News reports have mentioned Penang Umno Liaison Committee chairman Zainal Abidin Osman as saying 50000 people are expected to throng USM tomorrow morning to attend a programme themed “People’s Housing” as part of Najib’s Promises Fulfilled Tour.
Rosmah and Najib are both expected to be at the Padang Kawad near the mini-USM stadium tomorrow morning from 9.30am onwards.
How are they so optimistic about drawing a large crowd though:
- It is reliably learned that at least some academic staff have been notified about the event and administration staff have been encouraged to attend.
- USM students are claiming the university allegedly has sent a notice to the students’ clubs of USM requesting them to send 50 members each to the Jelajah function.
- Some of those who plan to attend this hope to receive a goodie bag, a T-shirt and maybe more.
- One resident living near USM told me she received a phone call earlier this week from someone who said he was calling from Telekom Malaysia. He told her she had been selected as one of the lucky recipients of a gift for being a loyal customer (even though several times she has been slow in settling her bills). She was told only 10 people from each area had been selected and she would be receiving a letter by post to confirm this. True enough, she found a letter today bearing a Telekom masthead saying she could claim her gift at the Telekom booth at the Jelajah Carnival at USM from 11.00am to 2.00pm. (The envelope unusually bore a stamp and not a prepaid serial number.)
- Word has it that buses will be picking up people from around the area and even on the mainland early tomorrow morning. A contact, Steven, reports that BN component party members on the mainland have been going around telling people to be ready by 7.30am and there could be a T-shirt or maybe more for them. Apart from Butterworth, people are expected to come from as far as Tasek Gelugor, Kepala Batas and Kuala Muda, he adds.
- Blog reader tan tangjung bungah reports: “I have received first hand info that tomorrow morning at around 7.00am to 7.30am, an Umno Baru division is sending many, many buses to pick up residents from Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Telok Bahang and ferry them to USM grounds. Breakfast and lunch will be provided!”
One USM admin staff remarked of the event: “Terdesaklah (They are under pressure).” Asked whether he would be attending, he replied, “No way.”
Meanwhile, Media Prima companies have also set up booths, presumably because Najib’s address could be telecast live.
Oh incidentally, Wikipedia reveals that Zainal Abidin Osman is the brother of USM Vice-Chancellor Omar Osman. Neat, huh? (And incidentally, I understand the USM annual budget is more than the Penang state government’s. Another reason why we should have decentralisation of federal powers and budgets.)
Now, tell me that this Jelajah carnival thingy has nothing to do with election campaigning using government-owned facilities.
If you work or study in USM, do share with us what you have seen and heard.