High stakes in Penang

Bridget Welsh

Modified 6 Mar 2008, 5:59 am

analysis From the core base of PKR in Permatang Pauh in the mainland to the multi-ethnic diverse Gerakan seat of Jelutong on Penang island, the 12th general elections campaign is slowly gaining momentum. The stakes are arguably higher in this state than in any other. Penangites have the power to determine the future of the opposition and the multi-ethnic vibrancy of the governing BN coalition.

One of the biggest tests in Penang is for Gerakan. The new party president has stepped down as chief minister to move to the federal level. Choosing the mixed constituency of Batu Kawan , his chances for re-election are strong, as long as he maintains support from the Malay community and a cohort of Chinese voters in this fast-developing constituency (Malay: 21%, Chinese: 56.6%, Indian: 22.4%).

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