Malaysian state constituency of Chini to hold by-election

Today is polling day for the Chini constituency state by-election in Malaysia’s Pahang federal state. It will be a three-cornered

The Barisan Nasional BN candidate at a campaign event in June

Photo: Bernama

Today is polling day for the Chini constituency state by-election in Malaysia’s Pahang federal state. It will be a three-cornered fight between the incumbent Barisan Nasional party (BN) and two veteran independent candidates.

Under the current government, grievances are centred around second-generation housing and a rising cost of living, concerns that BN candidate Mohd Sharim Bin Mohd Zain has sought to address through his campaign. Early voting saw a turnout of 94%, indicating voters are willing to have their voices heard despite the pandemic. Sharim is likely to defend the seat in a landslide victory given his prior work in youth organisations and his grassroots network in Chini, especially with the Felda settler community.

The by-election is the first time Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s party, Bersatu, will be campaigning on behalf of a BN candidate, and it will serve as a litmus test for the tacit cooperation among the different factions of the newly formed ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition. This is especially pertinent given the ongoing feud between Muhyiddin and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the legitimacy of Muhyiddin’s premiership, which may well result in snap elections being called soon.

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