A day before the Nomination day the atmosphere here has definitely heated up tremendously!
When MAFREL’s operation Centre was set up last Monday there was only a PKR’s OC across the road. By today DAP and BN has set up their `shops’ too-must be good `business’ here along Jalan Arowana! We had found the right spot! For the moment, in terms of Operation Centres the score is: Pakatan :2 vs Barisan: 1. News has it that all hotels on Penang mainland and even the island are full of campaigners from certain party. So you know who has the deeper pockets…
Impacting on Pakatan’s chances-fairly or unfairly, are:
1. 1000 Mara Branch campus students in Permatang Pauh staged a 1-hour demo against Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim’s suggestion to open Mara Institute to non-Malays. Wonder why the students were not bothered when UMNO’s Hishammuddin open the matriculation courses to non-Malays the last time? And of all people the students are allowed to hold a demo? Only politics can explain such discrepancy!
2. Saiful organized a press conference on the eve of Nomination day, to accuse Anwar the candidate of forced sodomy even though the charge by the prosecutor does not seems to go after this aspect.
3. PAS’s general meeting in Penang is throwing up some criticisms on the Pakatan –which should be normal and healthy in any political parties’ general meetings. There were numerous discrepancies between the 1st media reports on a number of issues eg Hadi Awang was first reported to threaten to quit Pakatan if non-Muslims MPs outnumber Muslims MPs; then Hadi deny it later-so who can you trust?
4. Before that there was an issue where PKR’s security was reported to have assaulted a cameraperson-and caused a journalist group to threaten to boycott the party; Till now no one managed to identify the persons responsible;
5. Money politics is coming to a `buy-election’ as day follow night in Malaysia: BN allocated millions to Chinese schools in P/Pauh after selecting a Chinese speaking UMNO Assemblyperson to be their candidate; The candidate’s selection also break BN’s long held tradition of not allowing politicians to run for state and Parliament seats simultaneously;
From a front runner suddenly Anwar found himself facing huge hurdles in the by-election! Racial and religious tone of the election issues seems to distract the election from more pressing social-economic concerns that affect all.
Meanwhile the campaign is as good as started-with many banners and buntings being put up before the referee’s whistle! Ceramahs are also happening everywhere. Estimate of the Nomination crowds run into 10’s of thousands on each side. Confirmed is the police crowd size which run onto 1000. Many crowd control police vehicles are seen lining up a hotel where the police and FRUs camp. But the candidates’ crowd size may be, so it is said, asymmetrical in the favour of 1 side. Lets’see!
Another aspect of the heating up of the election campaign is: many independent candidates are said to want to join in the fray! The most estimate is 6, but more confirmed is 3. Only time can tell! The funny participant could be a government department which is said to get very busy ….let’s treat it as a rumour until there are tell tale photos, OK?