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Malaysian state poll tests ruling alliance as allies split

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Malaysian state poll tests ruling alliance as allies split

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: A Malaysian southern state will hold elections on Saturday in a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s ethnic Malay party as it faces off against allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift.

While the outcome of the Malacca state poll will not affect the federal administration, analysts said it could deepen tensions between the two key Malay parties in the national government and shape how alliances are formed in the next general election.

The Malacca election will see a three-way fight between a camp led by Ismail’s United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, another by ally parties Bersatu and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, and the opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim.

UMNO and Bersatu, the two biggest parties in the ruling alliance, are at loggerheads but have agreed to share power until the next national polls, which are not due until 2023 but are widely expected to be called next year.



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