Johor DAP chairman says BN’s triumph in state election due to low voter turnout

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

MUAR, Nov 10 — Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong said that Barisan Nasional (BN) won the Johor state election this year due to a “very, very low turnout” of voters.

He said those who voted came from the coalition’s same number of voter pool, which is close to 600,000 people.

He cited a study by academic Francis Hutchinson from Singapore’s ISEAS — Yusof Ishak Institute, who had studied the Johor election, by comparing voting data from the 14th general election (GE14) for the state and the state election in 2022.

“In this study, Dr Hutchinson and his co-author looked at the polling data in the 2022 state election and compared it with the polling data of 2018 in Johor. Now, you must remember that this Johor state election had 800,000 more voters compared to the 2018 election but the number of votes that BN received, when you compare, there was an increase.

“There was an increase of 17,000 for Barisan Nasional when you compare 2022 and 2018 which means by percentage point, there was a huge decline. But BN indeed won with a two-third majority. It won with a two-thirds majority because of a very low turnout. Very,very low turnout,” Liew said.

He said the state election was won purely because Umno still maintained the same number of voter pool which is close to 600,000. He said this was Umno’s fixed number and beyond it, the nationalist party does not have more clout.

Liew claimed that from his observation since the dissolution of Parliament, nationally, in the last few weeks, Umno is on the decline in terms of Malay support.

“So I’m not very sure whether those 600,000 votes are still there for Umno. Nonetheless, winning in Johor will require a very high turnout.

“For Pakatan Harapan (PH) to win will require a very high turnout. At the least, it will have to be 70 per cent of the turnout,” he said, adding that otherwise, there will not be much impact.

Liew was speaking at a press conference in Ayer Hitam with DAP’s hopeful for the parliamentary constituency, Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali and its former Senai state assemblyman, Alan Tee Boon Tsong. The press conference was also broadcast live via Facebook.

He was responding to a question as to whether Barisan Nasional’s (BN) win in the Johor state poll with a big majority, is a sign that voters in this state are leaning more towards the coalition.

In the Johor state election in March, BN won 40 seats of the 56-seat state legislative assembly, followed by PH with 11 seats and Perikatan Nasional (PN) with three seats.

Meanwhile, PKR and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) secured one seat each.

After BN’s win, Liew remarked that the landslide win the coalition earned in Johor was due to a lack of unity among Opposition parties.

He said it was time for parties in PH to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise immediately.

The DAP strategist also expressed disappointment with DAP’s defeat in several state seats it had previously won in the 14th general election, namely, Yong Peng, Bekok, Pekan Nanas and Paloh.