A Kadir Jasin
So confident is the party that it has chosen Johor, the Barisan Nasional’s bastion in the Peninsula, as the battleground. It is so sure of making an impact in the state that it is sending its supreme leader, Lim Kit Siang, to lead the charge.
Even so Lim is playing second fiddle to PAS, which over a year ago nominated its Johor-born vice president, Salahuddin Ayub, to lead the charge to conquer the state. Salahuddin is PAS MP for Kubang Krian, Kelantan. Should the Pakatan Rakyat succeed in the assault, Salahuddin will become the Menteri Besar.
Incidentally, the top MCA leaders are also jostling to contest in the state believing it is the safest place for them. The squabbling for seats among the MCA leaders could jeopardise the BN’s chances of defending the state.
The DAP national adviser, who is the MP for Ipoh Timur in Perak, will contest the Gelang Patah seat now held, with a comfortable majority, by the BN via the MCA. In the 2008 polls, MCA’s Tan Ah Eng won with a majority of 8, 851 over PKR’s Dr Zalina Mustafa after polling 33,630 votes. A tough call but Lim appears to be confident that he could wrest the seat.
The DAP will also contest Segamat, Kluang, Kulai, Tanjung Piai, Labis and Bakri.
Changing seats is Lim’s trademark and a survival strategy. He has been successful in the past and the planned move is a vote of supreme confidence that Johor is ready for change. He would not have made the decision unless he believes he has better than average chance of winning.
Since the 1969 GE – his first - Lim had won parliamentary seats in four states namely Malacca, Selangor, Penang and Perak. He has also been a member of the State Legislative Assembly in Malacca and Penang.
MCA the 2013 Target
After doing away with the Gerakan in Penang in the 2008 GE, it is only natural for the DAP to hunt down the MCA this time around.
Only by getting rid of the MCA could the DAP hope to consolidate the Chinese under its banner. The consolidation of Chinese votes under a single party, i.e. the DAP, will strengthen further the bargaining power of the community.
A solid block of 30 over percent Chinese votes is formidable given the fact that the Malay-Bumiputera votes are split three ways among Umno, PAS and PKR and a sizeable chunk of Indian votes is with the PR.
On the other hand, the concentration of Chinese votes under one party would worsen further the already acute racial polarisation in the political arena.
I have for decades been suggesting the possibility of Umno having to partner the DAP in the future in the manner that it partnered the Gerakan in Penang after the 1969 race riots.
DAP’S Presence In Johor