JOHOR BARU, Oct 27 — Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong is expected to be named as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for Iskandar Puteri in the 15th general election (GE15), replacing party veteran Lim Kit Siang, according to several sources.
This comes amid speculation earlier this week that pointed to the Perling assemblyman being pitted together with his predecessor and former Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau as the senior Lim’s replacement.
However, a DAP source, privy to the party’s developments, said it was almost certain that Liew will be the Iskandar Puteri candidate for GE15.
“It is no secret that Liew, who is also DAP’s national deputy secretary-general, will be contesting a federal seat as he is seen as a national leader.
“An official announcement will be made by the Johor PH leadership on his candidacy for Iskandar Puteri this Sunday,” said the source on condition of anonymity to Malay Mail tonight.
Even before the dissolution of Parliament, it was made known that the 44-year-old state Opposition leader wants representation at the federal level.
Another source also confirmed to Malay Mail that Liew will be the PH candidate for Iskandar Puteri as party coordination was underway for his eventual campaign.
He also pointed to PH GE15 campaign materials with Liew’s picture and name on it, indirectly confirming his candidacy for the coming national polls.
“Liew has proven himself as a good party strategist and should ideally represent DAP at a national level as he had before he lost by a small margin against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Ayer Hitam candidate (Datuk Seri) Wee Ka Siong in the 2018 national polls.
“The party’s leadership are expecting Liew, who is also a state lawmaker, to continue as a federal representative from where he left off about four years ago,” said the source.
Iskandar Puteri became known as a PH stronghold after the 13th general election (GE13) in 2013 where Lim won against former Johor mentri besar Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Othman representing BN.
Prior to 2018, the urban federal seat was known as Gelang Patah before redistribution that year saw its zoning and name change.
Iskandar Puteri is a mixed voter constituency consisting of 49.79 per cent Chinese, 36.65 per cent Malays, 12.46 per cent Indians and 1.1 per cent other races.
It is among the Opposition’s six most-coveted seats out of 26 in Johor.
For the time being, Liew is scheduled to lock horns with BN’s representative Datuk Jason Teoh Sew Hock from MCA when the country goes to the polls on November 19.
There are no signs of Perikatan Nasional (PN) fielding a candidate yet.