Malaysia’s major political parties are preparing for the Johor state election on March 12. The campaign in the state with the country’s third highest GDP after Selangor and Sarawak started on February 27.
The political battle will test traditional alliances and could herald the formation of a new opposition alliance.
Three political parties created over the past five years, namely Warisan, Pejuang and the Malaysian Democratic Alliance (MUDA) are attempting to form a new coalition as an alternative to the Pakatan Harapan (PH). PH, the previous ruling coalition that became the opposition in 2020, has faced leadership problems and a lack of internal reform that has frustrated their supporters. The subsequent entry of the three political newcomers now creates the perfect conditions for the emergence of a new front.
The state polls in Johor will thus help build momentum for a new coalition, as it will deepen the widening disconnect between the PH leadership and their support base, while highlighting the weakness of the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) ruling coalition.