The Battle for Penang

Penang voters are among the most sophisticated in the country.

In the past, they have many times voted for the ruling coalition at State level but the other way  for Parliament, so that they would not lose out on development, but at the same thing, have a more vocal voice in Parliament. This is a form of check and balance, or Penang people will tell you, best of 2 worlds.

In 2008, however, they have become so disenchanted with the ruling state government that not only they voted overwhelmingly for opposition at Parliament level, they also uprooted the whole BN state government, and ruling parties such as Gerakan, MCA and MIC were totally routed, with none of them winning a single seat. Out of the 40 state seats, only UMNO managed to win 11 out of the 15 they contested. PR won 29 , mainly in Chinese majority and mixed seats.

This time around, BN is leaving no stones unturned in trying to win back Penang. They even resorted to dangerous fanning of racial and religious sentiments. Penang in the words of a prominent leader of the civil society whom i met recently is now ‘ a very polarised and divided place’.

In playing up racial sentiments, the play of BN in Penang is to hope that UMNO this time around will win 15 out of the 15 seats they contested. With the return of some Malay votes, they hope to achieve not only this feat, but also hope that MCA or Gerakan or MIC can manage to win back some seats. There will be 2 different scenario depending on the number of seats these component parties may win.

If  these 3 smaller parties can win up to 6 seats, then BN will rule with a simple majority. A Gerakan candidate who is  a winner in one of the state seats will become the CM, even though we can see from the situation and mathematics that he would be a very lame lameduck CM, given that the exco will be predominantly stuffed by UMNO winners. This consideration is exactly why the Chinese in the States will not vote for Gerakan and MCA or MIC, because it would be futile to have a CM without real power even if BN promises a Chinese would be the CM.

If these 3 smaller parties  win just about  4 or even 5 seats, the Big Brother with its tremendous resources and ‘info” at hand may entice/coerce some of the PR members to cross over. Frogs, like in the case of Perak after 308, will always be there.

This will test the legality of the antihopping law passed recently in the State Assembly, and thus a court battle will be inevitable .

Meanwhile, whoever will have the confidence of the Governor to form the government will form the government, pending the outcome of the battle in the court. The Governor’s decision will probably hinged on who wins the Federal election (or shall we say, which side the wind is blowing stronger).

But given that more than 80% of the ethnic Chinese voters will be anti-BN ( it took BN  a couple of millions spent and a 8 minute performance by PSY to find this out and it would have cost them nothing just to ask around),  it will indeed be a miracle for these 3 small parties to win any seat.

So as  a person who hails from Penang, I think this time around, PR will  win Penang again, but BN may have a couple more extra seats because of a stronger UMNO.  But to win back Penang? It has to take more than free handouts,  fanning of racial sentiments or a performance by a Korean  Star to do it.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. petestop
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 21:20:26

    I can seriously say that amongst my colleagues in MNCs, almost all support PR, especially the Gen-X, as they are the most affected by BN govt policies. I predict it will be another landslide for PR in Penang


  2. klm
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 22:07:29

    In my humble opinion, I think BN and especially UMNO overrated their chance in Penang,


  3. chanjoe1
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 22:53:11

    Honestly, I got feedbacks from my Malay friends in Penang that there is still strong support for PR and its only some portion of the Malays who had been advocating some minor groups especially the Mamaks group to come out to show their power hiding behind the protection of the Police who have not taken any actioon against these groups even though it was clear they had broken many rules of the day. I will still pace my bets on PR winning almost the similar seats and in fact will not be surprise if they can add more….and for the MCA, Gerakan & MIC, well, everyone knows they are has beens….sorry for them but they had shown that they had not repented and therefore does not warrant any support for them…PSY concert had shown them where they are…


  4. CYC
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 12:35:17

    They know they can’t win back Penang. Hence, they are focusing in Selangor. The highest increase in electorates was registered in Selangor, can you detect something? How many overseas based eligible voters were secretly registered in Selangor being the sensible question remained unanswered. Is that the strategy been adopted to win back Selangor?


  5. Wave33
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 14:36:40

    13th GE would be the dirtiest of all. UMNO would be much stronger from 2008. In 2008, UMNO members has been sabotaging Abdullah Badawi administration. Most UMNO members just voted the opposition to teach Abdullah a lesson. Mahathir has been a cheerleader for it and sometimes using arm twisting methods to achieve it. Since after 12th GE, Mahathir has been onslaught towards PR. Those zombies whom has been idolising the dictator as god (I would prefer to use Allah), has since followed suit.

    UMNO members are back in strength now, Chinese has dump MCA to the South China Sea to be eaten by the sharks, Indians still have not decided yet who to hit, the snake or MIC? Indians will and continue to be controlled by kinds. Why do you think that Hindraf is still standing on the fence for so long under the hot sun. Perhaps, some sunbathing will help. Beats me.

    UMNO ordinary members are strongly united under the myth that Islam is under threat not UMNO. The threat on Islam, it so great, UMNO members has to come to defend it at all cost from those gods not called Allah. Does UMNO and PAS pray to the same Allah?

    The kiasu of the UMNO Malays and Mamaks on NEP, special housing discount, free overseas education, special dividend from ASB and loans without a repayment plan. All these would be gone, if UMNO is not in power. Suddenly, the Ketuanan Melayu (including Mamak) has been disturb from a wake up call. It is perceived to be. Better be safe than sorry, for those sorry asses.

    UMNO ordinary members are happy to glorify their religion and keep their financial discrimination enforced even if they are sodomise regularly by the UMNO elites.

    Yes, the UMNO ordinary members are back in force to UMNO and to be continue to be sodomise proper and good after GE 13th.

    Hidup UMNO!


  6. Simple Sense
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 12:20:20

    This is the era of the underdogs!
    Obama was the underdog in recent Presidential Election, Republicans
    had whipped up such as perception that that was the end of Obama, even public poll said 50/50 at best for Obama, he won by a significant margin! Roomney was in shock half way through the vote counting! Right wind hard line TV stations Fox News refused to announce the winner after several other major network news stations call the winner on Obama!
    Labor party candidate won in recent by election in Singapore, another underdog.
    Unknown party which campaigned on Internet won significant seats in the Italy GE.
    Who is the underdog in upcoming GE13!
    The underdogs will gain, may win big in GE13.


  7. Li Li Fa
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 19:22:58

    The people of Penang have wised up after 2008. They have had tasted the repulsive previous regime, but are now warming up to the PR administration which is people oriented with competence, accountability and transparancy as its motto. They would, I believe, want to continue having a state government whom they can trust, and not one who will take them for a ride. The current statement government is revolved in solving their own problem, even if the Federal Government is dragging on its feet on matters pertinent to the welfare of the people. The people of Penang will continue to be wise up and join like-minded Malaysians to usher in a new Federal Government in the coming GE13.


  8. looes74
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 21:58:04

    Frankly, the way of ensuring Pakatan got full majority…..Just ensure that DAP get more than 20 seats…..All settled


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