GEORGE TOWN, Oct 30 — Penang, which has been under a DAP-led government for three terms, is seen as a stronghold of Pakatan Harapan (PH), but the door is always open to other parties to capture the state in the 15th General Election (GE15).
Political sociology lecturer from the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said Tasek Gelugor, Nibong Tebal and Bayan Baru are among the parliamentary seats open for intense competition between PH, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN).
“If a suitable candidate is fielded in the areas, those who have good reputation, credibility, authority and hold a high position in the party, that will give added value to the party to capture the seats,” he told Bernama recently.
In GE14, PH won 11 of the 13 parliamentary seats at stake (DAP seven, PKR four) and the BN won two.
Sivamurugan, however, said seats such as Bagan, Bukit Mertajam, Batu Kawan, Bukit Bendera, Tanjong, Jelutong and Bukit Gelugor were difficult to penetrate.
An UMNO veteran Datuk Abdul Rashid Ismail said there was no such thing as a safe seat in any election because anything can happen in the political world.
“Anything can happen because it is the voters who determine the candidate’s victory,” he said.
The Penang Council of Former Elected Representatives president said the two UMNO seats will be safe if UMNO people are really sincere and support the candidates representing BN.
Meanwhile, Sivamurugan said Undi18 voters should also be the focus in Penang because most of them were fence-sitters and the probability of them going out to vote was still uncertain.
He said socialisation agents such as families, peer groups, educational institutions, government agencies, media and party leaders could influence the young voters.
According to the Election Commission, more than 68,000 voters out of more than 1.2 million registered voters in Penang are between the ages of 18 and 20.