Saturday March 23, 2013
GE13: Johor Barisan prepared to take on the Opposition
Reports by FOONG PEK YEE, NELSON BENJAMIN, REGINA LEE, EDMUND NGO and CHERYL HEW
JOHOR BARU: Johor Barisan Nasional is all set for the onslaught from the Opposition which has moved its “heavyweights” to contest here, said Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.
He said the state Barisan was not worried as Barisan MPs and assemblymen had been working hard since 2008.
“We have never taken things easy because Johor is a bastion for Barisan. The voters know what we have done in the state,” he said.
Shahrir said DAP was taking on MCA as it wanted to be the dominant party to represent the Chinese.
DAP's attack is led by veteran Lim Kit Siang. DAP's S. Ramakrishnan is expected to be fielded in Labis while central executive committee member Liew Ching Tong is to take on Kluang.
Johor Umno information chief Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali said the onslaught was something that they had expected. “We are now more united and are closing ranks to ensure that we can take them on,” he said.
Johor MIC secretary M. Asojan said that he was surprised by the number of “parachute candidates” that the Opposition was sending to Johor.
“Many of the issues about the Indian community have been resolved with Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman personally looking into the matter,” he said.
“I am curious to see what these parachute candidates can offer,” he added.
MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said he was unperturbed by Pakatan's onslaught.
Under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's leadership, he said the rakyat could see the numerous programmes for the people.
He was confident that the Indians were returning to Barisan in large numbers while the Chinese were a pragmatic lot.
MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu, who was previously a Johor assemblyman, was certain that Johor voters would still support Barisan.
“Johor people have enjoyed tremendous growth and prosperity with the rise of the economic zones in Pengerang and the Iskandar Development Region,” he said.
“They can come here but they should not expect a walkover.”
For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site
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