Just like me, my friend is not an Umno member but was supportive of the party and tried to help it at that time basically because of the then Johor MB TS Abdul Ghani Othman.
Both of us are Johoreans now based in KL and we like Ghani because he's a good guy.
My friend shared this with me, which I think I could share with you all;
Chatted with a couple of people while I was down there. Asked them:
1. What actually happened on the ground. Why such a huge loss?
Person 1: Public sentiment was too intense against Umno/BN, they no longer had the rakyat trust and their explanations fell on deaf ears. Rakyat simply believe whatever misinformation they were fed and blocked anything coming from Umno. The Pakatan campaign was based on lies, misinformation, twisted facts won the election for them and Umno/BN had no chance. The government will continue with the campaign even after achieving Putrajaya to divert public attention from actual facts because they need the blame game to continue until they manage their own inadequacies.
In Johor, public sentiments against the Palace contributed too, but now they are realising that they cannot depend on Mahathir nor the Pakatan parties to protect them from the rapacious Palace. The actual word being used was "api dalam sekam", people felt betrayed by Umno/BN and turned to Pakatan hoping that Pakatan will do something about it.
The turnover of Kota Tinggi to PPBM was at the Palace behest. They needed more PPBM seats so they all turned Pakatan and got terminated by Umno. At least one had expressed regret over the turnover, but what happened, happened. Seems like the Pakatan is more of a pushover when it comes to the Palace when compared to Umno.
Mahathir had no time for Johor, despite all the indications of his distaste for the excesses of the Johor Palace, but he has not once paid any attention to it since winning the PMO.
My take is, at the moment Najib takes precedent in his agenda as Najib is not doing what Mahathir and gang are expecting him to do, i.e. get all scared after the first round of harassments and leave the country, at least Rosmah was expected to leave the country, I think, but neither did.
2. Why was the loss not forecasted and necessary action taken to at least minimise the impact of the swing vote if that was what it was.
According to a second source, the previous Pengerusi Perhubungan was out of touch with the grassroots, relying on the people around him to feed him with information, which did not even tally with the Division leaders' own reading of what's happening on the ground. Not only was he detached from the ground, he was also detached from the Division leaders, neither was he accessible to people other than his appointed officers.
Presently Pakatan administration has not stabilised yet as apparently the MB has difficulty taking on his responsibilities fully as apparently he lacks the experience, knowledge and depth to understand/digest what the State Officers are trying to bring him up-to-date to. They also lack quality leadership at mid-level down, and even have difficulty appointing Ahli Majlis. Some areas have also been neglected because they simply had been no Ahli Majlis assigned to take care of them.
Well, that's the latest I have from someone who has actually recently been on the ground in Johor, the once tiang seri of Umno.
I was last there during the election. So, I can't comment much on it myself.
Today is Friday again and I'm going outstation later this evening.
I'm planning a quiet weekend outside KL. But not in Johor as I don't have the heart to go there for now.
Hope you all have a good weekend too.
Here, enjoy this zapin Johor. The singer is from my hometown.