There has been a lot of speculation whether BN should contest in the Penanti by-election in Penang. This is a very small state seat within Anwar’s Parliamentary constituency in Permatang Pauh. It only has 15453 voters. The whole episode of the resignation of the previous ADUN who happens to be the Deputy CM smells suspicious. He himself denied that he has resigned in the Chinese press. The CM of Penang has openly voiced his frustration over the whole episode and that he only knew about it from the press. So much about power sharing within PR where we are told that every partner is equal and decision made is by consensus. Hence, in view of the above development, one can safely said that the whole episode could be orchestrated by Anwar. The rest of the PR partners just have to dance according to the tune.
The Penanti by-election will be the 6th by-election since 308 election. In the previous 5 by-elections, BN has succeeded in defending the state seat in Sarawak, lost the Parliamentary seat in Kuala Terengganu, failed to regain 3 seats that were lost to PR in the 308 election. The impression that one gets from all these by-election is that BN is losing control. People don’t think that to begin with, BN lost the 3 seats which are seats belonging to PR. It is obvious that PR would like to generate more by-elections in seats held by them on the slightest excuse. BN is aware that at this point of time, it is difficult to regain those seats that belong to PR. It would then generate a momentum that PR is gaining strength everyday. People like to support a winning team. It is said that nothing succeed like success. It cannot be denied that Anwar is a master strategist and is good at political spinning to create an image that is favourable to him and PR.
Of course there are within BN who feel that it is an honour to fight and it is not a question of defeat of victory. They have forgotten that PR just wants to advance Anwar’s agenda that come the next general election, PR will be the government in power. A lot of voters have become very critical of BN but seems very forgiving of PR. They have adopted the attitude that BN can never do right and PR can never do wrong. It is good that Malaysians become critical but being critical must be based on facts and figures and not ignorance and arrogance of cynism.
Giving the by-election a miss would mean that BN is not playing to the PR’s tune. The government should concentrate on nursing the ailing economy. To the man on the street, the bread and butter issue is more important than by-election and politicking. If the government can overcome this economic tsunami brought on by the American financial meltdown, it would still generate a lot of goodwill and support. Then only BN can regain lost ground.