JOHOR BARU, Oct 27 — With the 15th general election (GE15) scheduled for next month, DAP leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau reminded the state’s Opposition leaders and his party supporters to not take Johor for granted and turn into opportunists.
He said that the Johor safe seats for the Opposition were only gained after 2008, as before that, the southern state was a Barisan Nasional (BN) stronghold.
“There were never any so-called safe seats for DAP and the Opposition until 2008 in Johor. Between 1995 to 2008, there were zero Opposition seats in Johor.
“Even after the 2008 elections, a few leaders rejected the offer to contest in Johor,” said Dr Boo in a Facebook posting today.
He was commenting on how various Opposition parties now look to the southern state for safe seats or seats with previously large majority wins for Pakatan Harapan (PH) as GE15 draws near.
The former Johor DAP chief and state Opposition leader reminded his colleagues that they should not just assume that Johor can provide potential candidates with seats with a majority win for PH.
“Don’t take Johor for granted as a gold mine for opportunists,” said Dr Boo, referring to self-serving or self-centred PH politicians that now see Johor as a potential hotbed.
When contacted by Malay Mail, Dr Boo denied that the party’s leadership had nominated him as a candidate for Iskandar Puteri to replace veteran MP Lim Kit Siang. This is despite several DAP branches supporting his nomination.
Dr Boo, a medical doctor popular with the Skudai community, has always been known as a grassroots politician who built his base in Skudai that was a known BN domain under Parti Gerakan then.
After the 2008 national polls, the 58-year-old seasoned politician managed to wrest Skudai that was under the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency from BN and also managed to build Opposition support in the constituency.
The following national polls in 2013 saw DAP trump BN in what was previously known as the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency (now known as Iskandar Puteri). DAP’s Lim won against BN leader and former Johor mentri besar Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Othman.
Since 2013, six parliamentary constituencies in Johor have become Opposition strongholds by virtue of being mixed areas with a substantial Chinese voter base.
The six are Muar, Bakri, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Iskandar Puteri, and Kulai.