It is an open secret amongst so many of Johor political analysts and observers that State UMNO Liaison Chairman and Menteri Besar Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman is leaving his position soon the moment results of the upcoming 13GE are announced. The more interesting than point is not what will happen next to the MB of Johor since 1995 but what is his contribution in the 13GE as State BN Liaison Chairman.
Some speculated that he would be given a Parliamentary seat to contest and appointed as a Cabinet Minister in Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s first mandated Federal Government. Some others speculated that if he is not MB Johor, then he would rather go away quietly and retire as a citizen. After all, he would be 66 this year.
Then again, there is this interesting notion that Ghani has offered himself to go against Chinese Chauvinist DAP Emperissimo of ‘Middle Malaysia’ Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah Parliamentary seat.
This is something really doable. BN won in 12GE with 8,851 votes majority. That is 15.1% of votes casted, which means that BN took three out of every five persons voted. It is a comfortable position.
If Ghani could take 75-80% of the Malay votes (24.8-26.4% of overall votes), 30-35% of the Chinese votes (16.2-18.9% of the overall votes) and 65-70% of Indian votes (7.8-8.4% of the over all votes), he could poll between 49 -52.6% of votes casted. Law of averages would round that up to 50.8% of votes casted.
In fact, there are analysts who are confident that Ghani could actually poll 40% of the Chinese votes, which is 21.6% of the over all votes. That would easily translate to 56.4% of votes casted, which is only a deficit by 10% from BN’s performance in 12GE when Tan Ah Eng was challenged by Dr Zaliha Mustafa of PKR.
We would say that is very good chance indeed.
Ghani is a very Chinese-friendly UMNO leader. Many Chinese entrepreneurs around Greater Johor Bahru benefited since he became MB in 1995. Especially since Iskandar Malaysia was launched in November 2006 where Federal Government directly invested into many infrastructure projects around the Johor Bahru area.
As the MB Johor, Ghani brought a lot of growth in Gelang Patah. He created Kota Iskandar and he is the Co-Chairman of Iskandar Region Development Authority.
It is expected that Emperissimo Lim’s campaign is exactly like the one in Sarawak, “This is not about me. This is about ‘Democracy’. This is about ‘Change’!”. Then again, it has been proven that the Chinese Chauvinists in DAP practice no democracy and nepotism. Neither do they are willing to ‘Change’, considering that Lim is still around in mainstream politics continuously since 1964.
Please mind the fact that this is an arm chair analysis, without having the factor that campaign has not even started yet. When campaign starts, it is a totally different ball game entirely. Imagine the might and aura of Prime Minister Najib “Ajib Gor” Razak’s and Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s presence to meet the voters of Gelang Patah in person, in a series of events.
This would be a very good boost for him as the outgoing MB Johor and State UMNO Liaison. He finally ‘kill’ Emperssimio Lim and finish his political career off, which spanned from 1964. He could also over turn the myth that an UMNO man would not able to defeat a DAP in a Chinese majority area.
Ghani’s name would be etched as a ‘True Malay’ warrior indeed.