A gathering dubbed ‘Himpunan Barisan 1Malaysia Pulau Pinang’ is scheduled for tomorrow at the UiTM hall in Permatang Pauh beginning at 8.00am. But who is organising it?

A source in Penang associated with an NGO received a letter inviting groups to send representatives to the event.

The letter was from the ‘Secretariat’ for the event. The address given was c/o Aras 3, Anjung B, Wisma Perseketuan, Jalan Bertam. A phone number was provided.

A call to the number revealed that it was the Biro Tatanegara, Penang branch. The person answering the phone confirmed there was such an event and it would begin at 8.00am. The programme includes talks by several speakers and lunch.

When asked who was organising the event, he said it was the Jabatan Perdana Menteri. (BTN comes under the Prime Minister’s Department.)

Last month, the UiTM hall was used as the venue for a Perkasa gathering, which Mahathir attended.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary to the government was scheduled to hold an interactive session with USM folks on 19 February. Earlier, in December, Prime Minister Najib had a large 1Malaysia gathering at USM.

Of course, the Penang BN held its Chinese New Year Open House gathering featuring Najib, Rosmah, Yen Yen and Psy at the Han Chiang College.

So is it open season for our institutions of higher learning to be used for pro-BN/pro-government events?