A Long Final Day (and A Short Relief for Anwar?) For the last two days, I've been running around Penang interviewing people and reporting for RazorTV, the region's latest Internet TV or IPTV. In the last 24 hours, I spoke to the two main candidates for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election - Anwar Ibrahim and Arif Shah.
Anwar told me this afternoon that he remains confident of winning, despite the controversial new electoral list that the Election Commission has come up with. The "confession" by Imam Ramlang Porigi seems to have been a big relief to Anwar (but according to Bernama here, Najib has said only the Mufti can decide on the validity of Saiful's swearing by the Quran and the Mufti can be expected to say something by tonight, the eve of the by-election, so Anwar's relief may be short-lived!).
I had been told that Arif spoke Mandarin so I thought I'd start my interview with him this morning with "Ni Hau Ma?". The guy launched a good two or three-minute speech in Mandarin to say how confident he is now of winning.
Independent election observers I interviewed today were not happy with the huge presence of cops (about 6,000 police officers have been deployed for a by-election with just over 58,000 voters). The complained about unnecessary road blocks and also about the Election Commission holding polling day on a weekday. The special public holiday the Penang government has declared for tomorrow does not appease them. But Yunus Ali, the chairperson of the National Institute for Electoral Integrity, said the watchers were impressed with one thing: ALL ceramahs and gatherings got approvals.
I am going to a carnival tonight on the mainland, organised by the Pakatan Rakyat, where the politicians hope to party.
I was told the interviews will be aired on RazorTV tonight . Please check it out at www.razor.tv