PETALING JAYA: The battle for the Port Klang seat will be tougher for PKR this election as voters have become more circumspect about choosing their next state assemblyman.
This is because they would want to avoid the occurrence – for a third time – of their assemblyman quitting his party before his term ended, according to analysts.
The situation is ripe for Umno and PAS to exploit, says Ilham Centre executive director Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar.
Another analyst, Universiti Sains Malaysia’s associate professor Sivamurugan Pandian said he would not be surprised if Port Klang voters returned their support to the BN in this year’s general election.
However, political analyst Wong Chin Huat from the Penang Institute, feels the federal opposition will still retain the seat.
Hisomuddin said in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, the two PKR candidates who won the state seat did not properly serve the locals as one quit his party and another was sacked.
He was referring to Badrul Hisham Abdullah, who won as a PKR candidate in 2008 before quitting the party and turning independent in 2009, and former Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim who won the seat in 2013 before being sacked by PKR in 2014.
While Badrul joined Umno in 2010, Khalid remained an independent after his sacking.
“The voters here now want someone who can really serve them as Khalid and Badrul did not do their job in voicing their concerns in the state assembly,” Hisomuddin told FMT.
He said Umno and PAS could take advantage of the PKR-turned-independent assemblymen issue to win the seat.
PKR sacked Khalid from the party in 2014 after he refused to adhere to the party’s order to step down as menteri besar. Khalid is also the current Bandar Tun Razak MP.
Meanwhile, Badrul left PKR in 2009, saying he had no confidence in the party’s leadership. Badrul won the Port Klang seat in 2008 by defeating independent candidate Nazir Mansor and Barisan Nasional’s Roselinda Abd Jamil with a 4,407 majority.
Khalid retained the seat for PKR with a reduced majority of 2,994 votes in 2013, against Umno’s Nasarruddin M Zin.
Better judgement from voters
However, Wong said opposition votes would not be going to BN in Port Klang because of the two independent assemblymen issue.
Saying Khalid was not known for servicing his constituency and that he had no personal following, Wong noted that after Khalid became independent, Klang MP Charles Santiago had been looking after the state constituency until PKR’s coordinator, Azmizam Zaman Huri, took charge in 2016.
“Santiago also played a factor in making sure the locals would continue to support the opposition.”
Port Klang is one of the state seats under the Klang parliamentary constituency. The other state seats are Kota Alam Shah and Pandamaran.