Snap polls for Penang unwise, unnecessary


Update: Looks as if there was no consensus between DAP and PKR on the issue. Azmin says they are “yet to be convinced on the objective”.

Talk of snap polls has been rife – though I fail to see the need for it when the next general election can’t be too far off.

If anything, it is a distraction and diversion from the issues we are confronted with in Penang: unchecked property development, soaring prices for residential property, the clearing of hills that has contributed to flash floods, ill-conceived mega projects, and rapid gentrification in the George Town world heritage site.

Then, there is the elephant in the room, the RM46bn SRS transport infrastructure proposal for expensive highways, elevated LRT and monorails. Along with it comes an equally controversial 4,500-acre land reclamation scheme, which will affect fishing communities in southern Penang Island, to raise funds to finance the expensive transport infrastructure.

The RM46bn SRS proposal has deviated so much from the original RM27bn Halcrow transport masterplan, which proposed mainly bus rapid transit and modern trams, which are cheaper to build, operate and maintain. I wonder if it is the land reclamation that is driving the SRS proposal for transport infrastructure rather than vice versa.

If there is a snap poll and the DAP capitalises on sympathy votes for the chief minister to win, will the result be used to legitimise the exorbitant SRS proposal – at a time when most people are not aware of the Better, Cheaper, Faster blueprint? In the last general election, the DAP used the widespread desire for change to whip up support for its tunnel mega project.

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Together with news of the snap polls is the news that the DAP party elections has been postponed – in the same way, that Umno party elections are often postponed ahead of general elections. Emulating this old Umno habit is not the democratic way to go.

Why snap polls? Some speculate this could be one way to bring in national DAP leaders into the state government in case the chief minister has to step down. But that – or any other partisan political considerations – is not a good reason to force the electorate to go to the polls prematurely.

It is not as if the state government is in any danger of collapsing. The Penang state government should just get on with the job it was elected to do.

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  1. Clearing the hills… true colour of dap.. we are part batu feringghi community really against this… sure there is big change in vote during pru14

  2. Lesson learnt from this saga: PKR is still uncertain if it could win the malay votes in any election right now.

    • PKR is never ready, unlike DAP.
      Yet it still demanded more seats in Penang?
      PKR will lose Selangor, and Umno is now thinking greedily how to spend the state reserves.

  3. UMNO and BN actually sees LGE as a potential leader of Malaysia who can take over from Anwar, this is why they are headhunting him in a corruption charge. The fragmented opposition themselves however cannot see this in LGE – for whatever reasons eventhough he has managed DAP and Penang pretty well. Its true that LGE is an unpolished gem to be a national leader, but so was Anwar and Mahathir when they first tasted real power. LGE can perhaps be guided and polished by a mentor committee. The opposition should sit down and look into this factor long term and seriously. They need a binding or gelling point and the closest point at this day is LGE.

      • Nope, the SRS detailed proposal is still secret.. so how can voters make an informed choice?

      • Snap poll is not all about the Penang Transport Plan, my friend.
        It is an Art of War – 1) a psychological tactic or tailored perception of who’s the Devil.
        2) move the pawns for a quick check-mate (why waste time when the FBI has
        created a lead?)
        3) whose rice bowls are at stake? LGE or Penangites? You decide.
        Cheers Kopi-O kau kau +kau kau.

  4. My 2-cent guess:
    1) Snap election to reinforce popularity support & psychological verdict (of innocence) for LGE while the 308 fire is still rekindled for CAT. Before any court verdict to prove him guilty, which will technically put him out of the election race, which will also put a damper on the vote mood of Penangites without LGE. It is a psychological warfare of perception before the real ‘Armageddon’ of GE14.
    2) If no snap election but waiting out for GE14, it may be yat sei (Cantonese phonetic for 14). The court may ‘speed up’ the verdict before GE14, the verdict of which is anybody’s good guess better than Sunday Turf Club races.

    The reality: LGE is still a popular figure head to stand up against the Goliah of BN. He’s the David to take sling shots at the perceived corrupt regime. If not to defeat, to face off is inspiration for hope of UBAH on the long road. Despite some misgivings for development of state, when it comes to challenging a popular leader, if not already a cult figure, the hearts & minds go on auto-drive mode for LGE. This is the ace card of LGE.

  5. Snap poll seating governor’s final go ahead now that the news of “US government gonna seize US$1 billion worth of misappropriated assets originated from people’s money” to be the advantage trump card to silent be end regime???

  6. Smart move to have an earlier poll.
    Money & benefits from the BN will be pouring into Penang.
    New street lights, freshly tarred roads plus ample bags of goodies.
    Cost a lot? We are already paying GST just to keep Najib’s office afloat & his high maintenance lady.

    Furthermore ,best to test the support for Harapan (minusPAS) & Mahathir now .
    Selangor should do the same too.
    AYE to an earlier poll.

    • Yes, agree with Johan, after Penang state election, selangor should follow.

      Do it now and do it quick, that is a wise move for pakatan, yes minus pas.

      • While the coffee is still hot, drink it together.
        Cheers to Penang & Selangor!
        Pas Kelantan can go fly kites.

  7. “It is not as if the state government is in any danger of collapsing. The Penang state government should just get on with the job it was elected to do.”

    In a nutshell. And I think the state’s drive to fund its projects is the real reason for the megaprojects.

    • pg pay for the poll? better not to have elections to have election? or good for pg because it is a BUY elections. Raya not over yet. many goodies to distribute. who is coming to perform free concert? pg more visitors. Far Lim kopi tiam can laugh to the bank.

    • Yes it is a rather waste of money.
      But, whose money?
      Our GST and whatever tax money are already in BN’s piggy bank.
      Why not break their bank?

      It is not about money , it is all about getting a solid backing.
      Look at Selangor situation , azmin or PKR are held ransom by PAS.
      Everybody know that PAS is not part of Pakatan Harapan.
      Spend the money on some snap election is much wiser than keep on feeding a hippo.

  8. Anil, why is it unnecessary? Eventually pg will also face a state election….either sooner or later. If sarawak can have a stand alone state election, why not pg?

    • why have to be in tandam with fefderal polls? so real head of pg is pm? agree pm says cant have local councils too?

      • Ya, Mr Anil, why premature going to the polls now for orang penang ? Going to the polls now is a good, wise and necessary for pakatan in view of 1mdb mega law suits in america.

        Anil seems more concerned with the transport system than the 1mdb worldwide big scandals !!!

  9. It seems they have sensed something in the BN’s (secret) plan all out to [finish off] LGE/DAP in wholesome?
    No other alternative way to fight back but only in using the rakyat’s people power? Moreover, they can use it (snap election) later to bulldoze some of their “brain-child projects” who knows?

  10. I support snap polls for penang. It will show who supported who before the big battle of GE14. For one it will show pas that without support from Pakatan Harapan, pas will also lose kelantan. Than there will b a chance of hadi ouster by pas members.

      • Having 2 Kitingan brothers made the complication more complicated.
        Remember Jeffrey Kitingan? A jungle chameleon cannot match his political PH color change.

    • so who is more manipulative? who is more bully? ok allow the system to continue? where is the river of justice? all big talk only.


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