KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no underestimating the Opposition in Batu, said Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai.
Lau, who will contest in the urban constituency for the second time, pledged to give his best to wrest back the seat, currently held by PKR’s Tian Chua.
A victory in Batu will be a much needed boost for Gerakan, which had been relatively underperforming in recent years.
During the 2013 general election, Gerakan won only the Simpang Renggam parliamentary seat in Johor, while party president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong was elected as Teluk Intan MP in 2014 following a by-election.
Lau, 51, admitted it will be an uphill task to try and overturn the 13,284 majority gained by the Opposition in 2013.
“I rate our chances at 50 - 50.
“Barisan Nasional (BN) has been working hard to serve the people in the constituency, this will work to our advantage,” he told the New Straits Times.
Lau also foresee that the race would be much closer this time with the recent delineation exercise.
Four voting districts in Batu had been moved out – Kolam Air, Jinjang Selatan, Kg Chubadak and Changkat – with one moved in from Setiawangsa constituency.
The delineation exercise reduced the number of voters in Batu by around 10,000.
“I am hopeful the voters in Batu would to give BN the mandate to lead the constituent,” he said.
Lau is hopeful that he would secure this mandate for BN – owing largely to his opponent – as many voters have been disappointed by the Opposition’s poor service, said Lau.
Disgruntled, they now yearn for change.
Lau, who hails from Penang, said the opposition’s sheer confidence could also be their undoing as they are boasting that they can retain the seat even without Tian Chua.
However, Lau said that essentially, it is important to stay on top of his game always.