full alert after the introduction of Lim Kit Siang into this area. After conducting a situation
analysis on the ground, the Pirates is coming to the following conclusion
The results in 2008 should give UMNO a cause to worry. In N48 Skudai, DAP led by
Dr Boo managed to overturn a 2,193 majority for BN obtained in 2004 into a landslide
12,854 majority. This was a net shift of over 14,000 votes in 4 years that indicates the
GE 12 tsunami did reach the shores of Johor. Dr Boo’s giant killing feat in this regard
should not be underestimated as well.
Gelang Patah – not an easy nut to crack unless
the Ghost of Johor issue is raised
Elsewhere, in N49 Nusajaya, BN managed to hold the seat. BN’s candidate YB Aziz
Sapian managed to beat out PAS’s Mohd. Shah Lamat with an over 7,000 majority.
This however was still a far cry from the 14,000 majority BN obtained in 2004, to
which people attribute it as being caused by Pak Lah.
Now here comes the interesting bit. If you add the number of votes obtained by PR
component parties, namely DAP and PAS, it should add to 32,383. This would have
allowed PR to gain a comfortable 5,000+ majority and take Gelang Patah away from BN.
However, it did not turn out that way. Instead MCA’s Tan Ah Eng beat out Dr Zaleha
Mustafa comfortably, obtaining 33,630 votes compared to the 24,779 votes obtained by
This meant that on a net basis, over 7,000 voters who had voted for PR turned and voted
for BN. If we add Malay voters who would have voted for BN in the state and PR in
the Parliament in order to support a Malay candidate, this indicates that the actual number
of Chinese votes lost by PR in Parliament could be as high as 8,500 to 10,000 votes.
UMNO is very strong in this area and can easily
deliver 80 – 85% of the Malay votes and
up to 80% of the Indian votes if Ghani contests the seat.
Our assessment of this area is that UMNO support is around 80-85% of the Malays in this
area. The net increase in Chinese voters for PR may be strong, but if a solid 80% turns out
against Kit Siang, the situation may turn out to be more difficult than usual.
The key issue for DAP in this battle is to ensure that MCA’s Jason Teoh is replaced by
Ghani. From our observations, if Jason Teoh is repalced, then Jason’s supporters will
sabotage Ghani at the polls. If DAP can hold on to 80% of the votes secured in 2008,
then he will still need 28% of the Malay vote assuming that only of the 30% of the Indian
votes are cast in favour of the DAP.
As it stands 28% is touch and go for LKS. Our feel of Malay support for Kit Siang in Gelang
Patah could be as low as 10% to 15%. Thus it is quite conceivable that Kit Siang would lose
given the current circumstances.
The biggest difficulty for PR right now is its complete lack of a strategy in Johor. The big issue
with the Malays in this state is Lim Kang Hoo. But so far, PR has strangely avoided bringing up this issue. Other issues surround the takeover of the land by PTP and this too has been avoided.
This issue becomes critical given the choice of candidate. Right now, Dr Mahathir’s factions
are pushing for Ghani to vacate his state seat and contest in Gelang Patah against Kit Siang.
Will have to make way for Ghani.
Malays in this area are reluctant to support Jason
as he is deemed more businessman than politician.
No doubt this will cause a great disappointment for Jason but Ghani is still a formidable
opponent to face down Kit Siang. Given Ghani’s status in Johor, it is quite conceivable that
he will be able to obtain at least 30% of the Chinese votes and 80% of the Indian votes. In
order for Kit Siang to beat Ghani, Kit Siang needs to obtain at least 30% of the Malay votes,
which is an extremely difficult hurdle to cross.
This has caused headaches for Kit Siang. If Kit Siang turns on the racial afterburners in
Gelang Patah, it may backfire as our survey have indicated that there exists a segment of
Chinese voters who put great value in preserving “tranquillity” and will be turned off by the
Sibu style campaign tactics. The situation in Johor and Sibu is greatly different, because
Ghani is not as hated by the Chinese over here as was Pek Moh in Sarawak.
PAS is very weak in this area
and most of the Malays have rejoined UMNO.
With respect to the Malay votes, PR’s current strategy of trying to portray DAP as
a non-racist organization is doomed to fail. The voters won’t buy it which has so far led
to PAS being extremely weak in this area. Rightfully or wrongfully, Malay voters I talked
to who may have an issue with an MCA candidate will not vote for Kit Siang as that is a
jump too far for them to make. As the blogger Another Brick In Wall said, either PAS
wakes up its idea in Gelang Patah or it will face annilihation in the Malay majority areas.
National issues are not considered favourable as Najib enjoys a relatively strong approval
rating amongst the Malays here, and surprisingly even a better opinion than Tan Sri
The only option is for PR to secretly field an anti Ghani candidate in order to prevent
Ghani from gaining 85% of the Malay votes. In this regard we have already done our
homework and have identified Mat Bendang, an ex UMNO strongman contractor whose
fate had taken a dive for the worse with the emergence of Abang Sam.
This is the only issue that will work in favour of PR
in breaking Malay support for Ghani
The issue of Lim Kang Hoo can be more effectively played by this “3rd party”
candidate who can also work together with PAS’ campaign machinery. After all right
now PAS campaign machinery is considered very weak and areas like Kg Pulai which
used to be strong PAS have now returned back to UMNO. In fact PAS can even roll
out its campaign infrastructure for an anti Ghani candidate because no matter what PAS
does for Kit Siang in the lead up to polling day, it will have 0 effect against changing
Malay voter perception towards Kit Siang. So rather than waste this campaign machinery,
PAS can campaign hard on land issues and Ghani’s perceived weakness to cause a split
in the UMNO ranks. If the third party candidate can steal 10% of the Malay votes due to
the Kang Hoo issue, then Kit Siang can just about squeeze in and obtain a razor thin several
hundred vote victory over Ghani.
From our survey, it seems that this issue involving Lim Kang Hoo is heard in the grapevine
but not fully explained to the people. Without its exploitation, it seems quite likely that Lim Kit Siang will face his waterloo in Gelang Patah.