The only question is the margin of victory for Ramkarpal Singh, in the face of an insipid challenge by a Parti Cinta Malaysia candidate and two independent candidates and with the BN staying out.
A Pas grassroots worker predicts a 40000 majority for the son of the late Karpal Singh. A DAP branch secretary was much more optimistic, claiming that Ramkarpal would secure a crushing 57000 majority.
Maybe the actual majority will be somewhere in between, perhaps about the same as last year, bearing in mind a likely lower turnout. The Election Commission is predicting a turnout of 76-78 per cent tomorrow compared to 86 per cent at GE13.
In 2013, Karpal Singh secured a 41778-vote winning majority and it remains to be seen whether his son can equal or better that on a reduced turnout.
Candidates at these by-elections should take the opportunity to highlight the critical issues of the day such as TPPA, income inequality, environmental degradation, climate change, the impact of privatisation and other neoliberal policies, the lack of respect for worker rights, speculation in upmarket property development – perhaps these issues are not coming out enough.
Instead, the focus in election campaigns in recent times has been on corruption, GST and Barang Naik (which are no less important of course).
Yes, we need a two-party system to provide check-and-balance. But many issues are conspicuously missing in the campaign. These issues need to be articulated if we are serious about ushering in new politics and raising awareness among voters.
Will the winning candidate, for instance, strongly call for improved public transport in Penang when he rises from his seat in Parliament to make his maiden speech? Will he call for stronger controls to curb property speculation?
Thanks to blog visitor Don Anamalai for the video link.