Analyst Call For Johor Polls Due To Rivals Weakness Not Umno S Strength


 


Analysts believe the push by Umno leaders for the Johor state election to be held as soon as possible is not because the party is getting stronger but because Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional are weak at the moment.
Saying that he expects Johor polls to follow in the vein of November's Malacca state election, Prof Azmi Hassan from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said that currently, BN-Umno has no problem facing state or general elections.
“(This) is not because Umno is in a strong situation - not very. But because of the position of PN (consisting primarily of Bersatu and PAS) and Harapan are weak at this time.
“If we take the results of Malacca and Sarawak (which was won by regional coalition GPS) then if there is an election at this time we can expect BN-Umno to win easily because of the weakness of PN and Harapan - the opposition,” he told Malaysiakini.
On January 16, Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the state election and general election needed to be held immediately as the current government was often “threatened” by the opposition and that the people needed a dominant BN for stability and peace.
Speculation that the Johor state assembly will be dissolved is rife even as the public still faces the Covid-19 threat.
The BN-led Johor state government currently only has a one-seat majority following the death of Kempas assemblyperson Osman Sapian on Dec 21, with BN having 16 state seats, Bersatu 11 and PAS one, while the opposition Harapan has 27 seats.
Commenting further, Azmi said if the Johor polls were really called, it would determine the direction and cooperation between Umno, Bersatu and PAS.
At the same time, he said that it was not advisable for Harapan to withdraw support for the leadership of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the coalition was not ready to face a general election if Parliament was dissolved.
“For me, it is not sane or wise for Harapan to withdraw the memorandum of understanding (MOU) because its position (as) the opposition at this time is the weakest.
“And they can be said to be unprepared to face the GE so if Ismail Sabri's position is under threat… then Umno will demand that Parliament be dissolved," he said.
The federal government and Harapan signed an MOU on September 13 last year to implement transformation and political stability.
Through the MOU, the federal government is safeguarded for the short-term and Parliament will not be dissolved until July 31 this year.
Health issues must be considered
Prof Rusdi Omar from Universiti Utara Malaysia concurred that Harapan could be in for a drubbing.
“Harapan still wants the status quo in Johor state politics but BN is confident of recapturing Johor just like how they got back Malacca,” he said.
“It’s just that the current situation is not suitable for an election because Malaysia has not fully recovered from Covid-19, economic issues and the flood disaster… many people still need help and support from the government for them to recover,” said Rusdi.
Both Azmi and Rusdi said some leaders were willing to relegate health issues as their priority compared to their political interests.
“There has to be consideration but if we take a lesson from Malacca and Sarawak, then the pandemic factor falls to number 2 and the stability of the state government rises to number 1,” he said.
Rusdi reminded political leaders not to risk the lives of the people similar to what happened in the September 2020 Sabah polls, after which the Covid-19 situation entered a downward spiral.
“I think it is appropriate for political leaders to think about the fate of the people first before thinking about calling an election.
“Do not risk the lives of the people by holding state or general elections in a Covid-19 situation that has not yet subsided,” he said. - Mkini


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