Second noon Update: Former NST political editor says it's a "foregone conclusion".
First noon Update: As of 11 am, 17,911 voters have cast their votes in Permatang Pauh by-election. That's about 31 per cent turnout. PP has 58,459 registered voters.
70 police reports. Anwar Ibrahim, on his way back to Malaysian Parliament, cast his vote at Kubang Semang about 9 am. We missed that, caught in a two-hour jam (see Star pic) from Seberang Jaya, where his main opponent Arif Shah had cast his vote at 8 am. Syed Hamid describes Permatang Pauh (PP) by-election "the most violent in Malaysia's history" but we haven't seen any untoward incident. As we crawled in traffic, I saw BN and PR workers and supporters side by side , mile after mile, along the road, handing motorists caps, Anwar masks, and free copies of Utusan Malaysia. The heavy police presence, seen as a nuisance by some, gives a sense of greater security to others.
SMSes in the longest traffic jam. Teoh, a blogger friend from KL, sms-ed me around 10.30 this morning to know what's up.
Teoh: How's the mood on the ground? U think DSAI convinced Malays there he is 4 them? I think mee sodo tak laku.
Bru: Hey bro, caught up in the longest traffic jam in PP. DSAI will make it but his majority will be reduced .... Malay votes 50-50, very dependent on PAS' strength. How's KL?
Teoh: KL subdued. No action at all. Heat all @ PP 4 now. Ur 2 cents. DSAI 15k* n above? Or less?
Teoh: Will this deter frogs ...?
Bru: The frogs will still lompat. Q is if there are enough frogs. I doubt Sept 16 will happen but DSAI will be in Parliament.
Teoh: Thanks bro. C u in KL soon.
* Wan Azizah, Anwar's wife, won the PP seat by a majority of over 13,000 votes in March. Lower turnout of voters alone will rob DSAI of a similar margin. If you ask those in BN who are close to the action, they'd say their man was only about 5,000 votes behind Anwar as of last night.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Most violent" by-election under way
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