Pace intensifies in Johor as campaigning hits final stretch

Candidates and party election machinery are pulling out all the stops to meet as many voters as possible before the polls tomorrow


WITH less than 24 hours before the campaign period for the Johor state election comes to an end, candidates and party election machinery are pulling out all the stops to meet as many voters as possible before the electorate goes to the polls tomorrow.

The last-minute campaigning has seen more walkabouts, ceramah and meet-and-greet sessions being organised in all corners of Johor, beginning very early in the day until late at night.

This was evident yesterday, whereby Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi attended a meet-and-greet session in the Serom and Gambir constituencies while his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan also met the people at the district polling centre in Kampung Lukut, Kota Tinggi.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin attended the “Kembara Hari Wanita 2022” programme in Muar and also a dialogue with youths in Air Tawar, Endau in Mersing, while Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders, including chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng are scheduled to speak at the “grand finale” ceramah in Taman Impiana, Kulai tonight.

For this election campaign, the Election Commission (EC) has allowed ceramah, public talks, physical campaigning and house-to-house visits.

A total of 239 candidates will be contesting in tomorrow’s polls, including 16 independent candidates, and in its run-up, a “blue wave” of sorts has swept over Johor, with the blue-coloured logos of BN, PN, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and PH) component party — PKR, using its own logo this time around, dominating the campaign scene.

Political analyst Dr Che Hamdan Che Mohd Razali expected all party machinery to intensify house-to-house visits in the last two days to ensure voters, especially members and loyal supporters, come out and vote.

“This is crucial especially if the voter turnout ends up being on the low side and outside voters can’t make it home as this would work in favour of the dominant local parties,” he said.

As for the over 700,000 first-time voters, the Universiti Teknologi Mara administrative science and policy studies faculty senior lecturer said more effort should be taken to woo this group of voters as they are capable of switching preferences at the eleventh hour.

As to which party seems to be leading the race, Che Hamdan believed BN currently has the upper hand based on its campaign strategy and election machinery, with the majority of its leaders helping to campaign for the coalition’s candidates.

“Their position at the helm of the federal government and some states have given them the advantage in this election,” he said.

At least 2.5 million out of nearly 2.6 million registered voters are eligible to cast their ballots tomorrow.

There will be 1,021 regular polling centres with 4,638 balloting stations (channels). A total of 49,290 EC workers will be handling the election process and EC is targeting a 70% voter turnout for tomorrow.