No one home…
Last night, while I was in Seberang Jaya, I couldn’t help noticing a number of BN road-side ‘operations centres’ that were deserted. No one home. Mind you this was in BN candidate Ariff Shah’s stronghold, his Penang state assembly seat area.
Of course, there were a few BN booths that did have volunteers staffing them. But the number of BN stalls that lay empty suggests that the ruling coalition clearly over-estimated the response it would receive from volunteers.
The first three of these photos were taken near the site of an Anwar ceramah in a residential area (near Jalan Siakap 12), which saw a crowd of around a thousand turning up to listen. It was between 10.30pm and 11.00pm, when many people were on the streets checking out what was going on.
Where is everyone? At Anwar’s ceramah?
These booths have been turned into storage and garage space
The following two stalls stood directly opposite each other on the Seberang Jaya mainroad:
Another BN stall lies deserted…
… but directly across the road, PKR volunteers are beavering away
Blog reader Ah Pek BM, who says he is an MCA life member from Bagan in Butterworth, predicts a majority of 18,500:
You are right, spot on. My house is just a few roads away from the Seberang Jaya Siakap BN Operations centre. BN morale is truly down and most of their so-called workers are paid…
As for winning majority, based on my neigbourhood walk, my stretch target for Anwar is about 18,500 majority. I will be doing my morning walk in Cherok Tok Kun hill on Sunday, able to get more grassroot feedback.
I look forward to your feedback, Ah Pek!
Another blog reader Karma says sentiment among Umno members in Permatang Pauh is at a low ebb:
Prices of essential goods have increased by more than 15 per cent for the past 5 months. Low- income earners are feeling the pain more than the rich. The rich or poor, they all want a complete change to the management of the country now. This is the sentiment in Permatang Pauh now.
Tonight again we see thousands flocking to listen to PR ceramah. Unfortunately, ceramah conducted by BN could not attract much crowd yet. Each ceramah comprises less than about 100 people. Quite a disppointment for BN.
Speaking to the people here… they cited a few reasons why they are not happy with BN: the candidate (Ariff cannot be accepted by many disgruntled Umno members), media abuse, Saiful’s conduct, the price of commodities, high-handed approach of BN government towards PR-ruled states. At this point, Anwar is still able to win by a bigger majority. That is the scenario.
The local Umno and BN machinery is not functioning well. Many I spoke to are half-hearted to go all out to campaign. They have basically surrendered. Many Umno members are not happy with the BN candidate, Ariff, and Umno leaders.
MCA, MIC and Gerakan members feel that they just cannot convince the people to vote for BN anymore. To the Chinese, the Lim Guan Eng factor plays an important role. Most are happy with him. The Indians feel that they are neglected by Umno, quoting a few incidences such as poverty, religion, racial harassment and the Hindraf issue.
Thanks, Karma, do send more feedback from the ground.
A reporter from the mainstream Chinese press told me just now that he heard that the predictions of the PKR majority have been slashed to 5,000.
On the evidence of the above photos, I found that hard to believe. If the BN cannot even find volunteers to staff all their booths, how are they going to reduce the PKR majority of 13,000-plus? The only way the BN can achieve a lower margin of defeat is if voters are unable to turn up because Tuesday, polling day, is a working day.
A friend of mine said I shouldn’t raise expectations too high, because if the PKR’s majority is lower than expected, it would be a moral victory for the BN. What do you think?