Johor election on March 12, Muda to debut

Nomination day will take place on Feb 26 while early voting is on March 8

by ASILA JALIL / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD

THE 16th Johor state election will be held on March 12, after a 14 days campaigning period.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said during the announcement yesterday that nomination day will take place on Feb 26 while early voting is on March 8.

The commission decided on the important dates with regards to the snap polls following a meeting held at Persada Johor International Convention Centre in Johor Baru yesterday.

“The EC received an official announcement from the Johor state assembly speaker regarding the dissolution of the state assembly on Jan 23, 2022.

“Therefore, we held a special meeting today to decide on the dates for the 15th Johor State Election to fill the 56 vacant seats in the state assembly,” said Abdul Ghani in a media conference yesterday.

To ensure a smooth process throughout the election period, Abdul Ghani said the commission has appointed 56 managing officers and 186 assistant managing officers.

The EC had also formed 56 election task forces for the campaigning period which was composed of members from the Royal Malaysian Police, local councils and representatives of the election candidates.

For the polls, Abdul Ghani added the commission will use the 2021 electoral roll that has been updated up until Jan 21, 2022.

“The list contains 2,597,742 voters which constitute 2,574,835 regular voters, 10,955 military members and their spouses, 11,576 police officers and their spouses as well as 376 abroad voters,” he added.

The Johor State Assembly was dissolved after Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar agreed to sign the dissolution letter to make way for the state election.

Barisan Nasional was leading the Johor State Assembly by a single majority with 28 seats which include Umno (14 seats), MIC (two), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (11) and PAS (one) while Pakatan Harapan (PH) had 27 seats — namely DAP (14), PKR (seven) and Amanah (six).

The state assembly was called after Kempas seat was left vacant following the death of its state assembly Datuk Osman Sapian in December last year.

In a separate statement — Opposition parties — DAP and Amanah have decided to make way for Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) to contest six seats in the state elections.

In a joint statement yesterday, DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said discussions held between the parties on seat allocations were to ensure no clashes occur between the parties in each constituency.

The parties are also focused on enhancing their efforts and machineries to claim victory and to form a state government together to help the people.

The six seats allocated for Muda are Tenang, Bukit Kepong, Parit Raja, Machap, Puteri Wangsa and Bukit Permai.

“This means that Amanah, DAP and Muda will move as strategic election partners to face the Johor state election, although Muda is not a part of PH.

“This is in line with the ‘big tent’ concept of uniting all political parties and combining forces to take down the Barisan Nasional/ Perikatan Nasional government,” they said.

They also noted discussions between Muda and another component party of PH-PKR are still ongoing ahead of the Johor snap polls.