Penanti campaign in final gear

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid (Malaysian Insider)
PENANTI, May 30 — Pakatan Rakyat will be seeking to make full use of today, the last day of the campaign period for the by-election here, to materialise its goal of increasing its majority votes to back its claims that Barisan Nasional is losing its relevancy and that it is a government in waiting.

Despite BN’s absence, the opposition coalition has yet again lined up its heavyweights in the likes of Penang DAP Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and opposition icon PKR de facto Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to fill in tonight’s ceramah session.
Also joining them are two skilled orators and vice-presidents of their respective parties, PAS’s Mohamad Sabu and PKR’s Azmin Ali, while Selangor PKR Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will also be there to fire up the expected thousands attending the event.
Showcasing party bigwigs has been a standard practice for Pakatan throughout the eight-day campaign period as it targets to gain more votes than the 2,219-vote majority it raked in the 2008 general election.
Without “the BN buzz”, the main thing to do for Anwar and Co was none other than to remind voters that the by-election here is not just about winning, but a larger political battle for a bigger majority.
Observers are already saying it’s likely to happen although some argue that it might not be as much as they would expect due to the slight fallout among the supporters of former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin.
Fairus resigned from both his posts as DCM and Penanti assemblyman following allegations of graft but was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, the three independent candidates vying for the seat, albeit while realising their chances of winning are zero, will also continue their “humble” campaign effort with all three engaged in door-to-door campaigning up until today.
Umno, on the other hand, has instructed its 5,000 supporters in the constituency to abstain from voting as part of its effort to dent Pakatan’s objectives.
There are strong rumours floating here that all their members have been given free trips to Thailand on polling day tomorrow to prevent them from voting but local Umno leaders have denied that the trip was organised by the party.
The trips, if true, are expected to reduce the voter turnout tomorrow and dent Pakatan’s effort but the opposition won’t face any challenges and would have time aplenty to sway fence-sitters unto their side.