Some initial reflections on the Johor State Election

Yesterday evening, I spoke to Menteri Besar-designate Dato’ Hasni Mohammad over a phone call. I congratulated him for the victory of Barisan Nasional in the 15th Johor State Election. I stated that we will play the role of a constructive opposition and when it comes to policy making, as much as possible, we will take a bipartisan approach to reach common grounds for the benefits of the people of Johor.

As I stated in a brief press conference in Senai on election night, I would like to thank all Johor voters for supporting Pakatan Harapan. I would also like to thank all DAP leaders, members, and supporters across the nation for their participating in this massive campaign.

I thank DAP Johor Deputy Chair Sdri Teo Nie Ching for leading the DAP campaign, ably aided by Sdri Yeo Bee Yin and Sdri Wong Shu Qi, among others.

Before the campaign even started, it was known to almost everyone that this would be an uphill battle. Most pundits expected DAP to win between 4 to 6 seats. But I am extremely proud of our DAP leaders, members, and supporters at all levels. We don’t give up before a battle and we fight with courage, strategy, and a strong team spirit. Against all odds, we defended most of our seats, winning 10 out of 14 seats that we contested.

The losses in Yong Peng, Paloh, Pekan Nanas and Bekok saddened me. I thank Sdr Alan Tee Boon Tsong, Sdr Sheikh Omar, Sdr Yeo Tung Siong and Sdr M. Kanan for fighting a good fight. I am particularly saddened by the loss of Sdr Alan Tee Boon Tsong who left his relatively comfortable seat of Senai to contest in the marginal seat of Yong Peng and unfortunately could not make it.

The election result is a lesson for all. Without coalition effect among the opposition parties, UMNO-Barisan Nasional which is a singular entity dominated by UMNO won. The greater opposition needs to go back to the drawing board immediately.

With UMNO-Barisan Nasional winning a super-majority and the Court Cluster emboldened, a general election may be called in the next few months. The greater opposition must ask ourselves the hardest questions and make major changes in order to rise again from the ashes.

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