With Melaka on the precipice of a new state election coming in the not so distant future, the country is waiting with bated breath in order to see how the potential landscape of future political elections will change post-pandemic.
Will we see a repeat of the ill-fated Sabah elections that took place back in September last year? Or will the nation be able to handle the inevitable rise of daily Covid-19 cases now that a majority of its citizens have been vaccinated? Or perhaps with new and stricter guidelines in place, will we potentially see a safer election this time around?
Only time will tell, but for now, here are the current political news about everything we know regarding the upcoming Melaka state elections.
Melaka Will Set A Precedent For Future Political Battles In A Post-Pandemic Malaysia
Firstly, there will be three major political alliances that will contest in the Melaka state election: Pakatan Harapan (PH), Perikatan Nasional (PN), and Barisan Nasional (BN).
Over the past four years, Melaka has been governed by the different coalitions at various points. And all three parties have stressed during preliminary campaigning that voters will be able to elect the state government they want for the next four years. The next iteration of the Melaka government will be decided by the 495,195 voters that are registered in the state.
Data released by the Election Commission (EC) has stated that of this number, women voters outnumber men by 54,666 or comprises 51.43% of the total number of voters. And it was also revealed that 76.1% of the registered voters in Melaka are from the ages of 21 to 59 years old.
Also, the upcoming polls will see all 28 seats in the state being contested by the aforementioned political coalitions, with some surprise candidates rumoured to be contesting as independents. For instance, former Pengkalan Batu assemblyman Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee has declared his intent to defend his seat as an independent party. Elsewhere, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) has made it known in current news of its intention to field its candidates to run in five seats — Pengkalan Batu, Gadek, Paya Rumput, and Duyong Sungai Rambai.
But like any other political game, there were also controversies surrounding the build-up to the event. Namely, former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, as well as fellow Umno alumni Datuk Nor Azman Hassan, made the jump to PH this time around. Their perceived “betrayal” and a habit of party hopping has not dissuaded the concerns of PH coalition partners. However, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has attempted to finally put the issue to rest by saying it is a moot point now that the state assembly is dissolved.
A Look Into How To Learn From Our Mistakes In The Last State Election In Sabah
As mentioned, the state has seen its fair share of instability throughout the span of four years due to a change of three different state administrations headed by three separate chief ministers.
Along with that, it doesn’t help that the election has come following the last time a state election was held in Sabah in September 2020. As a result of SOP breaches, the nation immediately got stricken by its worst wave of Covid-19 yet. That being said, the pandemic situation in Malaysia is currently stabilising with over 90% of the country’s adult population already vaccinated. Though, some voters still worry that the Melaka state election could turn into a super-spreader event not dissimilar to the one in Sabah.
The current mood in Melaka, politics-wise, is currently one of disinterest and apathy as many voters regard the state elections as too much of a risk to get infected by the virus.
Where once you may witness party flags, slogan-filled banners, and posters plastered with the faces of the candidates, you won’t find many on the streets of Melaka today. And like many other parts of the nation, many stores and commercial centres in the state are largely closed due to being affected by the recent lockdown, as reported in current business news.
Indeed, many are more concerned with their businesses’ financial well-being rather than who will form the next state government.
Melaka will hold its voting as early as November 16 but a majority of the voters will only be able to cast their ballots on the 20th of November 2021.