Getting updates on the political situation.
Now that I'm no longer in Johor, I have to rely on my few trusted friends for updates about my home state. Rest assured, their political knowledge about Johor were actually far superior than mine. I have been trying to persuade them to start their own blog, but they had declined. They are very busy people.
Ok, for this posting, I'm handing over this laptop to my friend whom I will introduce to you all as Purple Cat.
I have to warn you all though that my friend's presentation is very straight forward and rather colorless. Well, can't expect everyone to be colorful, right? Nonetheless, do bear in mind that Purple Cat's materials are very precise and well studied.
The following are Purple Cat's assessment -
Hi everyone. Thanks Big Cat for the introduction.
Let me start by pointing out that the Pakatan strategy will probably be all out to ensure a strong presence in Johor, so that they will perform better this time around and to solidify their position for GE14 where they aim to defeat BN in Johor.
They are not delusional enough to really think that they can win the state in the coming election, but they are highly confident of making inroads into Johor, capitalising on the substantial chinese support for DAP and the growing presence of middle-income PAS-inclined Malay liberals flocking the state.
Their strategy will most like be to add more seats - that is defend the existing one and work on specific targets. I remember a DAP cybertrooper by the nick of Kluang Girl once alluded in this blog to their belief that they can win 8 parliamentary seats and 20 state seats in Johor. I would like to expand on that and I think I have an idea where those seats are based on opposition activities these past 18 months.
However, this is my analysis based on my understanding of the situation in Johor presently.
1. Pakatan will ensure that they retain their existing constituencies - this is a no brainer.
So we will see DAP and PAS trying to hang on to their Bakri, Bentayan, Sungai Abong, Maharani, Senai, Mengkibol and Skudai seats. Unfortunately for PAS, this time around it is unlikely that Umno will be blind-sided in Maharani and Sungai Abong. I was reliably informed that Umno has completed their survey there and both Maharani and Sungai Abong will revert back to Umno. They are even confident of Bakri, but Bentayan is something else altogether, while Senai and Mengkibol will be difficult for MCA, and Skudai is almost impossible for Gerakan.
2. They will focus on Chinese-majority and marginal constituencies - obviously, as they have been sowing racial discord and dissatisfaction making everything into a race thing.
The Chinese-majority constituencies are the seats they are most confident of winning, really, whereas the marginal seats are where they can win through Malay disunity, and this is where PAS can play their role in delivering these marginal seats to PKR and DAP.
Kulai, Bakri and Gelang Patah are all constituencies with more than 50% Chinese voters. While DAP will retain Bakri, I think they will compromise and give Gelang Patah to PKR. You think LGE is going to give Dr Boo a strong base for his entry into national politics? I don't think so. He'd rather give Gelang Patah to PKR.
I am quite confident that DAP considers Skudai, Senai and Bukit Batu as their sure win seats but I think they will show a sense of solidarity in Kulai with PAS in Bukit Permai, PKR in Bukit Batu and DAP retaining Senai.
I doubt that PAS has a chance to win in Bukit Permai though. PAS role is not to win parliamentary or state seats but to break up the Malays so that DAP can win in Kulai through the dilution of Malay support for Umno, so that kinda fits my profiling of PAS in Johor. Nusajaya will be a sure loss for PAS, at least I think this DUN seat will go to PAS.
Next, with the most Chinese voters are Kluang (50%), Labis (47%), Tanjong Piai (47%), Segamat (46%) and Batu Pahat (46%). Kluang and Labis will be DAP seats, no question about it, but I think Batu Pahat will be contested by PKR. Why? There is something fishy going on there, and I think they are thinking of capitalising on the surge in the number of chinese voters in Penggaram. In order to appease the PAS voters and pre-dominantly conservative chinese DAP supporters, Batu Pahat will be contested by a PKR chinese candidate, I think, but not Chua Jui Meng. Turncoats and frogs are not popular among conservative chinese.
Even though Segamat is traditionally a DAP seat, I think this may be the place Chua Jui Meng will make his home for the coming GE, although I am not saying this with confidence. Well, he has a better chance of winning here than in Dr Boo's fortress in Gelang Patah or Chua Soi Lek's home of Batu Pahat, where he has to take on an Umno candidate as opposed to an MIC candidate in Segamat.
DAP will be fairly confident of Tanjong Piai and Pekan Nenas, despite losing quite badly there in 2008, DAP has a very strong base in Pekan Nenas (58% Chinese). DAP is also confident of winning Bekok (54%), Jementah (55%) and Penggaram (62%) as these are chinese-majority state constituencies. DAP will also be confident of Tangkak (53%).
With the state of Malay disunity, a very active PAS, and strife within Umno, I expect PKR will be targeting Muar and Ledang as their 'Malay-majority' seats in Johor. They have quite a bit of support among the Muor Malays, and substantial Chinese support in the urban seats of Maharani (42%) and Tangkak (52%). The problem with Muor is - Bakri too for that matter - the place is filled to the brim with the political elites, so much so that everyone thinks that he/she can be a better leader than everyone else, and they are not shy about voicing it, nor acting on it.
Ledang will be targeted by PKR simply because of its proximity with Muor means there is substantial support for the opposition especially in Gambir (40%) and Tangkak, and it is the Umno Division headed by Dato Abdul Ghani Othman. Strategic, I guess.
PKR is also confident of winning Puteri Wangsa (47%) as they have been very active here. There have been an increase of more than 58% of chinese voters in Puteri Wangsa (42% in Tebrau) that I am sure will boost PKR confidence in winning Puteri Wangsa. Probably this time around they will put non-indian candidates to take advantage of the substantial chinese and middle-income Malay voters there.
However, the increase in the number of Chinese voters in Tebrau is bad news for PAS.
Also bad news for PAS is the fact that other than Maharani and Sungai Abong, all the seats possibly allocated to them are Malay-majority areas where Umno is strong.
Although PAS has been active everywhere, they would be lucky to get allocated even one marginal constituency - of which Pulai (48%-41%-10%) is the most likely target for PAS as it is the only marginal constituency that neither DAP nor PKR wants. You think Salahudin Ayub can win this one?? He he he.... neither do I.
Oh, and the Pakatan's noises that they can win big in Johor.... so, what are the 8 parliamentary and 20 state seats they are targeting?
Here they are:
Gelang Patah (PKR)
Tanjong Piai (DAP)
Batu Pahat (PKR)
Yong Peng (DAP)
Bukit Batu (PKR)
Pekan Nenas (DAP)
Puteri Wangsa (PKR)
Johor Jaya (PKR)
Parit Raja (PAS)
Parit Yaani (PAS)
Sungai Abong (PAS)
They are listed in accordance to how confident they are of winning these seats. From that list and the order of confidence, you can see where I got the impression of PAS' role in the scheme of things.
At Parliament DAP 5 - PKR 3 - PAS 0
At State DAP 11 - PKR 5 - PAS 4
DAP is not just targeting the parliamentary seats... they are also targeting a bigger representation in the State Assembly, regardless of who the Mentri Besar is going to be. PAS is just the lackeys in Johor, and the crumbs they get they really have to work their butts off for. Johor is DAP's show, and not even DAP Johor's show.