GE15 winners and losers

Having been all but written off by political analysts in the run-up to the election, Perikatan Nasional finds itself in a strong position after the polls. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 20, 2022.

Commentary by Mustafa K. Anuar

THE general election attracted 73.9% voter turnout and produced mixed results, with no coalitions being able to form a government with a simple majority.

Pakatan Harapan (with Muda) scored 82 seats, while trailing closely behind it was Perikatan Nasional with a good catch of 73.

BN, particularly Umno, that forced an early election saw its fortunes going south with only 30 seats, while Pejuang’s contenders all lost, including its chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 



The Islamist party that called for the unity of the ummah – hence its embrace of both Umno and Bersatu at one time – eventually reinforced its strength in this election via a pact with Bersatu and Gerakan under the banner of Perikatan Nasional.

It took a clean sweep of seats in Terengganu and Kelantan using its own logo, signalling that its brand of Islam is firmly welcomed by people on the east coast, as well as many in Kedah.

The failure of former PAS Syura Council secretary Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, who stood on BN ticket, for instance, suggests a PAS tsunami that could not be checked.

The party’s handsome victory has shown that it is now a force to be reckoned with, not only in PN, but also in many parts of the country.

It also shows that the politics of race and religion did produce dividends, which explains why Bersatu leader Muhyiddin Yassin won convincingly despite – or rather, because of – his so-called gaffe about Christianisation of the country on the eve of polling day.


Gabungan Parti Sarawak, which secured 22 seats comfortably, is set to be a kingmaker in a hung parliament. Only time will tell whether GPS is willing to sign a pact with PN, which now has a very strong Islamist partner.

Pakatan Harapan 

This coalition of PKR, DAP and Amanah – plus Muda co-operation – secured a pyrrhic victory with nine seats fewer than in 2018.

Although PH managed to defend most of its seats, it is noteworthy that PKR’s secretary general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail lost his Kulim seat to PN candidate Roslan Hashim, while Nurul Izzah Anwar also lost her family’s traditional seat of Permatang Pauh to a PN candidate, Fawwaz Mat Jan, with a majority of 5,272 votes.

A less than convincing performance means PH will have to seek alliances with other parties, possibly those in the Borneo states.

There are already calls for Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s head after Barisan Nasional’s dismal showing in the election. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 20, 2022.


Barisan Nasional

BN ended up in third place in terms of the national coalitions taking part in the election, securing only 30 seats under the leadership of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who carries a baggage of court cases.

As a result, Zahid’s Umno presidency has now become dicey, with members expected to call for his resignation owing to the coalition’s dismal showing.

Zahid’s dropping of certain Umno warlords aligned to Ismail Sabri Yaakob from the election, has also partly caused a reversal of the party’s political fortunes.

Ismail is now confirmed as the country’s prime minister for the shortest term ever, while Khairy Jamaluddin’s dream of becoming prime minister has been dashed by his electoral loss in Sungai Buloh.


The party’s chairman, nonagenarian Dr Mahathir Mohamed, received a thrashing from a PN candidate who got a majority of 13,518. Such was the humiliation that the former prime minister lost his deposit after gaining only 4,566 votes.

Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, as well as other contenders in the Gerakan Tanah Air coalition lost altogether, begging the question whether Pejuang and GTA will survive at all after the election.

PKR defectors

Among the “Sheraton Movers” who lost in this election are Mohamed Azmin Ali in Gombak – to Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari – and Zuraida Kamaruddin, who yesterday stood as a Parti Bangsa Malaysia candidate. It appears that many voters do not take kindly to those who betrayed them.

The next few days will be busy with various coalitions and parties locked in negotiations that would eventually decide who should govern the country, while voters look on from the ringside. – November 20, 2022.

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