In the last two days, I visited three parliamentary constituencies in south Johore, Johore Baru, Kulai and Gelang Patah, attending seven functions and they all gave me confidence that the wind of change is blowing strong and hard from Johore in the run-up to the 13th General Elections.
In the 2008 general elections, the 308 “political tsunami” came down from the north in Malaysia, winning for Pakatan Rakyat the states of Penang, Kedah, Perak (which was subsequently “stolen” back by UMNO/Barisan Nasional through undemocratic and unconstitutional means) Selangor and Kelantan.
The political tsunami in 2008 faltered in Negri Sembilan or Pakatan Rakyat would have won another state government that year.
After my two-day visit to south Johore visiting Taman Pelangi, Taman Sentosa, Plentong, Gelang Patah, Senai, Bandar Seri Alam and Johor Jaya, and attending two major DAP UBAH Dream Truck ceramahs drawing unprecedented crowds, I feel hopeful that in the 13th General Elections, a bigger “political tsunami” is in store and will emanate from the south in Johore Baru and Johore to radiate to all parts of Malaysia and take the political change started in 2008 to even greater heights.
After his political disaster of the RM3.5 million invitation to the South Korean K-Pop superstar Psy to Penang on the second day of the Chinese New Year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak flew next day to south Johore to seek political solace and consolation.
Najib emerged from a closed-door meeting with Johor Umno and BN on Feb. 12 declaring confidence in Johor remaining a BN bastion in the next general elections.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said after the meeting that Najib was confident that BN would wrest seats it had lost in the last general elections from the Opposition. In the 2008 general elections, BN won 25 out of the 26 parliamentary seats and 50 out of the 56 state assembly seats contested.
This optimism that BN would do well in Johor in the 13GE has now been echoed by the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek who maintained that Chinese voters in Johor are still solidly behind the BN despite the opposition’s attempts to make inroads in the BN’s strongholds in the state.
I will be surprised if PR cannot make greater headway in Johor in the 13GE.
Pakatan Rakyat takes up the challenge to let the 13GE prove whether there is a significant swing of support not only among the Chinese, but also Malays and Indians from the BN to PR.
For this reason, Pakatan Rakyat will focus on 15 Parliamentary seats in Johor in the run-up to 13GE to end Johor’s “fixed deposit state” status for UMNO/BN and to pave the way for PR to Putrajaya.
These 15 parliamentary seats which will become the “focus” constituencies where the battle for the hearts and minds of Johor voters would be fought are:
By focussing on 15 parliamentary seats in Johor, I am not saying that PR is sure to win everyone of them.
If PR can win over one-third of the parliamentary seats, i.e. at least 10 out of the 26 parliamentary seats in the state, together with at least one-third of the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak, then PR is well on the way to Putrajaya to form the next Federal Government of Malaysia.