JOHOR BAHRU — Barisan Nasional (BN) stormed back to power in Johor tonight with more than a two-thirds majority win in the 15th state election, capturing 40 of the 56 seats contested.
UMNO contributed 33 seats to the victory, MCA four and MIC three.
In the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018, Pakatan Harapan (PH) ousted BN after winning 36 seats, while BN garnered 19 seats and PAS won one.
BN’s win tonight also bettered its own record of winning 38 seats in GE13.
Among the seats won by BN today were in Buloh Kasap, Sungai Balang, Sri Medan, Semarang, Parit Raja, Rengit, Machap, Layang-layang, Kahang, Penawar, Tenggaroh, Panti, Pasir Raja, Sedili, Johor Lama, Tanjung Surat, Benut and Kukup.
BN was also victorious in Pemanis, Kemelah, Bekok, Tenang, Bukit Pasir, Gambir, Serom, Bukit Naning, Semerah, Yong Peng, Parit Yaani, Senggarang, Mahkota, Paloh, Tiram, Permas, Larkin, Kempas, Kota Iskandar, Bukit Permai, Pulai Sebatang and Pekan Nanas.
PH won 11 seats, Perikatan Nasional (PN) three, PKR one and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) one seat in the polls, which saw youths aged between 18 and 20 voting for the first time in elections in the country.
The Johor polls marked the electoral debut of MUDA, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) and Sabah-based Parti Warisan which was contesting in the peninsula for the first time.
BN’s victory was spearheaded by caretaker Menteri Besar and Johor BN chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad, who retained the Benut seat for a fourth term. Another multi-term winner for BN was Datuk Samsolbari Jamali, who won in Semarang for a fifth time.
In thanking voters for giving BN the huge mandate, Hasni urged Bangsa Johor to come together to help develop and prosper the Southern Tigers state.
“The people of Johor want a state government that is more responsive, focused and committed to care for and lead them. Be assured that this is my desire,” said Hasni in a Facebook post after BN was declared the winner.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Batu Pahat, Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, was also triumphant on his return to Rengit, retaining the seat for BN in its stronghold.
Johor PN secretary and former Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal retained the Bukit Kepong seat with a majority of 9,873 votes, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub successfully defended the Simpang Jeram seat by a majority of 8,749 votes while Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong won the Perling seat with a majority of 3,347 votes on his first attempt.
MUDA secretary-general Amira Aisya Abd Aziz snatched the Puteri Wangsa seat on her electoral debut.
However, the opposition suffered a major blow when Johor PH chairman and state Amanah chief Aminolhuda Hassan lost in Parit Yaani.
Former Johor Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat and Johor PAS commissioner Abdullah Husin both lost in Pulai Sebatang.
Also tasting defeat were Johor Bersatu information chief Mohd Solihan Badri in Gambir, Johor Pejuang chief Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh in Machap and his deputy Nornekman Osman in Kempas.
Two MPs contesting in the state polls also lost, namely Steven Choong Shiau Yoon of PBM in Puteri Wangsa and former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik, who contested on a PKR ticket in Layang-Layang.
The polls saw 239 candidates from 15 political parties vying for 56 seats.
A total of 1,426,573 people or 54.92 per cent of the registered voters went to the polls today.