Some UMNO operation centres popping up and visits by top leaders of the 2 arms of UMNO (Youth & Women wings) have been put forward by media to support the claim that BN would rejoin the Penanti by-election which it has earlier rejected as a `waste of public fund’. How UMNO’s campaign will involve public fund’ was never explained though it is common knowledge that UMNO’s campaign regularly abuse public resources including public allocations, to support its candidates.
Some of MAFREL’s local observers also reported that the SPR has started to arrange the Nomination day arrangement eg moving the nomination centre from Tengku Bainun Hall used in last by-election-which can be approched from only 1 side, to a near by government training centre IKBN, which can be approached from both sides, to avoid clashes between party supporters. There are also talks that the police are trying to determine the distance to separate the supporters-is it further than the throw of plastic water bottles or as far as they can see/shout to each other?
In any case all Chinese paper reported that SPR has approved the setting up of party counters in front of the 9 polling centres-contrary to earlier ban on polling day campaigns. Also reported as lifted is the limit of 5000 supporters to accompany the candidates to the nomination centre.
Of course there won’t be a scarcity of candidates if UMNO decided to put up a fight. Some local faces are pushing to be chosen should UMNO HQ make a decision on going for a fight, against their current wisdom.
All these do sound like the BN is coming to the Penanti by-election. UMNO is reported to say they will meet over the issue on Monday.