Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:41
PR feels good in Johor - Jui MengPETALING JAYA- Support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) among the Chinese and Malays in Johor is growing and a little more hard work could swing voters in the state away from the BN, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Johor chief Datuk Seri Chua Jui Meng (pix).
"This is because voting patterns are still segmentalised, and racial lines run deep in the BN stronghold of Johor," adding that race is still a huge factor.
"As far as the Chinese are concerned, support for PR is far higher than it was in the last elections.
Many have said that if they had known that votes were swinging to Pakatan in the northern and central states, they would have swung along. As for the Malays, we have seen a rising consciousness among them.
"Most of those who attend the ceramahs are Malays and that is where the impact is. There, the top opposition party leaders can pass on the message of change and reform, and you can see that even in hardcore Umno areas, tens of thousands come to hear Anwar speak," he said in a recent interview.
However, he was less optimistic about the Indian votes. But our Indian activists in the state seem to think otherwise, he said.
The Opposition gained control over five states in the historic election in 2008, which saw BN suffer its worst defeat since 1969 – but it won only the Bakri parliamentary seat in Johor, which went to DAP's Er Teck Hwa.
Nevertheless, despite the obstacles faced by PR there, huge turnouts at its ceramahs and increasing grassroots participation are indicative of a change in the mood of voters in Johor.
"I've been on the ground very often for the last two years since I have been appointed the state chairman. We have seen morale of the party rising and the growing involvement of grassroots in election work. " he said.
Chua cited growing awareness as the reason that voter attitudes are changing and swinging to the Opposition. He said that in the beginning, just after the 2008 general election, response to ceramahs by the PR was lukewarm.
"In the beginning, the numbers that turned up were not very encouraging but over the last two years, especially when Anwar is speaking, we get huge turnouts," he said.
He said that the "blanket bombing" of PR's policies of change and reform to crowds across Johor, as well as explaining the Buku Jingga to the people would help PR's bid to win over the state. - thesundaily