Sunday February 3, 2013
No GE date yet but poster war already hotting up in Johor
By NELSON BENJAMIN
BATU PAHAT: The date for the general election has yet to be announced, but the poster war has already begun in many parts of Johor.
In some places, especially in rural areas, some aspiring candidates from both sides of the political divide have gone so far as to put up posters of themselves.
In certain villages in Sri Gading and Parit Raja, the battle is intense to woo the voters who are predominantly farmers and odd-job workers.
Johor Umno Information chief Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali confirmed that the “poster, flag and billboard war” had begun in many parts of the state.
While Barisan National's aspiring candidates put up billboards and banners with best wishes to the people, especially for the coming Chinese Near Year, the Opposition, particularly PAS, has listed what it would do if it came to power, he said.
“They make all sorts of populist promises like reducing the price of petrol, giving scholarships and lowering car prices,” added Samsol, who is Semarang assemblyman.
He does not think that people in the rural areas would be taken in by the promises since “they know the Government's track record”.
Parit Raja Pusat Aduan Rakyat supervisor Noor Khalim Sakib of PAS said he had put up nine billboards in the area to inform the people of the party's plans for them.
“I spent RM10,000 to put up the billboards, but I leave it to the party leadership to decide who should contest in the area,” he said.
A Batu Pahat Municipal Council official said his men were monitoring the situation and usually removed banners and posters which posed a danger to road users.
Johor Election Commission director Rokiah Hanum Ibrahim said EC would only monitor the situation once Parliament was dissolved and especially during the campaign period.
“The activities taking place now come under the jurisdiction of local councils,” she added.
Johor has 1.58 million registered voters with Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency having the highest number (104,972), followed by Pulai (99,542) and Pasir Gudang (98,798).