A failure to retain a two-thirds majority in Sarawak could lead the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing more federal seats in the 13th general election but will not be enough to dislodge it from power, claims political analyst Dr Ong Kian Ming.
The UCSI University academician stressed that Sarawak will be the catalyst for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to capture Putrajaya although the fledgling coalition must work hard to retain voter confidence after a spate of defections and squabbles.
“When BN fails to retain its two-thirds majority in Sarawak, that will be the starting point that will reveal the cracks and weaknesses in BN and Umno, especially when the state is no longer a safe deposit.
“This will pressure Sarawak to change and cause instability within BN. Najib will lose the two-thirds majority in the next general election and Pakatan Rakyat will get a net gain of 18 seats,” he told The Malaysian Insider after presenting his findings at a forum this week.
According to Ong’s study, BN will also fail to capture Selangor and Perak while PR will make significant gains in Terengganu, Johor and Sabah.
Ong believes that PR will able to wrest Stampin, Sarikei, Lanang, Miri and Sri Aman in Sarawak.
While PR should win Kulim in Kedah, Kuala Nerus and Dungun in Terengganu, Lumut and Kampar in Perak together with Segamat, Kluang, Gelang Patah in Johor.
The infighting between Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Anifah Aman in Sabah Umno will also cause BN to lose Sandakan and Tawau, Ong said.
PR currently holds 77 federal seats and is expected to have total of 100 seats or 45 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats in the next general election. It lost five seats when the lawmakers turned independent early this year.
Ong said that BN’s inability to recapture the magic number of 148 seats will move Umno further to the right.
“After the 13th general election, Najib’s position will not be sustainable and the situation would deteriorate even further. Muhyiddin will also campaign more on Malay agenda. This will create instability in BN and Umno would be increasing more pro-Malay,” he said.
He added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s failure to win a two-thirds majority in the next general election would spell the end of his political career.
“If you look at Pak Lah, he lost the support from Umno after the 2008 general election. If Najib fails to get the two-thirds majority, then Muhyiddin will become the new president of Umno,” he said.
He said BN will cease to exist under Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“BN will look less and less like a representative coalition and PR will become more inclusive and look like a racial coalition that BN once represented. Non-Malays will no longer have any confidence in BN which will cause them to lose in the 14th general election,” he said.
However, Ong admitted that PKR must regain voter confidence after the numerous defections by state and federal lawmakers from the party.
He also stressed that PR states, especially Selangor and Penang, must improve their performance.