Penang in spotlight as general election draws closer

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Speculation is mounting that a general election is drawing closer even as Penang comes under the spotlight.

This afternoon, Najib arrived in a taxi (don’t you love how they know when to look people-friendly?)  at the “Malaysia Aidilfitri-Merdeka 2011 Open House” held in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu. Among the guests at the event – turnout officially reported at 25000 people (but was it much fewer?) – were Guan Eng. Entertainers David Arumugam, Ahmad Jais, Uji Rashid and Hail Amir performed.

Now, Guar Perahu lies in the vicinity of Permatang Pauh, stronghold of Anwar Ibrahim and just 2km away from Mat Sabu’s kampung.

Najib promised that the federal government would not ignore Penang: “We will continue the development in Penang as what is being carried out now such as the Penang International Airport expansion project, the construction of the Second Bridge, and the Mengkuang Dam Project which would be ready soon,” he was quoted as saying. The Penang state government is supportive of these projects.

On 29 September, Najib is due to officiate at the Han Chiang College’s 929 Golden Achievement Awards to honour the successes of the college students and vernacular press journalists. Koh Tsu Koon may be part of the delegation though he has not yet been invited. This was revealed during a press conference on Friday chaired by Han Chiang Board of Governors Tan Kok Ping. Kok Ping added that Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng had been invited, and it was not necessary to invite his predecessor. Both the PM and CM invited for a college-organised event? What gives?

The event will be held at the indoor stadium of the school. During the 2008 general election campaign, the same stadium and the large outdoor school field were the venues for huge opposition rallies. A ceramah at the school field attended by 60000 just two days before polling day has been described by some as the turning point of the campaign, which saw opposition parties crushing the BN in the state.

Umno now has 11 seats in Penang against Pakatan’s 29.

Possible tell-tale signs of impending polls:

  • A source told me that principals in a town in Pahang were called for a briefing last week.
  • The BN publicity and information bureau is holding 14 “premier” briefing sessions in every state to explain current issues to Umno member. The series ends on 3 October.
  • Kelantan Umno has appointed the chiefs of its 14 divisions as party “election directors” and will conduct an election ‘dry run’ on 16-3o September.
  • Najib has asked for telcos the review their decision to pass on government service tax to their prepaid consumers

One or two people have suggested that the general election could be held in November/December. Some have even mentioned 11 November, 5 December and 5 January as possible dates.

But on 29 July, Najib announced that the Umno general assembly will be held from 1-3 December, the dates reportedly decided by an Umno supreme council meeting. So how?

Moreover, the general election is likely to be held before the Umno party elections. (Najib has not yet been elected as Umno president.) It is unlikely that the Umno party elections during this year’s general assembly as Najib had announced on 1 December 2010 that the party polls had been for 18 months. If we go by this, then Umno polls may be held in the second quarter of 2012.  A general election in November/December/January 2011 would give Umno leaders sufficient time to campaign for the Umno polls.

Keep an eye on:

  • what happens in the Anwar court case.
  • the fate of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, now seen as more of a liability for the BN.
  • the progress of the Scorpene investigations in France.
  • what happens on 1 December, when TNB is due to announce its next electricity tariff review, six months after the 7 per cent hike on 1 June.
  • what happens to the dates of the Umno general assembly scheduled for 1-3 December.
  • the state of the economy. Economic growth has slowed to 4 per cent in the second quarter and the crude palm oil price has fallen by some 25 per cent since the beginning of the year.

What have you heard? What is your prediction? And what are the issues at stake?

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syahid

We kampong folks know Najib was trying to fool us by taking teksi to this event.

We have read from Suara Keadilan newspaper that he flew his Airbus (with 1malaysia logo) to Perth on holiday on Hari Merdeka. How can we have a PM who go overseas on national day? Tak patut!

abc

give penang back its free trade zone status mah…and put it in batu ferringhi so that more tourists will come lah…but make sure there is also a stylo shopping complex lor.

MKPng

Wait for the Budget in October would be the clearest indication!!

wira

“Umno now has 11 seats in Penang against Pakatan’s 39.”

Anil, I think it is 11 against 29.

wandererAUS

Hey fellars, are you sure or not that GE is akan datang. I like to open more bank accounts in BN strong States to facilitate my Ang Pows collection.. One sure thing, PR will keep Penang…perhaps, by a larger margin and more seats. Only (certain ‘Malays’) will continue to vote UMNO…true Malays will begin to act otherwise….

nkkhoo.com

Sure happen before the electoral reform and after more Indon workers are naturalized as Malaysians.

Unlikely GE in this years after Bersih shock waves are not still bouncing..

nkkhoo.com

…still bouncing.

Sam Rush

Why so much spotlight on Penang, but not on Johor?

Is it because Johor is a strong fortress of BN, and
1) MCA is taking good care of its community there to safeguard whatever left they have or risking future cabinet positions?
2) Umno has shot its own foot when contradicting the honor first given to Mat Indera as ‘Pengukir Nama Johor’ before Mat Sabu’s statement?
3) MIC – as usual doing nothing to its community in the estet in Johor.

Gerakan K

MCA care for the people. People should continue to vote them, particularly CSL and his son.

Andrew I

Yes, more study loans. Do these cover degrees in sexology and video filming?

Gerakan K

Boleh, apa salahnya.

nkkhoo.com

Even MCA is working hard unlike DAP with zero service in Johor, about 50% Chinese rural voters are still alienated against BN due to UMNO factor.

Yang

Yes you are right due to the UMNO factors, the scare tactic against the rural people

Yang

And MCA President care for his lust

Gerakan K

Don’t pretend you are a saint. Lust is perfectly normal.

Andrew I

Then why don’t you show us on video?

Yang

I am not a saint but I know that lust with somebody else especially a prostitude is not right.

Worse still a minister and leader who can`t even set an example to his own family and people.

Andrew I

Actually, I could vote for mca or gerakan if they got rid of their shameless leaders…

nkkhoo

CSL actually is a can do politician, just his itchiness spoils his image.

In term of grassroots service, MCA is 100 times better than DAP….

Less than 10 DAP members compared to 1000++ MCA members in my village.

I will not vote PR if it decides to put a DAP man in my constituency.

DAP expects Chinese vote them from the hatred sentiment against UMNO.

No free lunch for no service party to my community in the village.

Gerakan K

As mentioned long long time ago, next GE will be in 2012.

dollahyankee

lupa mau cakap..cina-cina semua sudah ‘kautim’, penang still will be keep by DAP for another term.

Gerakan K

Sudah lupakah demonstrasi-demonstrasi di Pulau Pinang ??? Kejadian Kg Buah Pala dan lain-lain ???

Tsunami akan berlaku di Pulau Pinang. Tetapi kali ini roket akan tumbang sebelum sampai ke bulan.

Yang

GK, No need to worry about Kg Buah Pala. Only Sugu and the 9 will worry. The others will be happily in their home now worth RM850,000/=, No need to go to the moon. The rocket will stay put in Penang and continue to Putrajaya.

nkkhoo.com

Keep on dreaming…Rakyat from all races are all quite upset with Pak Lah before 308, do you feel the same mood now?

… Malays who received free lunch will not give up crutch while India already learned PR promise is an empty promise.

70% of them will vote BN.

Even 80% urban Chinese vote PR, PR is still unable to win by simple majority.

More dislike on my posting will not change the macro trend.

Yang

Because we dream tsunami 08 was in our grasp and our next dream is just one step away. Before 308, everybody is upset with Pak Lah. Now it is even worse. Everybody hates Najib…

UMNO Malay will need crutches because they will regard the other Malays as (not capable). To PR the Malays are no more (incapable) but smart that why they can get 90 per cent of the projects alloted to them. Thats where the tie will turn against UMNO now.

panther relau

I think only Penangites can understand Penang issue. That’s why that outsider gets thumbs down.

James Tee

nkkhoo got plenty of thumbs down because his muar-bn-type of mentality cannot be accepted in Penang.

mmc

i was convinced that the election wont be this year given the poor results in Sarawak which more or less confirmed that a large part of the fixed deposit has been clearly withdrawn by urban sarawakians. but after Bersih 2 which resulted in bitter split between PM an DPM, and the poor prognosis of world ecconomy, Najib would probably have no choice but to try to secure a strong mandate from the public to remain as PM. Else, he may be yanked out in the UMNO election in Dec 2011. Interesting times ahead, anil. Expect more instant mee projects and… Read more »

Adrian

The sign is there.

Even Penang Umno leaders are now saying sorry to KTK, according to the report here:

http://www.kwongwah.com.my/news/2011/09/11/21.html

Plain Truth

What is there to apologise ?

The treatment Penang Umno meted out to Koh Tsu Koon is exactly how most Penangites is treating this shameless (sycophant) – with sheer contempt.

If anything, it is the rank and file Gerakan members who should apologise to Malaysians for having such a spineless (political) eunuch as a leader.

dollahyankee

The last person Najib will get advice from is the Penasihat 1Malaysia.

rilakkuma

Anil
any live feed from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu tonight in your blog ?

Tunglang
Will you be there to enjoyand review the Penang Food served there ?

tunglang

If Najib can repeat the Taxi Stuntman PR Show at same venue tomorrow, I will be there, rain or shine!
What’s more with the likes of today’s cool weather, lots of curry fish head and nasi briyani will definitely make my day.

Anil, did they serve Black Cake today with tea or coffee or sour grape juice?

Mustakeem

At the event, Najib gave the assurance to he Penang folks that his Federal Government will not neglect the state in terms of funding and development, even though it is a PR state. So we can continue to vote for PR to get the best of both worlds.

Ahmad Sobri

Dear Anil,

He went to the venue by taxi, but, do you know his helicopter was parked at Sunway, Perai?

Many thanks.

Derkung Benowat

I think 13th GE will be held before UMNO AGM, because there is a news that a strong force in UMNO in working aggresively towards dropping Najib as President, as well as PM.

If GE is held after UMNO AGM, Najib will be wose than Abdullah. An UMNO PM that never be reelected by people in any GE.

Anyhow, it depends Rosmah to decide when the GE will be held.

Andrew I

Yes, aunty Ros. She can actually crack a smile. Puts all the Barbie dolls to shame.