Melaka election: Perikatan names Mas Ermieyati as its chief minister candidate

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AYER KEROH: A Barisan Nasional leader has alleged that Perikatan Nasional’s move to vie for all 28 seats in Melaka is aimed at splitting the Malay vote to ensure BN’s loss in the state election.

BN communications adviser Isham Jalil said PN lynchpin Bersatu was seeking to bring Umno to its knees and make it submit to its will.

He told FMT he believed Bersatu wanted Umno to give up its claim to the seats it won in GE14 but subsequently lost to Bersatu through defections.

He said Bersatu had “better think again” if it was thinking that splitting Malay votes would result in victory for Pakatan Harapan (PH) and would force Umno to negotiate to join PN.

“We will not be held to ransom,” he said. “This will only strengthen our resolve.”

Isham also said he believed PN was not aiming to win the election as it had no grassroots support and that its intention was only to split BN’s votes.

He said BN’s chances were good, but he added: “We do not want to be overconfident.”

He claimed that sentiment in favour of BN was a lot better than it was in GE14 when Malay support for it went down to 65%, according to its surveys.

“If we get 70% to 75% of Malay support,” he said, “it’s possible we’ll be able to secure 17 seats. But we need to work hard.”

Recently, BN deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan said the coalition could win 18 seats and form the state government on its own.

Mohamad said this confidence was based on studies BN conducted during the campaign period as well as data that showed voters had consistently voted for BN before GE14.

Isham also said he hoped PAS would again work with Umno.

He said he was encouraged when he saw PAS members helping to put up BN flags in their areas.

“We also want those from Bersatu to return to Umno. However, I know, based on history, that this will not happen until it loses. Therefore, we have to win against PN.”

Melaka will go to the polls tomorrow.

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