JOHOR BARU, Jan 26 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership today urged its component parties to put up a united front to guarantee a convincing win for the coalition in the Johor state election.

BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that the various component parties under the coalition should put unity above all else and not move in opposing directions.

He said the close working relationship among Umno, MCA and MIC was the main driving force behind BN.

“We should not be moving in different directions.

“We want to see a large, concerted effort for Johor, as well as in other states, due to the multiracial composition of many areas,” said Mohamad during BN’s election campaign machinery soft launch at the Johor Umno Liaison Committee office on Jalan Yahya Awal here today.

Also present was BN chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who officiated the closed-door event that was attended by both the coalition’s national and state leaders.

Mohamad, who is also Umno deputy president, said despite the call for a united front, he was confident that each party under BN knows its respective responsibilities.

He stressed that the focus for BN is to convince voters in Johor to give the coalition the mandate to lead the state.

“This is why a state election is being held in Johor. We want to return the people’s mandate and form a government whose legitimacy will not be questioned.

“Having this state election is a serious affair and should not be taken lightly. So, the people need to choose wisely,” he said.

Mohamad, who is popularly called Tok Mat, said he was confident that BN can do well if Johoreans gave them the trust to form the next state government.

On January 22, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar agreed to sign the letter of dissolution of the Johor state assembly, paving the way for a state election.

Following that, on Monday, the Election Commission (EC) said it would meet on February 9 to discuss important dates for the Johor state election.