Pakatan eyes 33 federal seats in 3 states for GE13

Debra Chong, TMI

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has set its sights on scooping up 33 out of a total 83 federal seats in three states the opposition pact regards as crucial to taking Putrajaya in Election 2013, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.

Johor, Sarawak and Sabah are known to be Barisan Nasional (BN) “fixed deposit states” and are key to PR breaking down the ruling coalition’s five-decade-long hold on federal power, said the veteran opposition lawmaker who has confirmed he will run for elections in the Gelang Patah MCA fortress. 

“The third objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah is to target to win 33 Parliamentary seats for Pakatan Rakyat in the three BN ‘fixed-deposit states’ of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak,” the Johor-born MP said in a statement today, in explaining why he was leaving his Ipoh Timor seat in Perak. 

Lim (picture) said his personal battle for Gelang Patah was really a battle for Johor, to see if the southern state can become a “kingmaker” in the 13th general elections that would spark another political tsunami and trigger a “peaceful and democratic transfer of federal power from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat”. 

The DAP parliamentary leader said PR needs to nab 125 seats out of 222 to put a “comfortable” 28-seat gap between it and BN in Parliament. 

He suggested that the Chinese-dominant opposition party could win 40 seats while its political partners, the urban PKR could take the lion’s share of 45 seats and Islamist PAS sweep the remaining 40 seats. 

Lim said he is expecting to hit more than 50 per cent of PR’s target of 19 parliamentary seats and 30 state seats in Johor but also made clear that he was not claiming PR could score a “bullseye”. 

“The question is whether PR can win another 10  12 parliamentary seats from Barisan Nasional’s total of 140 seats won in 2008 from states other than the three ‘fixed deposit states’ of Johore, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said. 

Ahead of Election 2013, both sides have talked up their chances of securing a win in the hotly anticipated general election, with PR sources saying that it is confident of gaining nearly 140 parliamentary seats. 

The Malaysian Insider had previously reported that surveys by BN showed that it could win up to 145 federal seats, above the 112 seats required for a simple majority but below 148 seats for a two-thirds majority. 

But independent surveys show that BN could scrape through with 117 seats to PR’s 105. 

Election 2013 would see politicians fighting for 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats.