s general election, while Pakatan Harapan took 82.

BN came away with just 30 parliamentary seats – from 79 before – and was completely wiped out in the northern Malay-Muslim belt of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.

This leaves Malaysia’s Parliament hung for the first time in history.

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