At least half a dozen parliamentary seats could easily fall to the opposition in the coming general election, say informed political observers.
That’s the view shared by a veteran Johor-based journalist and a Johor opposition politician, whom I met over the last couple of days. They both said that Pakatan could easily bag six or seven seats, perhaps more.
At present, the BN holds 25 parliamentary seats from Johor and Pakatan (DAP) has one. The BN’s seats are held by Umno (16), MCA (7), MIC (1) and Gerakan (1).
Umno’s seats, however, appear fairly solid, given the unique position of the party in the state and the handouts announced by Najib. Also, property owners have benefited from soaring prices, as a result of Singaporeans snapping up property in the state and driving up prices. Then there are those working in Singapore who earn higher salaries after converting to Malaysian currency.
On the other hand, those working in Johor or looking to buy their first property in the state could struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.
Pas, meanwhile, has relatively limited appeal in the state, compared to the support they enjoy in the northern and eastern states of the peninsula.