ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Election may signal confidence in coalition
In the by-elections, BN doubled its majority in Batu Sapi, a parliamentary constituency on the east coast of Sabah, and captured Galas, a state seat in the northern state of Kelantan.
Analysts said the coalition faced the by-elections a much more united front this time around, thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his 1Malaysia clarion call.
"The huge victory is quite unexpected," political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said, "but it is a clear sign that the people's confidence in the BN has returned." Speaking to Bernama, Dr Sivamurugan, a political science lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), also attributed the victory in Batu Sapi to the good combination of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
The Batu Sapi verdict, he said, also showed that the people rejected Sabah Progressive Party''s (SAPP) call for "Sabah for Sabahans" and reinforced Sabah''s position as a political "fixed deposit" for the BN.
As for the victory in Galas, he said, the BN had employed the right strategy by explaining national and local issues to the people, and in the process, won the hearts of not only the Malays but also the Chinese.
"The Chinese support is shifting towards the BN," he added.
For Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharudin, apart from the stronger support towards the BN, the thumping victory in Batu Sapi was also due to the failure of SAPP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to compromise on a single candidate to take on the BN.
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