PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar (pic)
could lead the way for an Opposition victory in Johor in the coming general election, says former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Claoming that Umno's support in the state was diminishing, he said the PKR vice-president was capable of dethroning seven-term Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.
"With the right candidates, Johor Baru and southern Johor can give Pakatan Harapan the opportunity to capture the state," the DAP politician said in a blog post on Wednesday (Feb 14).
He said he had advised Nurual Izzah to contest in Johor Baru as Pakatan had allotted the state to PKR.
"She would win against Shahrir," the lawyer believed.
Zaid added that together with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's appeal and increasing Malay support for DAP, there was a good chance that Johor could fall into the Opposition's hands.
"Johor Baru is their (Umno's) fortress, but as I said two weeks ago, it is vulnerable even though Shahrir won the parliamentary seat in 2013 with a majority of about 10,000 votes," he said.
Zahid, however, warned that it would not be smooth sailing for Pakatan in Johor Bahru, citing the recent incident in Kampung Bakar Baru.
On Feb 11, a commotion ensued when over 50 residents prevented DAP veteran Lit Kit Siang from holding a ceramah in the village.
Nurul Izzah is currently serving her second term as Lembah Pantai MP, a seat she retained after defeating two heavyweights – former ministers Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin – in the 2008 and 2013 general elections respectively.
Talk of the 38-year-old – who is the eldest child of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – moving over to contest in Permatang Pauh has been rife of late, with some claiming that support for her has waned in Lembah Pantai.
The Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat is currently held by Dr Wan Azizah, who took over after Anwar vacated it in 2015 following his sodomy conviction.
Nurul had previously said that she is committed to defending her seat at Lembah Pantai, but will abide by any decision by the party leadership.