KUALA LUMPUR: Political stability is crucial to development in Johor and the coming state election is an opportunity for voters to make a statement through the ballot box, says MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon (pic).
He said Johor voters were sick of the "empty promises" by Pakatan Harapan and yearned for stability.
"Development in Johor was disrupted, such as the High Speed Rail (HSR).
"So we hope Barisan Nasional can return to form a stable government and ensure a better economy for the people," he told a press conference at Wisma MCA here on Thursday (Jan 27).
The HSR project from KL to Singapore was initially proposed by the Barisan government in 2010 and Singapore agreed to jointly undertake the project in 2013.
Chong also said following the death of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian last month, the Johor government only had a single-seat majority in the 56-seat Johor state assembly.
"We don't want an unstable government to continue administering Johor because many programmes cannot be implemented," he added.
Chong also spoke about his meeting on Wednesday (Jan 26) with Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and state Barisan chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
"They are hoping for support from all races to form a strong and stable government that is also multiculturally diverse," said Chong.
He added that more new faces will be fielded as Barisan candidates, but stressed that Barisan will use a different strategy than it employed in the recent Melaka state polls.
"Each election is different and there isn't a single formula that can be used in every election. We will craft a specific strategy for Johor," he said.
In November's Melaka election, 24 out of the 28 candidates fielded by Barisan were fresh faces.
It captured the state with a landslide victory, winning 21 out of 28 state seats to gain a two-thirds majority in the assembly.
On another matter, Chong said MCA will host a Chinese New Year reception on Feb 1 but it will be by invitation only, because of Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
"MCA's Chinese New Year banquet this year will be held as a reception instead of the usual open house.
"Approximately 300 guests have been invited, which is lower than 50% of the capacity of the San Choon hall in Wisma MCA," he added.
Chong said among VIPs invited were the Prime Minister, former premiers, Barisan chairman, ministers and deputy ministers, leaders of Chinese guilds and associations, and heads of foreign missions.
"We hope that everyone can come together and celebrate responsibly with Malaysians nationwide, albeit on a simpler scale this year due to pandemic restrictions," he added.
The Johor assembly was dissolved on Saturday (Jan 22).
The former state government led by Barisan had a simple majority with 28 seats (Barisan 16, Bersatu 11, and PAS one) compared to Pakatan's 27 following Osman's death.
The Election Commission will have a special meeting on Feb 9 to decide on nomination day, polling day and other key matters for the state election.