Bersatu heavyweight foresees a hung assembly in Malacca

No single political coalition will emerge dominant, says Mas Ermieyati.

MALACCA POLLS | Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, one of PN’s most prominent heavyweights in the Malacca state assembly election, believes that no single political coalition will emerge as the dominant power in this election.

According to the two-term Masjid Tanah MP, this would be the case since Umno decided not to work with Bersatu for the election.

“From the PN perspective, I agree with the sentiment that there will be no dominant party this time around. I totally agree that no single party can win big in this election.

“The only question now is, when comes the time to form a state government after this Nov 20 polling day,” she told Malaysiakini in an interview.

Mas Ermieyati, who is a deputy law minister, is contesting for the Tanjung Bidara state seat where she is facing Malacca Umno chief Ab Rauf Yusoh and Harapan’s Zainal Hassan.

She was referring to Umno’s decision to decline cooperation with the Bersatu-led PN in the state election.

This was despite both the PN and Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalitions being in the federal government.

Hence, Mas Ermieyati added, the ball would be in Umno’s court come the time to form a state government, should it fail to get the majority.

“Of course, there were discussions among the parties on how we can work together in this state election. However, we saw that Umno decided not to be with Bersatu.

“I was also asking the same question: how is BN going to form a government if it can’t get the majority? Would BN form a new political alignment with either PKR or DAP?

“The burden is not on PN. It wasn’t us who decided to end the cooperation. So, we will see how it will be after this Nov 20… what will happen after that. But I am sure of one thing, that forming a state government will require several parties coming together,” she said.

In the interview, Mas Ermieyati also expressed her hope that the political crisis in Malacca would settle soon, to ensure stability in the state.

“I am worried that if it is not solved, there won’t be political stability.”

Bersatu’s strategy

Asked why she is contesting a state seat when she is already an MP for the area, Mas Ermieyati explained that she planned to help PN by contributing a seat in the election, given that she is already known by the people.

The lawyer said her initial plan was to contest in Ayer Limau, where she hails from, but the top Bersatu leadership decided that she should go to Tanjung Bidara to face Rauf and Zainal.

Harapan’s Tanjong Bidara candidate Zainal Hasan

“Yes, I agree that there is no need for me to contest here because I am already an MP and also a deputy minister.

“But the idea came when I saw the state assembly was dissolved because two Umno state assemblypersons withdrew their support from the Umno-led state government, which caused the election that was not supposed to happen now (during the pandemic).

“This state election is also a symbol for the general election, which will happen soon. Thus, we will need to record a victory in these polls. So, as a Bersatu division chief and Masjid Tanah PN chair, I have to help PN by contributing a seat.

“Because there may be some advantage for me, being the incumbent Masjid Tanah MP, to win a seat,” Mas Ermieyati said.

Tanjung Bidara is a state seat under the Masjid Tanah parliamentary constituency.

However, she admitted that it won’t be a walk in the park for her, especially because Umno is featuring Rauf and that Tanjung Bidara has always been a traditional Umno seat.

Mas Ermieyati also used to be an Umno leader, before her defection to Bersatu when Bersatu was still a Harapan component. She had won the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat on the Umno ticket in 2013 and 2018.

Bersatu president and PN chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin

Asked if she will ever consider returning to Umno, the politician replied in the negative.

“I have no such plan. This will be my last party.

“I know that a couple of months ago there was this rumour that alleged (Home Minister) Hamzah (Zainudin) and I will rejoin (Umno). This is an evil accusation.”

According to Mas Ermieyati, she prefers to stay in Bersatu because she likes the way its president Muhyiddin Yassin is leading the PN coalition.

The Malacca snap election was called following the collapse of the Umno-Bersatu government after 19 months in power.

Four rebel assemblypersons, two from Umno, one from Bersatu and one independent, had withdrawn their support for Sulaiman Md Ali’s Umno-Bersatu government in an attempt to form a new government with Pakatan Harapan.

In a bid to thwart the effort, Sulaiman sought a dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly, paving the way for fresh polls.

The Umno-Bersatu government was installed in March 2020 after the Harapan government collapsed in a similar fashion.

By : HARIZ MOHD – MALAYSIAKINI

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