Dato’ Mustafa Kamal, Director of Elections for PKR Pulau Pinang successfully gathered about 500 election workers at several meeting points all around the Bayan Baru (P52) parliamentary district last Sunday. Dato’ Mansor Othman, the Deputy Chief Minister addressed the 300-strong crowd at its main site at Dewan JKKK Taman Pekaka, Batu Uban, together with several other personalities like YB Sim Tze Tzin (ADUN Pantai Jerejak), Dato’ Malik Kassim (ADUN Batu Maung) and YB Raveen (ADUN Batu Uban).
The air of excitement was further enhanced when a motorcycle convoy of about 30 bikes arrived at Taman Pekaka along with a decorated trailer behind blasting the Parti Keadilan song. After a short briefing, all volunteers participated in a house-to-house exercise to meet the voters in the three state constituencies in Bayan Baru.
When the crowd were asked: “Are you ready for Pakatan Rakyat?” the crowd replied in a very spirited ‘Yes!’
The overall response from the ground was very encouraging with all the election directors in Bayan Baru providing similar reports. Bayan Baru aims to secure all three state seats and one parliamentary seat under Keadilan, a feat which was achieved in 2008 but tainted by an MP who decided to become an independent in 2010.
“I think we have a very strong and coordinated force with only one goal, which is to maintain the results of 2008,” said Tan Seng Keat, the Election Director for Bayan Baru.
65% support in Batu Maung (N37)
About 100-odd people thronged parts of Batu Maung to survey the area and give out goodie bags which includes informational leaflets and newsletters, a free note pad and a magazine.
“We are confident to have a minimum of 65% support from our voters,” claimed Azrizal Tahir, the Election Director of Batu Maung.
The incumbent, Dato’ Malik Kassim won the Batu Maung seat in 2008 with a majority of 3169 votes against Norlan Dahalan from UMNO. However, according to reports there are more than 9000 new voters registered for the upcoming elections.
As the only Malay majority area in Bayan Baru, the rejection of UMNO is obvious as many of the programmes implemented in the area are all well received by the community.
Chinese voters not a problem in Batu Uban (N35)
The Batu Uban team targeted 10 blocks of flats around the Taman Bukit Jambul area to get feedback from the ground. At the same time another team led by YB Raveen made their rounds in the constituency to greet the people.
“Many people kept on asking about the candidate,” mentioned Cheah Kah Peng, the Strategic Director for Keadilan Penang.
“It should be taken into consideration that informed people cast their votes based on the choice of candidate fielded,” he added.
Cheah Peng Guan, the Election Director for Batu Uban is certain that the Chinese votes were ‘not a problem’ in the area. Batu Uban is a Chinese majority area with about 60% Chinese voters.
YB Raveen, the current Keadilan state assemblyman had garnered a majority of 611 votes in 2008 ousting local favourite Goh Kheng Sneah from Gerakan who is expected to contest again in GE-13.
All set in Pantai Jerejak (N36)
More than 100 volunteers attended the meet-the-voters exercise at Pantai Jerejak. Election Director Idriss Hassan is pleased with the turnout.
Similarly, he echoes a favourable 60% secured vote from Pantai Jerejak.
YB Sim Tze Tzin won the Pantai Jerejak in 2008 with a majority of 1258 votes against Wong Mun Hoe from Gerakan.
YB Sim and municipal councillor Hj. Rashid bin Hasnon recently co-organized a Chinese New Year open house in Pantai Jerejak which included a ‘Chinese-Muslim’ presentation among its activities.
“The momentum of Keadilan Bayan Baru is very good. Our machinery is ready for GE-13,” Idriss said.