JOHOR BARU: Pakatan Harapan will be going into the Tanjung Piai by-election brimming with confidence despite a recent survey showing the ruling coalition’s popular support has eroded to only 35%.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal downplayed the findings, saying Tanjung Piai voters would prove the survey wrong.
The Bukit Kepong assemblyman, who is also PH’s elections director for the by-election, said the coalition should not be distracted by the survey and instead work hard at getting voters’ support.
“I do not see the poll result as a major obstacle for PH in the by-election because we have a very good relationship with the communities.
“In fact, the PH-led Johor government has managed to fulfil all its manifesto pledges, ” he said when met after conducting a working visit to Sports City, which is one of the venues for the 2020 Sukma Games.
Dr Sahruddin was asked to comment on an online news portal report claiming that PH lawmakers were shocked to find out that the coalition’s popular support had fallen to 35% as of August.
According to the report, a presentation slide with survey results conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre was presented at a two-day retreat involving PH backbenchers in Shah Alam.
This is the lowest popularity rate recorded since Pakatan took over the government in May 2018.
Meanwhile, Dr Sahruddin said as election director, he would do his best to help retain the parliamentary seat for the coalition.
“There is no issue at all over my appointment as I have a very good relationship with all coalition parties’ state chiefs.
“The responsibility has been given and it is now time for all of us to work together to make sure Tanjung Piai stays a PH seat, ” he said.Last Friday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Dr Sahruddin would lead the charge for PH in the by-election.
His appointment raised eyebrows as the mentri besar holds no position in Bersatu.
The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant following the death of its MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik on Sept 21 from complications following a heart attack.
Dr Farid, 42, who was also Tanjung Piai Bersatu division vice-chief, won the seat in the last general election by beating MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng and PAS’ Nordin Othman with a majority of 524 votes.
The Election Commission has announced that the by-election will be held on Nov 16, while nomination day would fall on Nov 2 and early voting is on Nov 12.
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