The opposition lowers seats target for Perak

(NST) – Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham claimed that the opposition only had a 50 per cent chances of capturing the state in the next general election as the Barisan Nasional has increased its presence and strength.

  Ngeh alleged that the frequent visits by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in recent months to Perak had made it difficult for the opposition to sustain their popularity.

  “We only have a 50 per cent chance now. The best possibility was in 2009 when BN took over the State.

  “Our survey then showed that we could have won 40 out of the 59 seats if the election was held immediately,” said Ngeh to reporters yesterday.

  Ngeh, who is Beruas MP and state assemblyman for Sitiawan, urged DAP members not to be complacent in the next general election.

  “MCA president (Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek) visits Perak every week to meet members in his capacity as the Perak MCA chief.

  “And, now MIC president (Datuk Seri G.Palanivel) too has appointed himself as the Perak MIC chief. He too will be coming to Perak more often to meet his party members.”

  Palanivel took over the Perak MIC chairmanship on Sunday in a move which he said was crucial to regain Indian grassroots support for BN in Perak.

  Ngeh also said that with more than half of the 59 state seats considered as rural seats, the BN seemingly had greater sway in these constituencies.

  “Reaching out to the rural folks and convincing them to vote for the opposition is by no means an easy task.”

  Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia’s school of social sciences deputy dean Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said Ngeh’s claim could be a reverse psychology.   

   Sivamurugan said this move was to ensure that the opposition will not lose their momentum to gain support from the people.

  “BN is working very hard to retain Perak and this might have raised concern and worries among DAP leaders.

  “The opposition is worried that the people would see what BN is doing now and might throw the support for the present state government.”