Saturday, 8 March 2008

My election views

(9 Mar 2008, 1.15am) Is this the end of the Gerakan as a party? Completely wiped out in Penang which has been its stronghold since 1969. Also wiped out are the MCA candidates in the state.

(9 Mar 2008, 1.10am)
Winds of change. The results are coming in fast and furious, and there is an indication that Selangor can also fall into the Opposition's hands.

(9 Mar 2008, 12.50pm)
I've just heard from Malaysiakini that Lim Guan Eng will be Penang's next Chief Minister!! “It will be a government for all Malaysians. We stress that we will not rule alone but together with PKR. We also hope that the PAS can help this new government.”

(9 Mar 2008, 12.30am) Now, it has just come to my mind that the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) was one of the issues of this election campaign. With the Barisan routed here, there should be a big question mark over the PGCC. A friend was telling me about a week ago that he had an unpleasant experience at the Tanjung Bungah market where Chia Kwang Chye, the Barisan parliamentary candidate, was campaigning. My friend pointedly (but politely) asked Chia where he stood on the PGCC issue but Chia just remained silent and ignored him. Worse, Chia's supporters pushed him away. My friend contemplated making a police report but I don't know whether he did or not.

(9 Mar 2008, midnight)
Happy birthday, Jeffrey Chew!

(8 Mar 2008, 11.45pm) It IS a defining moment in Malaysian politics. Dr Koh has appeared on TV to concede defeat. Seems that the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance may have garnered 30 state seats out of the 40. If so, it's a big majority in the State Legislative Assembly.

(8 Mar 2008, 11.15pm) It's a bit of disappointment .... no, make that a BIG disappointment .... not being able to get the news fast from the mainstream media. In fact, news continue to trickle in at snail's pace from that source so much so that I have to resort to looking at Malaysiakini which has done a great job with their reports from the ground. However, Malaysiakini's server seems to have crashed and it is now inaccessible. I hope they can go online again fast because we are starved of the latest developments. Really starved. BTW, before it crashed, I did read that Dr Koh has conceded defeat and has formally informed the Penang Governor. He has also promised a smooth transition of power. The DAP is delighted with this win and I congratulate them. I especially congratulate Jeff Ooi. It's tremendous that a blogger has managed to get himself into Parliament. But I wonder who'll be Penang's next Chief Minister?

(8 Mar 2008, 10.35pm) This is an excerpt from Reuters:
MALAYSIA'S opposition has staged a stunning upset and won northern Penang state, the industrial heartland, from the ruling coalition in general elections on Saturday, sources on both sides of politics said. 'It's bad. They have lost Penang,' a source close to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told Reuters only two and a half hours after polling booths closed at 0900 GMT. 'It's a perfect storm,' he added. 'Big guns are falling all over the place.'
(8 Mar 2008, 10.08pm) I just visited NST Online. Guess they are among one of the first media to report this:
BN loses Penang Government to DAP, PKR, Pas alliance
After 36 years of continuous rule, the Barisan Nasional has lost the Penang Government to the loose alliance of DAP, PKR and Pas, according to unofficial results from the polling centres. The loss is the biggest shock in tonight's polls results.

(8 Mar 2008, 9.50pm) I just got off the phone with a friend in KL. He couldn't believe all the news I told him. As usual, he said, the TV stations are withholding the news from the public. But I told him, all these are unofficial unless announced by the Elections Commission. He had some unkind words for the commission too....

(8 Mar 2008, 9.40pm) M Kayveas khee liao in Taiping, Samy Vellu asking for a recount in Sungai Siput. The Indians are laughing all the way, if all these are true. Someone told me that when Samy Vellu visited Prai recently, he was locked in a room, but this was not revealed in the Press. BTW, happy birthday, Samy!

(8 Mar 2008, 9pm) I've been sending text messages to some friends about the fall of Penang to the Opposition. That's a "political tsunami", to use Lim Kit Siang's words. Second time in Penang's history that the Opposition has won; the first time was in 1969 by the Gerakan Party.

(8 Mar 2008, 8.30pm) Just heard on the grapevine that DAP's Prof P Ramasamy may have defeated Dr Koh Tsu Koon in Batu Kawan. Also, Jeff Ooi has a massive, massive lead in Jelutong. Let's welcome the NEW Tiger of Jelutong!!

(8 Mar 2008, 7.18pm) NST Online produces a news item from Bernama that says: MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting is confident that the people will return Barisan Nasional (BN) to power with a bigger mandate. “I’m highly confident of the voters, BN will secure the mandate and continue with the development plans for the benefit of the people,” he told Bernama after visiting the polling centre at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Putri here, today. Well, all I can say is, he'd better be an equally good judge of the people's mood!

(8 Mar 2008, 7.08pm) I received an SMS earlier today telling me "Han Chiang School punished by pg govt. Their signboard TORN DOWN! The school faces unknown consequences after election." I wonder how much of this message is true.

(8 Mar 2008, 7.00pm) The results of this general election looks set to be a defining moment in Malaysia's history. It will see whether Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was correct to call the election at this particular time after only four years of receiving the last mandate from the people. Did he read the people's mood correctly or was he deceived by the cronies that he chose to surround himself with? We'll know soon enough as the night progresses.

(8 Mar 2008, 3.40pm) I followed my wife to the Sekolah Menengah Sains in Jalan Damai, Bukit Mertajam. It was just after the rain. When I crossed the road, I was surprised to see the incumbent state assemblyman for Berapit, Lau Chiek Tuan, standing alone on the pavement. He cut a very lonely, forlorn figure, all by himself beneath his umbrella. No supporters beside him. He looked at me, I looked at him. Slight recognition, must be from Thursday night's dinner at the St Anne's Church hall. We shook hands and he asked me for my vote. I nodded and followed my wife into the school compound. Fortunately for him, my voting station is in Seberang Jaya. As for my wife, she had made up her mind days before and nothing could change it. In a way, I feel sorry for the bloke.

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