Lack of cohesiveness among anti-BN forces has given the BN a significant boost from diluted opposition votes.
BN swept a landslide victory in the just concluded Johor state election, seizing 40 out of 56 seats for a comfortable two-thirds majority rule.
The outcome has come as no surprise to anyone. Flushing with confidence, BN had made an early call to dissolve the state legislative assembly to seek fresh mandate from the electorate.
BN is doubtlessly the biggest winners in this whole election. Umno has successfully recaptured seats it lost in the last election while MCA and MIC have made significant breakthroughs.
Having lost badly in earlier state elections, PH has never been expected to win in Johor this time.
DAP has managed to retain ten seats and lost four, considered the best performer among PH parties. Keadilan and Amanah have only managed one each.
In this election, PKR abandoned the PH logo in favor of its own, but even that failed to save the party from its sliding popularity.
In the meantime, first-timers MUDA successfully captured Puteri Wangsa, although the party’s overall performance is short of being impressive, much to the disappointment of people who have had very high expectations for these emerging young politicians.
Pejuang, Warisan and PBM lost all the seats they contested, Pejuang having all its 42-seat deposits forfeited.
PN also suffered humiliating defeat in the state, able to retain only three seats and is totally no fight for BN. PN chairman and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has said he will take responsibility for the lackluster Johor results and is prepared to resign as PN chairman.
The election has shown that PN is fundamentally still frail and unable to bring down BN anytime soon.
Of course, there are a couple of factors that have contributed to BN’s massive gains in this election, among them the low voter turnout and dilution of opposition votes.
The 54.92% voter turnout for this election pales compared to last election’s 74.5%. Many Johoreans living outstation were unable to return home to vote, especially those working in neighboring Singapore.
Anti-BN forces have lacked cohesiveness, giving the BN an edge. PH, PN, Warisan, Pejuang, etc., all wanted to take down BN/Umno, but an apparent lack of cohesiveness among these forces has given the BN a remarkable boost thanks to the diluted opposition votes.
In Pasir Gudang, for instance, BN won with only 6,048 votes or 29.22% of popular votes, while PN and PH managed 28.26% and 22.59% respectively. If anti-BN forces were to work together, BN might not have its day easily.
Following BN’s landslide win in Johor, there should be louder calls now to hold the 15th general election soon. Malaysians must be prepared to cast their votes for the nation’s future anytime.