WATCH: Expect fierce battle in Kelantan in Malaysia Election 2018

For 28 years, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) has ruled Kelantan. However, the east coast state is roiled by whispers that PAS might lose, prompting the possible return of Barisan Nasional (BN).

For 28 years, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) has ruled Kelantan. However, the east coast state is roiled by whispers that PAS might lose, prompting the possible return of Barisan Nasional (BN).

Located far from the economic hub on the west coast linking Johor, Selangor and Penang, Kelantan had an economic output of RM21 billion in 2016 - the second smallest after Perlis among the 13 states. The economic output of Selangor - Malaysia's most industrialised state - was RM252 billion.

 

The economic data shows why some Kelantanese are growing impatient with all the preachy talk of Islam.

Pollster Merdeka Center said recent surveys have shown that 55 per cent of Kelantan voters support BN today, compared with 35 per cent for PAS, and 10 per cent for Pakatan Harapan, the four-party opposition alliance.

Malay support for BN in Kelantan is estimated to have risen to 54 per cent, almost a 10 percentage point jump since 2013.

Mr Norshahril Saat, a fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and The Straits Times Foreign Editor Zakir Hussain look at what's at stake for Kelantan.