I don't think this recent news is good for BN, especially in my home state Johor.
First, let us look at the facts during the last general election in 2013.
P148 Ayer Hitam
Wee Ka Siong (BN-MCA) 22,045 58.4 percent
Hu Pang Chaw (PR-Pas) 14,735 39.0 percent
Wee Ka Siong won with a majority of 7,310
Racial composition of the 42,913 electorates -
Malays (56 percent), Chinese (38 per cent), Indians (4 percent)
Ka Siong, who is the deputy MCA president has been the Malay-majority Ayer Hitam MP since 2004.
Chin Tong won in nearby Chinese-majority Kluang in 2013 by beating prominent MCA leader Hou Kok Chun by a majority of 7,350. Kluang, which is my hometown has almost double the size of electorate compared to Ayer Hitam at that time. Chin Tong is formerly the MP of Bukit Bendera in Penang. He won there in 2008.
In my opinion, Chin Tong's move to the Malay-majority Ayer Hitam for the coming GE14 is as important as the move by former Johor MB TS Abdul Ghani Othman to contest the Chinese-majority Gelang Patah against DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang in GE13.
Ghani became the first Umno leader to do that in an attempt to stop the Chinese tsunami of 2013.
Chin Tong is trying to do about the same this time, but the other way around.
A DAP guy contesting in a Malay majority constituency in Johor, the state known as the tiang seri of Umno.
I agree with Lim Guan Eng on this,
Pakatan's dream lives or dies on Ayer Hitam result
They are banking on a Malay tsunami, or at least a significant shift to their side among the Malay electorate.
If Chin Tong can pull this one off in Ayer Hitam, then that means Pakatan stands a good chance to win most of the crucial semi-urban constituencies.
Yup, if he wins there, that's the end of Umno's dominance in my home state.
And more importantly, if Umno loses in Johor, that means it's going to lose elsewhere too.
Of course, if Wee Ka Siong losses there despite the Malay majority votes, that's the end of MCA too.
Still, it puzzles me that Chin Tong dares to make the move in the first place as it is very risky for him.
He may had done his calculations, which he is good at, and the results indicated that he has a chance to win.
But, Ayer Hitam actually has among the best BN election machinery in Johor led by its Umno division chief Samsol Bari Jamali, who is also the party's current state information chief.
I personally saw him in action in GE13 and I can confirm that the guy is good.
I was told by those on the ground in Ayer Hitam that Samsol Bari is among the few Umno division leaders who still apply the very effective micro management strategy employed by Johor Umno during the previous general elections.
The strategy was perfected during Ghani's leadership where emphasis was given for the leaders to go all the way down to the kawasan peti undi to make sure all the problems of the electorate were seen and solved.
I was made to understand that most other Johor BN leaders are using a different strategy under their current boss DS Mohamed Khaled Nordin but I'm not sure what it is.
Whatever it is, a friend who actually talked to Samsol Bari a few days ago told me last night that the guy is confident that Chin Tong has had his calculations wrong about Ayer Hitam.
That, we have to simply wait and see.
Whatever it is, I'm quite sure Ayer Hitam will be the most important fight of GE14.
I'm going to give special attention to it.