Johor polls won’t be a walk in the park for Umno, says DAP leader

(FMT) – The Johor state elections may not be a walk in the park for Umno, contrary to the opinion of its leaders that the party will see a huge victory in the polls.

In a Facebook post, Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong gave three reasons the coming elections could prove a competitive one for the Malay party — Undi18, Muda, and the clash between Umno and Bersatu.

Liew noted that Johor’s state polls would be the first after automatic voter registration came into force following amendments to the Federal Constitution under the Undi18 drive.

New voters, he said, were added to the master electoral roll on Jan 14.

“Allowing 18-year-olds to vote was first championed by (DAP veteran) Lim Kit Siang in 1971, more than half a century ago.

“Parliament finally approved the constitutional amendments to Undi18 on July 16, 2019.

“Some tried to block Undi18. There were also attempts from Umno to push for the Johor assembly to be dissolved before new voters were added to the roll,” the former deputy defence minister said.

Yesterday, outgoing Johor menteri besar Hasni Mohammad said that Umno, as well as Barisan Nasional could be expected to score huge victories in the election, thus creating a larger majority in the state assembly, according to a Sinar Harian report.

Liew said as for Muda, the state elections would be the first for the party co-founded by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman since it was registered on Dec 23.

The Johor elections, he said, will be a “test of wisdom” between Muda and Pakatan Harapan leaders since they would have to find ways to cooperate in order to gain as much support as possible.

On the clash between Umno and Bersatu, Liew said the polls will be a “do or die battle” between the two Malay parties.

He said Umno was trying to “finish off” Bersatu, its main Malay rival in the state, which is also the home ground of Bersatu president and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“This is to ensure that Umno doesn’t have to concede any ground to Bersatu in GE15,” he said.

Muhyiddin Yassin served as Johor menteri besar for nine years (1986-1995) when he was in Umno.

The Johor state assembly was dissolved yesterday after weeks of speculation and calls from Umno leaders to hold fresh polls. Elections must be held within 60 days of the dissolution, which means polls must take place on or before March 23.