In the Johor by-elections, the ruling Umno party seemed to have discovered the ideal battle horse ahead of the Johor elections.
It is adamant that the Chinese-led DAP should not be allowed to participate in national politics, particularly in the run-up to the Johor State Election.
The DAP is running for seats in the Johor state elections on March 12 as part of the Pakatan Harapan opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim.
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, head of the Sabah Barisan Nasional, said that the DAP only came to power (in 2018 in Johor as part of the PH coalition) via defamation and false promises. This entails a character assassination campaign against the BN.
According to him, the true character of the DAP was revealed only when the party was granted a mandate in the state in the last General Election, in which they not only failed but were “racist.”
“Provocation between the races in this country is increasing. Making the people divided and this stems from DAP and their members. The party played on various issues so as to provoke the anger of others.
“The Pakatan Harapan government (in Johor) at that time was led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. And so far I see him following the DAP trend of blaming others, others are robbers, others are liars, ”he said in a meeting in Sabah.
Najib predicts DAP will lose
On the other hand, Najib is not wasting any time and efforts to use his renewed political capital to campaign against the DAP in majority Chinese areas in Johor.
The ex-Premier claims there is a shift in sentiment among the Johor’s Chinese minority. He hopes this would translate into votes in the forthcoming state election.
The Barisan Nasional adviser, who is also a convicted criminal for his involvement in the 1MDB-linked SRC International trial, says he reached this conclusion based on the warm reception he received in the southern region of Johor in the last several days.
Najib stated that the sentiment in favour of BN candidates in the Johor state polls contrasts sharply with the scenario that prevailed in the 14th General Election in 2018 in which the alliance lost both the state and federal administrations.
“I can see the support by the Chinese community is increasing and getting stronger. If you take a look at the warm welcome this morning, this is not something we witnessed before GE14.
Does this show that the DAP is losing ground in Johor after losing seats it won after a long hard battle in Sarawak in recent by-elections?
Opposition parties were thrashed in Sarawak elections, which followed the Malacca polls.
DAP won seven seats in 2016, while Keadilan won three. However, in the 2021 elections the DAP won only two of the 24 seats it contested, while the Keadilan of Anwar Ibrahim lost all 28 contested seats.
In the Melaka election last year, DAP only won four out of eight seats it contested.
There is no doubt the DAP is on a slide and it is facing more attacks from the Umno and its allies while the opposition seems indefinitely divided.
The separation of the PH into three parties, with Dr Mahathir’s party competing separately while ex-Sports Minister Syed Saddiq’s MUDA party is also competing alone, has created even greater disagreement among opposition organisations.
Nevertheless, the future does not look bright for the DAP which had a chance to show its force when it came to power in 2018.
However, it appears that the party slid into certain rhetoric that landed it in severe difficulty, troubles that have followed it since Mahathir’s resignation as Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Malaysia.