State PKR chief says no such thing as safe seats anymore in Johor

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, Oct 6 — Johor PKR vice-chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said tonight that the concept of safe seats for his party in the state does not exist anymore due to the changing political landscape.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Tebrau parliamentary hopeful said the political landscape has transitioned and made it unpredictable for many political parties.

"Take for example, the Tebrau parliamentary constituency is now no longer a seat that will guarantee high majority returns for PKR.

"There are several reasons that have led to this situation, including the fallout from the 'Sheraton Move' that is still affecting loyal PH voters,” said Puah to reporters at a PH mega rally in Taman Gaya here.

Puah, who is a former two-term Bukit Batu assemblyman, said the challenges can also be felt when he went on his campaign walkabouts.

"Voters that supported [PKR] in the last election were angry with me as they are still disappointed over the whole Sheraton Move manoeuvre that saw the PH government collapse in 2020.

"When we approach them, many are still not convinced that as elected representatives they will not jump despite the Anti-Party Hopping Act being enacted.

"I know for a fact that the voters are tired and fed-up with the current political situation in the country,” said Puah, relating to ex-PKR elected representatives who are viewed as traitors when they jumped parties and supported the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition after the Sheraton Move.

Puah, who is a lawyer by profession, said the other challenge he faced was that the influx of new voters (after the Undi 18 and automatic voter registration) has seen a 20 per cent jump for voters aged 18 to 29.

Despite that, he added that it was difficult to read the new voters as a majority were not very politically aware.

"Personally, PKR and PH will need to do a lot of convincing to win the people’s trust," he said.

The Tebrau federal seat is the largest parliamentary constituency in Johor with 223,003 registered voters.

The mixed urban seat is a Malay majority seat making up 53.38 per cent, followed by Chinese (33.54 per cent), Indians (11.56 per cent) and other ethnicities (2.56 per cent).

Puah is expected to lock horns with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Nicole Wong Siaw Ting and PN’s Mohamed Isa Mohamad Basir in a three-way contest. Polling day is on November 19.