I am puzzled why Johore in the GE 14? Why not deploy scarce resources elsewhere instead of Johore the hardcore state, where 21 out of 26 Parliamentary seats and 38 out of 56 DUN seats are currently held by BN. In the 2013 General Election, Johore BN received a huge support of 86.5% from Malay voters, the highest in Semenanjung and the only case comparable to BN’s support from Malays in Sarawak. Moreover, the strong support was obtained since many General Elections in the past, and results I obtained from regression analysis of the last four General Elections are shown below:
Malay Support for BN in Johore
GE 1999 GE 2004 GE 2008 GE 2013
84.3% 86.3% 84.4% 86.5%
With the above strong and consistent Malay support for BN, the Pakatan Harapan Johor strategy is obviously a faulty one unless one really believes that miracle will happen here that will propel Pakatan to power in the coming General Election. Otherwise, this is just a diversionery tactic, when Pakatan may actually be aiming at easier targets elsewhere.
Perhaps, Muhyiddin could bring the miracle to Johore and redirect Malay voters’ sentiment towards PPBM and Pakatan Harapan. My humble opinion is that this is far too much to expect from Muhyiddin when Anwar, a far more charismatic ex DPM, failed to do so in Penang 20 years ago. Or, is it that Mahathir is the much anticipated Saviour, otherwise the whole strategy is just a reflection of misquided belief of Sallehuddin Ayub, PAN state chief, that fielding of Pakatan heavyweights is a sure way of capturing Johore, referring to the success of DAP in the 13th General Election.
DAP did actually make tremendous inroad in Johore in PRU 13 because even Johore, with traditionally BN friendly Chinese, could not escape the Chinese Tsunami when Lim Kit Siang personally led the Johore onslaught. As a result DAP managed to capture all the predominantly Chinese constituencies there. To expect a Malay tsunami in Johore is improbable, since the Johore Malays are best known for being most loyal to UMNO. My own findings based on PRU 13 results indicated Malay loyalty to UMNO/BN is a statistically significant factor with 3.45 T Value (see Appendix 1)
So far there is no groundswell that Mahathir hoped for in Johore, as my contacts there observed. This is not unexpected in a state known as the birth place and the fortress of UMNO.
However, I still feel BN cannot take the Mahathir onslaught lightly. The result of a recent Johore Opinion Survey commissioned by Yusof Ishak Institute, 2017 indicated that UMNO still commands a big support of 67% of the Malays, while PPBM managed to get 21% and PAS 48% (as to why the total add up to more than 100% is rather puzzling and could point to an error in the survey). In spite of the above, considering my own regression analysis of the PRU 13 data indicated a huge Malay support of 86.5% for BN there (see Appendix 2), this could probably mean that lately the opposition has managed to steal away approximately 21% of this support from UMNO. Although the survey results do not pose any danger to BN in Johore, it may get worse as the campaign proceeds further particularly in weaker Peninsular states.
With such survey results, BN will certainly benefit from a scenario of 3 cornered fights in all Semenanjung states, should some kind of electoral pact with PAS be not forthcoming. Wallahu a’lam.
PRU 13 Regression Results for Johore Parliament (four factors)
|Std Err of Y Est||1439.6050|
|No. of Observations||26|
|Degrees of Freedom||21|
|Std Err of Coef.||0.0474||0.0454||0.1257||53.5735|
Legend: BN(2004.08)/2 = BN loyalty factor
PRU 13 Regression Results for Johore Parliament (3 factors)
|Std Err of Y Est||1790.9017|
|No. of Observations||26|
|Degrees of Freedom||23|
|Std Err of Coef.||0.0256||0.0453||0.1527|
X coefficient for M= Malay support for BN