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By Susan Loone

Battle in Malay, mixed areas - four seats to watch

GE13 WATCH While Penang Umno aims to win 14 out of 15 seats it is contesting in the coming polls, it has to battle to retain four of its marginal seats.

These seats are Sungai Acheh (250), Pulau Betong (294), Teluk Bahang (465) and Seberang Jaya (majority 533) - all of which were won by small margins by Umno against PKR in 2008.

Not surprisingly, they all fall under parliamentary seats won by PKR leaders - Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh), Yusmadi Yusof (Balik Pulau) and Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal), who later quit to become an independent.

Although PKR must also keep an eye on one of its marginal seats - Batu Uban which it won with 611 votes against Gerakan - the party won comfortably by more than 1,000 votes in 11 other seats.

Pakatan swept to power in Penang in 2008 with the DAP bagging 19 seats, PKR 11 and PAS one, while Umno won 11 seats, and its allies - Gerakan, MCA and MIC - were wiped out from the state, winning none.

While it is clear that Umno rules the Malay belt in Penang, speculation is rife that its marginal seats may be vulnerable due to internal rivalry and sabotage within the party...