ISKANDAR PUTERI – A “Malay tsunami” in Johor in the 14th general election (GE14) , as speculated by several quarters, especially the opposition, will not happen, said Johor UMNO Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Expressing confidence that Johor, regarded as an UMNO stronghold, would remain under Barisan Nasional (BN),he said Johor UMNO had its own strength to face any challenge from the Malay-base opposition parties, such as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PAS.
The Johor Menteri Besar said the opposition would always continue to find ways to sensationalise issues to confuse and win the support of the people.
The non-Malays, he said, should not be unduly worried or be influenced by the opposition’s claim that a Malay tsunami would happen in GE14, regarded the mother of all elections, which would be called soon.
“We have always been telling the Chinese and Indian communities to not allow themselves to be deceived by the opposition.
“It (Malay tsunami) will not happen. It is a baseless allegation and if the non-Malays believe it, they ‘ll also be at the losing end,” he said in a special interview with BERNAMA at his office at Kota Iskandar, the Johor government’s administrative centre, recently.
An opposition think-tank, Invoke, recently predicted that Kedah, Perak and Johor would fall to Pakatan Harapan , as well as win big in Selangor and Penang because of a Malay tsunami.
In tabling its survey on 2,000 respondents at a “GE14 Prediction Forum: What The Big Data Tells Us? in Kuala Lumpur, Invoke director Rafizi Ramli said the Malay support for BN dropped to 28 per cent last month, from 41 per cent in December last year.
The support of the Malays for the opposition front, comprising DAP, PPBM, Partti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) went up to 14.1 per cent last month, from 9.9 per cent in December last year. it also found the number of fence-sitters increased from 11.9 per cent to 17 per cent over the same period.
In the last general election, BN won 38 state seats in Johor, while the remaining 13 were won by DAP, PAS (four) and PKR (one), and following the quit-party action by some of the elected representatives, the current standing in the Johor Legislative Assembly is 37 seats under BN, DAP (13); PAS (three) and one each by PBBM, PKR and Amanah.
On the possibility of non-Malay base parties and UMNO not being able to form a state government, Mohamed Khaled, who is also BN chairman, said it would create an imbalance in the government and a situation which UMNO and BN would not want in Johor.
“We want to have balance in the government and also in many other matters, as I have said at a meeting during the Chinese New Year celebration recently that it is crucial to have non-Malay elected representatives in the government as a symbol of balance.
“So, a Malay tsunami will not happen in Johor, just because of the support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin (former UMNO leader), the Malays no longer support the government which has brought prosperity in their life.
“The Johor Malays are not the type of people who cannot think and are irrational. They are rational people,” he said.
He said the Malays were a community that gave importance to matters on defending, protecting and upholding Islam, liberalisation, etc, which would be the basis for them to make their choice.
Quoting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his speech recently, Khaled said, the people should remember that UMNO remained strong because of its own strength and as Malaysia was a multi-racial country, the party worked with component parties of other races to form the government and share power.
“But PBBM relies on other parties, (like) DAP, likewise Amanah, and that is not good for any political party,” he said.
He also said that Johor UMNO had its own strength to face a straight fight or three-cornered fight in the coming general election.
Apart from that, the cooperation between Johor UMNO and component parties in BN continued to be strengthened in an effort by the coalition to wrest back the seats which were won by the opposition in the last general election, said Khaled, who is also Permas assemblyman. – BERNAMA