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COMMENT | Changing tide? A look at Pulai and Simpang Jeram

COMMENT | This weekend, voters go to the polls to select their representatives for the Pulai parliamentary seat and Simpang Jeram state seat in Johor.

The by-elections were called when the seats became vacant with the passing of Salahuddin Ayub, a minister known for his humility and hard work.

Fielding candidates close to Amanah’s former vice-president, the party has anchored their campaign around the late Salahuddin’s Payung Rahmah legacy initiative that aimed to provide nutritious affordable meals and prioritised the economic struggles Malaysians are facing.

In the course of the by-election campaign, Amanah’s messaging has been overshadowed by Perikatan Nasional’s persistent focus on identity politics, appealing to race and religion (including the use of fatwa), as well as the opposition’s strategic focus on aiming to deny the parliamentary two-thirds of the Anwar government.

In the last few days of the campaign, the executive’s dropping of serious corruption charges against ally and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), has dominated discussion, with the opposition hoping that outrage from this decision will impact the results.

This piece looks at voting patterns in the two seats and explores the question of whether...

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