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Sunday, 31 March 2013

GE 13

Salam kepada sesiapa yang sudi baca blog saya.

As we all know, Malaysia's 13th General Election ("GE 13") is coming sooner or later. It all depends on when our Prime Minister ("PM") dissolves Parliament after he holds the meeting with the King (Agong). Parliament will dissolve itself on April 28, regardless of whether the PM has met the Agong beforehand or otherwise.

I have put my predictions long on hold due to my busy schedule with work and classes. For me, I won't be able to post my full predictions anytime soon due to my current commitments to work. However, I can only say that no political divide would get the super-majority (2/3) when the next government elected, as the context of political battle had radically changed since the 2008 mini tsunami. More and more people are making informed choices due to the availability of information.

However, I would like to comment on DAP's aim to make inroads into Johor. We all know recently that DAP supremo (Lim Kit Siang - "LKS") has announced with Anwar's agreement that he will contest in the MCA fortress of Gelang Patah in order to break the stranglehold of Barisan Nasional ("BN") in UMNO's birth state of Johor. He is taking on a huge risk by leaving his Ipoh Timur constituency in order to lead the charge. However, winning or losing would be another matter altogether, and it's not uncommon for LKS to win or lose. He had his fair share of winning and losing in long and eventful political career. The most important psychological factor in the decision is to show that Pakatan Rakyat ("PR") is capable of being a government-in-waiting if it wins in GE 13. Considering that the Johorean Chinese population missed the last mini tsunami in 2008, they are more determined to make up for it in this year's GE 13. This could tilt the battle in LKS's favour for Gelang Patah, although I still ought to believe that the Johorean Malay support for BN is still pretty high, if anyone still remembers the Tenang by-election back in 2011.

Also, as just announced today, another of DAP's big guns (Liew Chin Tong) is contesting for the Kluang parliamentary seat, leaving Bukit Bendera in Penang in order to boost PR's charge into Johor. He is a smart lad from what I observe, and it's also quite a risk for him to take as it removes the guarantee of his voice being in Parliament after this GE 13. However, with Penang being mostly in good hands, it may be a worthwhile move to make, particularly Kluang has a voter demographics of 52% Chinese, 38% Malays and 9% Indians. Also, from 2004 to 2008, the swing was massive (from a majority of 18,698 to 3,781), although it still resulted in an MCA victory. Nonetheless, it shows that MCA's grip may be waning as we speak. Almost half of their parliamentary seats came from Johor, where they mainly rely on mixed seats, although most of it are Malay majority, but not by much. This shows MCA's reliance on Johor Malay voters (also mainly BN supporters) to contribute for the parliamentary seats.

Don't forget that we have Salahuddin Ayub of PAS coming back to Johor as a potential MB candidate should PR win a simple majority in the state assembly. He's also leaving the comforts of Kubang Kerian in Kelantan to boost PR's charge into UMNO's bastion as well. He is a Johorean by birth, hence it's his own decision agreed by the PAS leaders to come back to Johor.

So, it comes to the question: How well can BN defend its main bastion in Peninsula Malaysia?

My answer is as follows: Most probably BN would lose 5 seats at most, particularly Gelang Patah and Kluang (2 of the seats I mentioned above). Currently they limited PR to just 1 parliament seat in 2008 (Bakri), but Bakri is expected to be retained by PR. Hence, BN's hold on Johor remain solid, although there will definitely be chinks in the armour this GE 13.

As we come to the end of March, Parliament will definitely be dissolved next month one way or another.
Enjoy the political war folks!

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