KUALA LUMPUR: It would be an arduous task for PKR vice-president and incumbent Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to retain the seat, an analyst said today.
Prof Ahmad Atory Hussain said Barisan Nasional (BN) has the advantage to win Lembah Pantai from PKR in the upcoming general election as the party has already started with its groundwork to woo back the voters.
He told Berita Daily that BN has completed many material development such as building mosques and surau as well as giving handouts to the urban poor in the area.
“BN has started to work after losing 2 elections. The seat is unique because there are 2 classes of people; the upper class and the lower class.
“BN set up mosques and surau and also gave handouts to the urban poor. Even the low cost flats have been painted new. From that point of view, BN can win,” Atory said.
Speaking further, Atory added that even if Nurul wins it for the third time, it will be a slim victory.
Atory opined that Nurul is already feeling the heat and is not comfortable facing BN this time.
“If they win it, they will win with a slim majority and if they lose, it will also be slim. There is nothing much PKR can do because their finances are limited.
“Stories of Izzah going to other places carries weight as she is not comfortable defending the seat this time,” Atory opined.
The daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been said that she will be contesting in Pandan to replace Rafizi Ramli who will not be contesting this time after receiving a jail sentence.
However, Nurul denied that she will abandon Lembah Pantai seat saying that the rumours are unfounded.
Meanwhile, University Tasmania Prof James Chin believed that Nurul can still win in Lembah Pantai saying that if PKR insists on replacing Nurul, the party must come up with a candidate that can match Raja Nong Chik’s status.
“Lembah Pantai is a unique seat. The rich and the poor is so visible. Ideally Nurul should stay.
“Chances of winning is there but we can’t be sure until the campaign. PKR needs a brand name since BN is putting an ex minister,” Chin said.
However, for analyst Hisommudin Bakar from Ilham Centre, Nurul will be facing an uphill task if the redelineation takes place before the election.
He predicted that the chances are critical but PKR stand to lose if the incumbent is replaced.
“The chances is 50/50. With the delineation, it is critical for her to win but if she is replaced, BN will get the upper hand.
“PAS’ factor is also another thing to be considered. How far will they go this time? To support the opposition or otherwise. BN too cannot rely on PAS alone. It needs to stand by itself to win in Lembah Pantai,” he added.
Nurul won the Lembah Pantai seat after defeating Umno veterans in the last two general elections.
She defeated Shahrizat Jalil in 2008 and Raja Nong Chik in 2013.