Opposition targeting Johor in GE14, says Zahid

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JELEBU: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today disclosed efforts by the opposition to move some voters to Johor in order to capture the state in the coming 14th general election (GE14).

As home minister overseeing the National Registration Department, he said he had detected the move being made by the opposition.

“They (opposition) are focusing on Johor as they want to capture Johor.

“In GE13, they were targeting Negeri Sembilan. Clearly, Negeri Sembilan (ruling coalition) not only managed to retain its existing seats then but also increased the number of seats won.

“So, I am confident that although the opposition has identified several parliamentary and state seats (to be contested and wrested) in the state, Johor will remain a fixed deposit for Umno and BN.”

Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president and carrying out the duties of party deputy president, said this when opening the Jelebu Umno division delegates conference in Kuala Klawang today.

Present were Jelebu Umno division chief Jalaluddin Alias, socio-cultural affairs adviser to the government Rais Yatim and Umno supreme council member Jamil Khir Baharom, who is also minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Zahid said he, however, believed that in the coming GE14, all the Umno leaders and members in Johor would continue defending the state where the party was born 71 years ago.

He called on all Umno and BN members in Negeri Sembilan to double their efforts to ensure that more parliamentary and state seats could be won and the majority votes increased to ensure two-thirds majority in GE14.

“There are 36 state seats in Negeri Sembilan.

“Congratulations, Menteri Besar (Mohamad Hasan) for obtaining 22 of the seats while 14 were won by the opposition, namely 11 seats by DAP and three by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

“With regard to what is happening in DAP, PKR and Pakatan Harapan, I wish to advise Mohamad to work a little harder to increase the number of state seats (for BN),” he said, adding that the BN leadership needed to be strengthened to ensure victory.

The deputy prime minister also hoped that the concept of “wala” (loyalty) to the party and leadership would continue to be strengthened and imbibed by all party members to ensure its resilience.

“Although we’ve been hit with a crisis from outside, with the leadership of (Prime Minister and Umno president) Najib Razak, we will continue working at increasing the number of seats to be won,” he said.

On another matter, Zahid said the government would consider the request by Jelebu Umno for a new district mosque that could accommodate a congregation of 1,500 people at any one time, and a highway from Kuala Klawang to Hulu Langat.

“But there is a condition, that is in GE14, they must increase the majority votes for the Jelebu parliamentary seat and the state seats within it, as well as to wrest back the Chennah state seat (won by DAP),” he said.

Besides Chennah, the other state seats in Jelebu are Sungai Lui, KIawang and Pertang.

Zahid also advised all party members to be calm and not to easily over-react in facing attacks from the opposition.