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Malaysia GE15 result a hung parliament scenario; both PH and PN in pole position to form government

All eyes are now on the negotiations with possible partners, including the parties from Sabah and Sarawak.

Malaysia GE15 result a hung parliament scenario; both PH and PN in pole position to form government

Muhyiddin Yassin and Anwar Ibrahim speak during their respective party's press conference on Nov 20, 2022. (Photos: CNA/Fadza Ishak, Gaya Chandramohan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15) has resulted in a hung parliament scenario, with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalitions almost neck and neck in terms of the number of seats won.

With neither coalition having the numbers for an outright majority in the 222-seat Lower House, both coalitions will now negotiate with their potential partners in a bid to form the next government. 

PH won 81 seats while PN emerged victorious in 73 seats. Barisan Nasional (BN) finished a distant third with 30 seats. 

The Borneo-based coalitions of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) won 22 and 6 seats respectively. They will now be regarded as potential kingmakers.

WE HAVE THE MAJORITY TO FORM A GOVERNMENT: ANWAR

In a press conference on early Sunday morning (Nov 20), PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim said: “We managed to get the support of MPs to form the government with the simple majority, subject to the normal process, to be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at his discretion to make the final decision.”

Pakatan Harapan's Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference on Nov 20, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

He added: “The majority means more than 111 ... We are the biggest block.”

“We will form the government only when we have the majority,” he reiterated.

When asked how he would prevent what happened in 2020 when defections by lawmakers had resulted in the collapse of the PH government, Mr Anwar replied: “The anti (party) hopping law is already imposed.”

He was referring to a landmark legislation that took effect on Oct 5 which aims to discourage MPs from switching political parties.

PN SAYS IT WILL DISCUSS WITH SABAH, SARAWAK PARTIES

In a separate press conference on early Sunday morning, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said that the wave of support the coalition has received, especially from the youths, has contributed to “unexpected" electoral success.

He said that in terms of the formation of the next government, PN would discuss with parties from Sabah and Sarawak.

"For stability, we will welcome any parties who will accept our struggle for a government that cares, is clean and is stable," he said during the press conference, flanked by the coalition's leaders.

"If we form a government with other parties, PN will implement what is contained in our manifesto," he added.

Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) president Muhyiddin Yassin talks to members of the press during his media conference at Glemmarie. Muhyiddin mentioned that the party is open for any collaboration with any other party. (Photo: CNA/Fadza Ishak)

In the coalition’s manifesto, PN pledged to solve the bread and butter issues faced by the people and create 1 million jobs, among other promises.

Mr Muhyiddin said that PN has received a positive response from the Sabah and Sarawak parties.

He said that they will take steps to discuss the matter as soon as possible and conclude it by Sunday evening.

He added that PN will not consider working with PH to form the government.

GE15 A FIERCE CONTEST

GE15 has been one of the fiercest fought elections in the country’s history, with a record number of more than 900 candidates vying for a place in the parliament. Voting for two seats – Padang Serai in Kedah and Baram in Sarawak – was postponed.

As the early results started to be announced at around 10pm, GPS won the first handful of seats in Sarawak. As expected, it was an early indication that the potential kingmakers of Borneo would have an important say on the formation of the next government. 

With the results of around half of the parliamentary seats being finalised, a picture began to emerge: PH and PN were running neck and neck with around 30 seats won each, while BN was lagging behind at less than 20 seats at just after the 12am mark.

For PN, Mr Muhyiddin successfully defended his seat in Pagoh, Johor. 

Caretaker senior minister Azmin Ali of PN, who was one of the lawmakers who defected from Parti Keadlian Rakyat in 2020 sparking a chain of events that led to the fall of the PH administration, failed to defend his seat in Gombak. He lost to Selangor chief minister Amirudin Shari.

Meanwhile, Mr Anwar captured the Tambun seat in Perak. He switched base from Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan to contest there, a move regarded by those in his camp as a strategic move that could help PH to return to power in Putrajaya.

PH’s Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of Mr Anwar, lost the Permatang Pauh seat in Penang to PN’s Muhammad Fawwaz Mat Jan.

The seat has been described as a "family seat" that represents Mr Anwar's legacy. The seat had been held by their family since 1982 – first by Mr Anwar, and then by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, followed by Ms Nurul Izzah.

Several BN stalwarts, including caretaker finance minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz (Kuala Selangor), caretaker health minister Khairy Jamaluddin (Sungai Buloh), Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Gua Musang) and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (Putrajaya) lost in their contests. 

BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi managed to defend his Bagan Datuk seat in Perak with a slim majority while caretaker prime minister Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob also managed to retain his seat in Bera, Pahang. 

With around three-quarters of all seat results announced, BN, which was by then in firm third place behind PH and PN, issued a statement saying that it “accepts and respects” the people’s decision.

The outcome of GE15 is a “big signal” from the people to the coalition, said Ahmad Zahid.

The coalition remains committed to contributing to the formation of a stable government, he added.

Gerakan Tanah Air, led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, failed to win a single seat. 

Dr Mahathir himself failed to defend his seat in Langkawi, Kedah. He was defeated by PN’s Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah who clinched 13,518 out of 25,463 votes. 

The Election Commission showed that the 97-year-old only secured 4,566 votes and has thus lost his election deposit.

Source: CNA/nh(aw)
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