KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition led by Umno has won 20 of the 28 seats in the Melaka state polls on Saturday (Nov 20), according to unofficial results cited by local media.
Rival pact Pakatan Harapan has so far won five seats, according to the unofficial tally, and Perikatan Nasional has won two seats.
The Election Commission has so far officially declared than BN has won 15 seats, the minimum number of wards needed to form the next state government in Melaka, the second-smallest state in Malaysia after Perlis.
The 20 seats won meant that BN has secured more than a two-thirds majority.
The PH coalition, which is an opposition bloc at the federal level, has conceded defeat. It said that based on unofficial results it obtained from its operation centres, the Melaka voters had already decided to give its mandate to BN.
“We would like to state that the people of Melaka have made their decisions through the ballot box,” PH secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told a news conference, as quoted by The Star daily. “And based on that, it shows that they wanted Barisan to form a government and Pakatan needs to respect the results,” he added.
Present at the news conference were the leaders of PH ally parties – Parti Amanah Negara’s president Mohamad Sabu and the Democratic Action Party’s national organising secretary Anthony Loke.
The state election is closely watched as Melaka has a racial composition and urban-rural split similar to the national averages, potentially making Saturday’s polls a bellwether for the next general election.
The general election is not due until 2023 but is expected to take place in the latter half of next year.
PH won power in Melaka for the first time in 2018, mirroring its unexpected victory at the federal level. But the PH state government collapsed due to defections early last year, just as its federal counterpart was ousted for similar reasons.
Another round of defections last month saw the BN-led state government, which replaced the PH one, also lose its majority, leading to the dissolution of the legislative assembly.