|GHB with Johor Opposition leaders|
“Johor will be the frontline state with Melaka and Negeri Sembilan as anchor states for Gerakan Harapan Baru going forward towards the 14th general elections,” said the movement’s secretary Dr Dzulkely Ahmad.
Met at GHB’s Johor open house here at Taman Universiti yesterday, the former Kuala Selangor MP said that they had not expected such overwhelming support in the locations where they had held their roadshows.
“Last night we were in a small village in Pontian called Ayer Baloi and there were quite a few hundred people listening to us,” he said.
Together with him at Ayer Baloi were GHB’s top leadership including former PAS deputy president and now GHB chairman, Mohamad Sabu, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, PAS lawyer Hanipah Maidin, Suhaizan Kaiyat, Dr Hatta Ramli and others. Also in attendance was DAP supremo, Lim Kit Siang and PKR Johor chief Hassan Karim with their respective leaders and supporters.
“We feel the silent majority wants to have their say in light of all the controversies such as 1MDB, the questionable RM2.6 billion that was in the Prime Minister’s account that has yet to be satisfactorily explained by the PM himself, the depreciating currency and many other issues that has left ordinary people in despair,” he said.
|Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, GHB Secretary|
“But we are not unfamiliar faces so we have the Pas people coming to meet and listen to us and we have youths who are new to politics and who’ve taken an interest in the backdrop of the crisis that the country is facing; and this crisis is hurting them,” Dr Dzulkefly added.
“There is a good mix of races, ages and income levels; from the rural to the urban that are interested and hopefully they’ll see us as a shot in the arm,” he added.
“We are however disappointed that PAS has chosen to criticize us harshly, using words like ‘barua’ (slave) of DAP which is uncalled for.
“We are moving ahead with the policies that were agreed to by PAS itself in the Pakatan coalition and which they reversed at the last muktamar.
“PAS needs to be more mature in its politics, and not emulate Umno in its level of attacks,” he added.
“Islam is still our clarion call; an Islam that is universal, that is inclusive, that believes in justice for all, that is fair, regardless of race and religion,” he said.
The open house also saw the introduction of the Johor Gerakan Harapan Baru committee headed by its chairman, YB Hj Aminolhuda Hassan Assemblyman for Parit Yaani aided by three deputies, Dzulkifli Ahmad, Mazlan Aliman who is also president of Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (ANAK) and former PAS youth chief Suhaizan Kayat.
Newly minted GHB Johor president said that although it’s too early to gauge the level of support, but there is certainly an increase in awareness of GHB in areas where they have had their roadshows.
“Last night we were in Pontian and for a small village to come out to hear us was encouraging,” he said.
Gerakan Harapan Baru’s chairman Mohamad Sabu, popularly referred to as Mat Sabu said that the political situation in Johor has changed significantly.
“Since the 2008 and 2013 general elections, Johor is no longer the bastion of Umno and Barisan Nasional,” he said when met at the sidelines of the Gerakan Harapan Baru Hari Raya Open House.
“There is a change in the mindet of Johor’s youths who are working in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and elsewhere and because of this, Johor has great potential for the new Pakatan Rakyat together with GHB to win more seats at the next general election when compared with other states,” Mohamad Sabu said.
“Coupled with the political turmoil surrounding the removal of the deputy Umno president and former deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, we feel that Johor is ready for change, but there must be a Pakatan Rakyat as no party will be able to affect change in the state without this coalition,” he added.