JOHOR BARU, Sept 18 — Johor will be the state that determines whether Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN) or Perikatan Nasional (PN) clinches the 15th general election (GE15), said PKR’s Rafizi Ramli.
The party’s deputy president said this was because the southern state had the most parliamentary seats in the peninsula.
He also said its 26 parliamentary constituencies are considered key to forming a federal government.
“In Malaysia, the state with the most parliamentary constituencies is Sarawak with 31 seats. Johor comes second with 26 seats, followed by Sabah with 25 seats.
“If we want to change the country and government in Putrajaya, the numbers must come from Johor as there is no other way.
“For any political party, be it PKR, Umno, BN, Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or PN, no coalition in this country can form a government if it does not win Johor’s parliamentary seats,” said Rafizi during the southern zone Ayuh Malaysia Truck Tour at the Johor Baru parliament service centre grounds here last night.
Present at the event were PKR vice-president and Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim and Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Nasir, who is also the party’s strategic director.
They were joined by a 150-strong crowd, consisting of PKR supporters and the public.
Rafizi, who is also Johor PKR chief, said the people of Johor must realise the important role that they play in determining the general election’s outcome.
The PKR political strategist said this was the reason why he was appointed as Johor PKR chief, before reiterating that he had no plans to be fielded as a candidate in the state for GE15.
Later, at a press conference, Rafizi said the Johor state election at the start of the year cannot be used as a yardstick for GE15 as the situation and conditions were very different.
“Any party that contests the general election this time by focusing on the results of the Johor state elections will have problems as the results do not really represent the real situation," he said.
Rafizi explained that many factors had influenced its outcome polls and it was difficult to pinpoint if many voters had sat out the March state polls or were just fence sitters.
“We found a low voter support for PH, especially among the Malay community, and we are not sure what caused it,” he said, adding that the Johor voter sentiment was difficult to read.
On PKR’s preparations for GE15, Rafizi said the party and PH are seen as standing a good in Johor as the people’s support for Umno and BN is the same as before GE14.
“Although Umno appears to have won, it does not represent the true support and its perceived advantage for GE15.
“This is because support for Umno in the Johor state election did not increase beyond the GE14 figures in 2018.
“Umno’s voter support remains at around 41 per cent or 42 per cent, meaning that the majority of voters rejected them,” said Rafizi, highlighting that the voter turnout for the state election was only at 55 per cent to 57 per cent.