PKR defector sees PAS, PKR losing Perak seats

By G. Manimaran (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — PAS and PKR will find it difficult to retain some of their 13 Perak state seats in the next general elections as long as Umno’s resurgence is sustained, predicts one of the three former Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state assemblymen whose defections triggered the fall of the state government a year ago.
Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, who is now a Barisan Nasional- (BN) friendly independent, told The Malaysian Insider that if Umno just “works hard,” he expects the two PR parties to lose half the seats they won in Election 2008.
He pointed out, however, that he expects DAP — PKR and PAS’ partner in PR — to regain all of its 18 seats.
In Election 2008, Umno won 27 of the 34 seats it contested. Its BN partner MCA took one seat, resulting in the coalition winning just 28, three short of needed for a simple majority in the Perak legislature.
The rest of the BN parties sustained heavy losses.
“The results of the 2008 general elections show there were areas where BN lost by small margins to Pakatan.
“So, if BN does some good work, especially if Umno doubles its effort, [then] Umno can win in all of the 34 seats it contested in 2008. If that happens, what will the situation be for PAS and PKR? [But] I am confident DAP will win in all the seats it contested in 2008, which are mostly in the Kinta Valley,” he said.
Among the state seats which PR won by small margins is Lubok Merbau. PAS candidate Mohd Zainudin Mohd Yusof defeated BN-Umno’s Jamal Nasir Rasdi by just 72 votes.
However, there are also seats which BN won by small margins, such as Pengkalan Baharu where Hamdi Abu Bakar defeated PAS’ Abu Bakar Hussain by only 14 votes.
Jamaluddin, who was the deputy PKR state chairman before his defection, estimates that if Umno can win all of its 34 seats, then PKR and PAS will be left to share the remaining seven.
“If this happens what, then, will be the strength of PKR and PAS in the 13th general elections?
“The public voted opposition in 2008 not because they did not like BN. Pakatan won not because of its own strength but because of BN’s weaknesses… with their arrogant leaders… this caused the public to be angry,” he said.
He further said BN stood a good chance at the next polls — even including candidates from MCA, MIC and Gerakan — as long as their leaders were not arrogant.
Besides Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu of Changkat Jering and Hee Yit Foong from DAP also defected to be BN-friendly independents.
Asked whether they were considering joining any BN party, Jamaluddin said that they had not considered the matter.
In Election 2008, DAP won all 18 seats it contested. PKR took seven while PAS won six.
The Perak state assembly consists of 59 seats.
PAS lawmaker Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin became Perak Mentri Besar after the March 2008 polls.
Last week, Nizar also acknowledged that Malay support had fallen for DAP, PKR and PAS, especially in rural areas.
He contended, however, that he still expects PR to win the state if elections were held now.
Nizar also repeated his stand that the political crisis in the state could only be resolved if BN’s Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir requests for a dissolution of the state assembly from the Sultan.
The Federal Court will make its decision on the appeal by Nizar to be declared the rightful Mentri Besar on Feb 9.