|(l) MCA's Abdul Ghani, (r) DAP's LIm KS|
Lim has asked for a clean contest, the subtext of his request being that the BN is full of tricks raging from enticing, bullying, intimidating and of course a manmanlai you-know-what from its various apparatus the RoS, EC, Police etc.
But what will be legitimate is the likelihood of a third or even fourth candidate standing in Gelang Patah, backed by BN, to dilute Lim's support, a tactic better known as splitting those votes likely to go Lim's way if there were no 3rd or 4th candidate.
It's an old BN tactic but alas, it's legitimate.
The (not just 'a') 3rd candidate is likely to be Jason Teoh of MCA. Already, as reported by Malaysiakini's MCA supporters vent anger at Soi Lek in Gelang Patah, there is currently a MCA sandiwara to get Jason Teoh to stand as a 3rd (presumably) independent candidate in Gelang Patah.
|MCA's Jason Teoh|
high possibility of standing in Gelang Patah as an 'independent'
under a 'white feather' symbol? wakakaka
|new MCA symbol|
Should Teoh not be picked to contest Gelang Patah under the BN ticket, they pledged they would give their full support to Teoh to contest as an Independent candidate.
"Can he contest as an Independent candidate? Can each of us donate RM1 to him?" asked community leader Jason Ang Kian You.
No need lah - all will be taken care of mah.
The excited crowd, which had gathered at the Gelang Patah New Village where Teoh was born, responded with repeated loud shouts of "Yes!"
A representative of his 600-strong campaign team, which has halted all its GE13 activities since last night, also vowed to campaign for Teoh should he decide to contest as an Independent.
BN hopes by this tactic, Jason Teoh may siphon off some potential support for Lim Kit Siang.
However, beginning of last year, according to a TMI report titled In Johor, Chinese set to snub BN in polls, Professor Abu Hassan Hasbullah of think-tank Zentrum Future Studies (based at UM) revealed that “… its end-of-year surveys have seen Johor Chinese catch up with and possibly overtake their northern kin in terms of backing PR. Opposition leaders in the state estimate that they won 55 per cent of Chinese votes in the last election but ….. support from the community has surged to close to 90 per cent.”
The Prof described the massive political swing as a “silent Tionghua revolution”.
According to that Zentrum survey, Chinese approval of Pakatan in Johor rose to 68% after the last election, and climbed further to 79 per cent in 2010.
With the latest figures, this could effectively enable Pakatan to pick up 15 federal and 30 state seats in Johor (compared to 1 and 6 respectively on 08 March 2008).
In the same article TMI also stated:
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman has been pounding the pavement since late October, spending at least four days a week on the ground ahead of the general election as Barisan Nasional (BN) faces the prospect of losing more Chinese votes.
Tellingly, he kicked off with Gelang Patah, Tebrau, Kulai, Pulai and Muar (twice) — all constituencies that have at least a 40 per cent Chinese electorate. The fear is they are beginning to think like their northern counterparts who threw out BN from Penang and Perak in Election 2008.
Apart from meeting voters and supporters, he spends hours each day being briefed by the BN machinery on voter sentiment, detailing levels of support in each suburb and, in some cases, each street.
“He’s been on the ground in all these seats the opposition thinks it can win,” a top official in Ghani’s administration told The Malaysian Insider.
According to reformist think-tank Zentrum Future Studies, Abdul Ghani has good reason to be worried.
So it's not as if BN-UMNO hasn't been aware that Pakatan will move into Johor.
But if Zentrum survey finding is reliable, and the political mood of Peninsula has indeed seeped into the consciousness of Johor voters, then Lim KS has nothing to worry about even if Jason Teoh and a 4th candidate from HRP, Makkal Sakthi or a Hindraf 'independent' (wakakaka) joins in the fray.
Yes, it might have been an old BN tactic but who knows, maybe it still has some value.