Soon to be Opposition leader, Umno man says loss in Johor unexpected

A. Ruban
A gloomy situation is pictured with no one present at Johor State Umno House on Polling Night. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Johor Umno had known it was going to lose several seats in the state during the elections but it never expected to lose the state entirely, Datuk Hasni Mohammad said.

Hasni, who will be the Opposition leader in the state assembly, said Barisan Nasional (BN) had run the state properly and showed a good track record, adding that there were no signs of losing the state until the night of Polling Day when the results showed otherwise.

“It never crossed our mind that we would end up as the Opposition,” he was quoted as saying to Malaysiakini.

Hasni, who managed to defend the Benut state seat for a third time, albeit with a smaller majority, said all BN members, including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, must share the blame for losing federal power and seven additional states to Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Hasni said his party’s election promises in Johor were simply not enough to address BN’s alleged wrongdoings at the federal level.

“We were just unable to defend issues at the federal level like 1MDB, MARA, Felda, even Tabung Haji. These are all federal issues, and they also affected the voters in Johor.

“It’s not that people were unemployed for years or they voted [PH] in order not to pay their PTPTN [higher education loans], and it’s not because people do not have food to eat,” he was quoted as saying.