On 18 March 2018, DAP conducted its 52nd anniversary celebration in Ayer Hitam, Johor. Numerous top Pakatan Harapan politicians attended the event to show their solidarity. Actually, they are making their first full-scale electoral campaign for PRU-14.
During the celebration, it was announced that Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong (DAP) will be contesting for the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat. Liew previously won the parliamentary seat for Bukit Bendera, Penang in 2008 and Kluang, Johor in 2013.
With all the endorsement from Pakatan Harapan leaders, Liew surely gained the attention of Ayer Hitam residents. Overnight, Liew fame increase drastically. The presses continue to write stories about Liew for the following days. As we can see from the media exposure, Liew popularity drastically spike on March 18. His popularity after that date were also much higher than before.
On the next day press conference, Lim Guan Eng said he is very confident in Liew and even labelled him as a “top general”.
It is a common strategy for DAP to reshuffle their candidates’ area of contest. Nevertheless, assigning Liew in Ayer Hitam is a risky move with a huge gain. If Liew won, MCA will lose a “top general” in the parliament.
However, Liew will be facing a tough opponent in Ayer Hitam. Defending the parliamentary seat is none other than MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong. Wee had defended the area for the past three elections.
But, based on both Wee and Liew past victories, they clashed with lesser-known politicians. Furthermore, this will be the first time for Wee to contest with a DAP politician.
Additionally, it will be a triple threat with PAS for the Ayer Hitam MP seat. The divide in the opposition votes between DAP and PAS put Liew at a disadvantage position.
As a conclusion, it will be an uphill battle for Liew to win the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat.