Yes, the silly season has started again and no, I'm not talking football. I'm referring to the by-election upon by-election that we are destined to have in Malaysia until the next General Election comes around in about three years' time. This is already the eighth one in the country.
This time, the by-election will be in Permatang Pasir, the Penang state constituency that lies smack within the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. So this is a PAS stronghold. It fell vacant when the incumbent, Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman, died on 31 July 2009. Permatang Pauh itself has already seen its by-election with Anwar Ibrahim winning big, Penanti had its by-election too with UMNO fighting shy of fielding a candidate and now, Permatang Pasir is having its claim to fame, all within the same parliamentary zone. People are already wickedly asking whether Seberang Jaya will be next.
Yesterday was nomination day. The roads were busy with cops, I think most of them are imported cops, although the numbers seen on the roads looked less than earlier by-elections here. You just can't avoid them. On my way to work, there were two standing at the Perda junction along Jalan Permatang Rawa. A policeman straddling his prized motorcycle rode by and stopped at the Bukit Tengah roundabout to join another of his colleague. But blardy shit....where was the usual one that would be controlling traffic here? Not around and so, the traffic slowed down and the queue stretched until the Petronas station. Stupid. Those two rascals could at least have helped out with the traffic flow since they were there.
I read that it would be a straight fight between PAS and UMNO. An independent came trundling along but he failed to submit his nomination papers on time. It would make no difference though. I'm certain that he would lose big even if he had successfully filed his nomination papers. I don't foresee PAS losing this seat. And interestingly enough, UMNO seemed to be already throwing in the towel. They claimed that it would be a moral victory even if they managed to reduce the PAS majority on 25 Aug. Personally, they can talk all they like. Who cares? A victory is a victory, whether by one vote or 5,433 votes, but I'd like to see PAS win by at least 5,434 votes.