It is another victory for Barisan Nasional (BN) when Semenyih seat fell in the hands of UMNO’s Zakaria Hanafi. As reported by the media, Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) big blow in Semenyih was due to the Malay voters swinging back to UMNO. Plus, the increasingly ‘friendly’ relationship between PAS and UMNO also played a part in the outcome.
Now that Semenyih by-election is over, the media has shifted their focus on what’s next, which is the Rantau by-election.
According to the bar charts above, the media exposure on the Rantau by-election started surface during the campaigning period of Semenyih by-election. This is because on Semenyih’s nomination day (Feb 16), the Special Election Court had declared BN Mohamad Hasan’s uncontested win in GE-14 as null and void, at once paving the way for another by-election.
Some of the early influencers of the Rantau by-election in the past week is Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim who take the lead with 134 statements. The media report that Anwar also agrees with the sentiments of Malay voters are swinging back to UMNO. Additionally, the PD MP also added that the outcome also reflects PH failure in fulfilling some promises the coalition had pledged.
Behind Anwar in the influencers list is Rantau incumbent Mohamad Hassan (113 statements), who is currently serving as UMNO acting president. Ranking at number three is PAS Tuan Haji Rafiei bin Mustapha who revealed that PAS won’t be contesting in Rantau on February 26. Instead, he said that PAS is ready to give their support for UMNO’s candidate.
Despite Najib’s visit to both Cameron Highlands and Semenyih to campaign for BN, the opposition still managed to win both seats. This somehow shows that the 1MDB scandal does not really affect on UMNO supporters. No new date was set on Najib’s 1MDB trial after it was postponed in February. Will “Bossku” continue his campaign for UMNO at Rantau?