The just-concluded Sarawak polls is seen as an important gauge of popularity for Najib, who must face a general election of his own.By M Jegathesan
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is unlikely to call snap elections after a bruising state poll in which his ruling coalition lost ground to the opposition in a traditional stronghold, analysts said.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition held onto its crucial two-thirds majority after Saturday’s vote in Sarawak but the opposition had its best result for nearly a quarter century in the resource-rich state on the Borneo island.
The vote was seen as an important gauge of popularity for Najib, who has dished out money for rural development.
Some observers said it was the most crucial test for the BN since the 2008 general election when the opposition seized a third of parliamentary seats and threatened the BN’s half-century grip on power.
In Saturday’s Sarawak election, the BN clinched 55 seats while Anwar Ibrahim’s opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance won 15. An independent candidate took one seat. Previously the BN had held 63 seats and the opposition eight.