Johor’s silent Tionghua revolution


Dear Olde (though not too old) Hishamuddin Hussein is on panic mode. Politically accident-proned, the Home Minister has a natural talent in offending the Chinese and Indians, so even he would have realized by now, the Chinese and Indians won’t be too fond of him.

Because his federal constituency of Sembrong has 40% Chinese voters wakakaka, he has correctly assessed he’ll be stuffed in the next general election.

Hisham’s fear has found firm grounds in The Malaysian Insider’s (TMI) latest report that In Johor, Chinese set to snub BN in polls.

According to TMI, Professor Abu Hassan Hasbullah of think-tank Zentrum Future Studies (based at UM) revealed that “… its end-of-year surveys have seen Johor Chinese catch up with and possibly overtake their northern kin in terms of backing PR. Opposition leaders in the state estimate that they won 55 per cent of Chinese votes in the last election but ….. support from the community has surged to close to 90 per cent.”

90%! Now, can you blame Hisham for his QD (quiet despair)? Wakakaka!

The Prof described the massive political swing as a “silent Tionghua revolution”.

According to the Zentrum survey, Chinese approval of Pakatan in Johor rose to 68% after the last election, and climbed further to 79 per cent in 2010. With the lastest figures, this could effectively enable Pakatan to pick up 15 federal and 30 state seats in Johor (compared to 1 and 6 respectively on 08 March 2008).

There are now rumours of Hishamuddin cabut-ing (scooting off) from Sembrong to Kota Tinggi. I hope he doesn’t forget to take his keris along with him.

Chinese Malaysians, even Penangites, are by nature political conservatives, desiring political stability and economic prosperity, which has been why Penangites tolerated Koh TK and his spineless Gerakan Party for almost 40 years.

But among Chinese Malaysians, those in Johor are probably the most conservative, preferring to stick with Tunku’s Perikatan and subsequently Tun Razak’s BN even as late as 2008. Unlike their Penang counterparts, who swept away both ruling parties in 1969* and 2008, the Johoreans seemed to be far more tolerant of Perikatan/BN excesses and arrogance.