Malacca polls’ winners and losers

K. Kabilan

Barisan Nasional secures a major win in the Malacca polls, with Umno claiming 18 out of the 21 seats won by the coalition. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, November 21, 2021.

BARISAN Nasional (BN), led by Umno, celebrated a big win in the Malacca elections yesterday, and is looking at the next general election with high hopes.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN), however, suffered a big blow, and will have to go back to the drawing board to plot their next course of action.

Here is a look at the winners and losers of the Malacca elections.



Umno, without a doubt, is the biggest winner in Malacca. The party won 18 out of the 21 seats bagged by BN, making it the single biggest party in the small state. It won 13 seats in the 14th general election (GE14).

Umno ensured a swift strong grip by swearing in Sulaiman Md Ali as chief minister at 1am today, just hours after the election outcome was made official. Not that there is any chance of any other party “buying off” assemblymen to form a new state government.

The party has also gotten rid of rebel factions in the state chapter, including the influential Idris Haron, who faced an embarrassing defeat in Asahan, where he contested on a PKR ticket.

In addition, Umno has gained the upper hand in dealing with Bersatu and PAS at the federal level.

Najib Razak

The former prime minister was a regular visitor throughout the campaign period in Malacca, despite the ban on ceramah and house visits, and he was not even leading the BN/Umno campaign.

Najib also had to work overtime to meet voters, while keeping up with his court cases in Kuala Lumpur.

He did a good job reaching out to voters by overcoming the ban by the Election Commission – he attended many “makan sessions”, greetings and gatherings at food stalls all over the state. He also became a popular local food promoter on social media.

The Pekan MP made good use of online platforms to address and highlight issues affecting the people of Malacca. Even the controversy surrounding his RM100 million property application did not derail his vigour.

Bossku delivered for Umno this time.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

The overwhelming win by Umno in Malacca proves that he is right to break ties with Bersatu and go solo. If the state polls is an acid test in facing the voters alone, Zahid’s ploy had worked well.

The former deputy prime minister can look forward to leading BN and Umno in facing GE15 partner-less, and with the momentum gained in the past year and victory in Malacca, he can afford confidence that the coalition’s crushing defeat in GE14 may not recur.

Securing Malacca will also silence party detractors pushing for continuous cooperation with Bersatu and PAS.


Anwar Ibrahim

PKR’s defeat must come as a major shock to the opposition leader. The party was confident of defeating both Bersatu and Umno in the battle for Malay votes, and even dreamt of forming the new state government.

Anwar’s confidence prompted him to send two bigwigs to contest in Malacca – PKR information chief Shamsul Iskandar in Paya Rumput and ex-chief minister and Umno leader Idris Haron in Asahan.

PKR stood in 11 seats and lost in all. It won three seats in Malacca in GE14.

Anwar’s decision to accept two former Umno leaders, including Idris, into PH will come under more scrutiny now.

He will have to also address questions on whether he should step down to allow someone else to lead the coalition into GE15. But before that, PH and PKR will have to show their mettle in the Sarawak elections.

Muhyiddin Yassin

The PN chairman and Bersatu president was the poster boy for the pact in Malacca, but the coalition won only two seats despite contesting in all 28.

PN was confident of making waves in the state elections, but ended up raising more questions on its future and impact.

Muhyiddin said he is happy with the two seats won by Bersatu, adding that this shows the coalition is making inroads in Malacca.

However, he may have to rely on PAS to keep PN’s impact and decide on how he can work with the prime minister at the federal level.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Ismail Sabri is not much of a loser per se, but the election results will cause him annoyance in running Putrajaya.

He was not a major player in the elections, only visiting the state once.

The prime minister may have a headache in dealing with Bersatu and PAS at the federal level; the two parties Umno soundly defeated in Malacca.

He will have to overcome future frictions to smoothly run his administration.

The Umno vice-president must also pay attention to party bosses, who now have their tails up after their showing in Malacca and want Umno to truly lead Putrajaya.

PAS and Gerakan

The two PN parties that did not win any seat in Malacca.

For PAS, it is time to reconsider its ties with Muafakat Nasional (Umno) and PN (Bersatu), and decide which is best-suited for its political future.

The Islamist party will also have to decide if it can afford to stop using its logo in facing polls, like it did in Malacca.

Gerakan had aimed to claim Chinese votes, but ultimately failed to unseat DAP or MCA.

It, too, will have to decide on its political future and how it can remain relevant. – November 21, 2021.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • The acceptance of corruption or rewards to the corrupt must be the weaknesses in religion upbringing? But the indoctrination of religious values starts almost at birth ? So where is the moral value that seems lopsided in favor of beating up on the non Muslims?

    Posted 2 years ago by Alphonz Jayaraman · Reply

  • Basically BN didnt win the election. PH lost it. The personal bashings didnt help PH or PN. In fact it could have cost them the votes.

    Posted 2 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply