State Elections: Status Quo Effectively Maintained in All Six States

Image Credit: The Star
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Following Saturday’s state elections, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) – Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will be able to form governments in Selangor, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan, while Perikatan Nasional (PN) continue their dominance in Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

According to the comprehensive official results released by the Election Commission (EC) for all six states, the political landscape seems set to remain consistent. Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) are poised to continue governing in Selangor, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan, while Perikatan Nasional (PN) retains its authority in Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

Anticipated by independent pollsters such as Ilham Centre and Merdeka Center, the status quo appears to be maintained, with each political divide securing three states. In Negeri Sembilan, a substantial victory was secured by PH and BN, jointly capturing 31 out of 36 seats, relegating PN to just five.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the PH Chairman, at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur (August 12, 2023) | Image Credit: Firdaus Latif/Malay Mail

Penang saw PH and BN commandeer 29 out of 40 seats, while PN secured 11. In Selangor, the combined might of PH and BN clinched 34 out of 56 seats, leaving PN with 22. Notably, PN swept all 32 seats in Terengganu.

PN’s dominion continued in Kedah with 33 out of 36 seats, while PH managed a modest three. In Kelantan, PN secured a commanding 43 out of 45 seats, while BN and PH achieved one seat each.

Meanwhile, Selangor Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari affirmed August 14 as a special public holiday for the state, as previously pledged if the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition emerged victorious.

A breakdown of Selangor’s results | Graphic courtesy of The Edge


Though PAS couldn’t conquer Selangor, Penang, and Negri Sembilan, it remains convinced that its path to federal governance is undeterred. While not securing these key states, the Islamist party, aligned with the Perikatan Nasional coalition, interprets its progress as reflective of voters’ assessment of the current Pakatan-Barisan government.

Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS president, emphasised that the state election outcomes signal the public sentiment toward the unity government. Despite missing out on key victories, he believes the momentum created by the coalition’s showing could propel them toward capturing Putrajaya.

Given the hardline Islamist approach of the highly conservative party, many political observers feel a PAS-led government would be detrimental to the country, from both economic and sociopolitical perspectives.

PAS supporters celebrate | Image Credit: The Star

Perikatan’s reach stretched even into states they couldn’t wrest control of. The coalition secured 20 out of 56 seats in Selangor, 12 out of 20 in Penang, and six out of 30 in Negri Sembilan. Their presence was overwhelmingly dominant in Kelantan and Kedah, where they secured 43 out of 45 and 33 out of 36 seats, respectively. The coalition completed a clean sweep of all 32 seats in Terengganu.

From the 245 state seats contested, Perikatan achieved victory in 146, while Pakatan secured 99, showcasing the evolving political landscape in the country.

Graphic courtesy of Malay Mail

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