Umno claims can win Selangor with big majority


By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KLUANG, Aug 6 — Umno is confident that Barisan Nasional (BN) will trounce Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Selangor in the coming polls with a whopping 20-seat majority, allowing the pact to form a strong government in the frontline state. 

Selangor Umno infomation chief Abdul Shukor Idrus told The Malaysian Insider that this time, BN will win in at least 38 of the state’s 56 seats, in comparison to the 20 it won in the 2008 election when PR captured the country’s wealthiest state. 

He attributed BN’s pre-empted victories to a significant increase in Malay voter support from about 50 per cent in 2008 to an estimated 65 per cent, saying it was fuelled by a growing disenchantment with the current PR-led state administration and feverish ground work by Umno leaders humbled by their shocking losses in 2008. 

“So although we cannot say that we are extremely comfortable yet, we are confident that we can win Selangor,” he said when met at his service centre here this week before the state Islamic affairs department triggered a controversy by raiding a Petaling Jaya church. 

The Kuang assemblyman however said the 38 seats only covers the state’s rural and suburban areas where he claimed the electorate has less access to the Internet, social media tools and the alternative media. 

“The big issues and all that are centred in the cities but they have less influence in the rural areas. In the cities, everyone uses the Internet. But outside, a lot just read the papers… they read more Utusan (Malaysia),” he said, smiling. 

The first-term assemblyman said certain national issues often played up by PR leaders would only affect Selangor’s more urban electorate, particularly those living in constituencies within the city areas where PR’s influence is deemed the strongest. 

Abdul Shukor said Umno has identified 18 such seats, categorised as “black areas”, which the party admits would be close to impossible to win. Among some of the seats identified are Subang Jaya, Bukit Lanjan, Bukit Tunku, Balakong, seats within the Petaling Jaya Utara and Selatan parliamentary constituencies and seats contested by PR bigwigs like PKR deputy president Azmin Ali. 

Abdul Shukor said although BN has not given up on these “black areas”, it would only focus its efforts in the 38 seats identified as winnable. 

Of the 38, he said, it is hoped that MCA can contribute between four and seven seats while MIC has expressed confidence in two seats — Batu Caves and Ijok. The remaining seats are to be snapped up by Umno. 

The Malaysian Insider understands that the ruling party will field candidates in 35 seats and has identified 25 seats as guaranteed wins, up seven seats from the 18 it won in Election 2008. 

Abdul Shukor said Indian community support for the Najib administration has also seen vast improvement, particularly because of Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s decision to step down as MIC president late last year and the appointment of two MIC leaders to ministerial posts. 

He also claimed that Chinese support has increased, albeit marginally, purportedly because of certain grouses among the business community towards the PR government. 

For the Malay votes, Abdul Shukor said Umno party leaders have been working hard on the ground to campaign for votes through hosting constant community programmes, doling out financial aid to the needy and keeping the electorate constantly engaged. 

“We go house to house, we give out to aid single mothers, the poor. We even fix roofs and broken drains… even toilet repairs,” he said. 

As an example, Abdul Shukor said that he has made it a point to visit at least 20 homes every Friday since he was elected. 

He stressed that only local and hardworking candidates who have put in enough time will win Selangor for BN, particularly in the suburban and rural constituencies. 

“Here, they do not care about the national issues… things going on in KL, for example. They are more concerned about the individuals they are voting for. They want someone who they know, they like and who can look after their needs,” he said.