By NELSON BENJAMIN
MUAR: Gambir incumbent M. Asojan from Barisan Nasional is appealing to voters not to vote based on the candidate or individual but the party that he represents in GE13.
“I feel like the underdog as all the three candidates challenging me are Malays. This is also a Malay majority seat with 12,037 voters comprising 56% of the total number of 21,832 voters in the constituency,” he added.
Asojan is facing Johor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohammad and two independents including Yunus Mustakim and Mohd Zan Abu, both former Umno leaders in the area.
“I know both these guys and one of them was even my assistant before they turned on me after claiming that MIC should return the Gambir seat to Umno,” he added.
Asojan, who was a second term assemblyman, said this was a real challenge for him especially with both the independent candidates knowing all about the Barisan strategy to win back the seat.
“I was down in the beginning but thanks to the encouragement and motivation from my wife and Johor Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, I picked myself up and have started campaigning aggressively.
Asojan said unlike his opponents who campaigned along racial lines, he was more interested in talking about the good done by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak through his economic transformation projects for the country.
“I tell my voters that I have been selected by Barisan to represent them. As such I will continue to do my best for everyone in the constituency,” he said, adding that he was confident with the support from all races.
Asojan hoped that the voters would elect him in GE13 as it would be a true win and uniting of the people under the “1Malaysia concept” due to the racial population in the area comprising 56% Malays, 39.7% Chinese and 3.8% Indians.
“I stress this because I will need the support from all the communities to serve the people here,” he said, adding that he was also having about 80 ceramah’s since nomination day to small groups of people in his constituency.
Asojan, who is state MIC secretary, was upbeat about implementing the 20-point Johor Barisan manifesto in his area as it would help improve the living standards of the people in the state.
“I think the move to get government-linked companies to build homes under a special scheme will attract people to continue working in the estates,” he said.
Gambir is the only constituency in the state with a four-cornered fight.
SOURCE: THE STAR, MAY 04, 2013