|It’s great news for members and supporters of opposition in Penang. Take over Penang from BN certainly works in the interest of Penangites. No difference among the opposition parties could be bigger and more important than the interest of the Penang rakyat.17 years of Koh Tsu Koon was proven to be boring, unproductive and unimaginative. Penang has not progressed fast enough under Khor’s leadership. The Pearl of the Orient (a.k.s the Garden of the Orient) has become one of the dirtiest state in Malaysia. Besides, he has no guts to face the political ‘hooligans’ from his other component parties. That is shameful for a seasoned politician like Koh, who’s now Gerakan’s numero uno.
Opposition plots ‘Fortress Penang’ plan
|The days of splitting the opposition vote may be over in Penang, based on hard lessons learnt in the 2004 general election. The DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat lost to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat and state seats of Bagan Dalam, Bukit Tambun and Sungai Pinang.
This time around, the opposition parties plan to work closely to ensure straight fights with the BN.
PKR Penang chairperson Zahrain Mohamad Hashim said his party, DAP and PAS are involved in serious talks on seat allocations throughout Malaysia to ensure that “we don’t contest against each other”.
“We should come up with an amicable solution soon. The most imperative is for all straight fights between an united opposition front and BN,” he told malaysiakini.
Penang has 13 parliamentary and 40 state seats.
PKR won only the Permatang Pauh federal seat through the party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, although it contested five parliamentary and 16 state seats in 2004.
Zahrain said the party is interested in maintaining its presence, especially if the election is held after April next year and de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is free to contest in Penang as he plans.
“All parties have agreed in principal that Anwar will lead an united opposition front in the next general election. It’s a boost to PKR to fare better than 2004,” he said.
Penang DAP secretary Danny Law Heng Kiang said the party will contest more than 20 state seats, with its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng widely tipped to be among candidates.
In 2004, DAP won the Bagan, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Gelugor and Tanjong parliamentary seats and the Sungai Puyu state constituency.
Law said the previous three-cornered fights with PKR occurred because of several former Penang DAP leaders in PKR – however, they are no longer there.
He said the opposition front is mature enough to be able to reach consensus on seat negotiations.
“We have never had disagreement with PAS and only minor problems with PKR that can be resolved easily,” he said.
Law said the party with the best chance to win a particular seat would field the candidate and that the opposition front would back the person.
Speculation is growing over a snap election being called even this year, although the government’s mandate does not expire until 2009.