‘Mansor staring at defeat’

Mansor won’t be able to take Nibong Tebal because of internal strife in PKR, says Independent MP Tan Tee Beng.

Leven Woon, FMT

Penang PKR chief Mansor Othman, who has been picked to contest the Nibong Tebal parliamentary seat in the coming general election, may face defeat, say Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng.

Tan said the local PKR was plagued with internal strife while Gerakan and MCA members who voted for him in 2008 due to personal ties would not do the same for Mansor.

He was commenting on the announcement by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday that Mansor will be the candidate for Nibong Tebal.

Previously a Gerakan Youth leader, Tan was elected in 2008 under PKR banner, defeating incumbent Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman.

However, he quit a year later to become an independent after the party disciplinary panel took action against him for criticising Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Last month, he announced his decision to drop his Nibong Tebal seat and shift to contest a state seat in Penang island in the 13th general election, which must be called by April 2013.

Nibong Tebal is a semi-rural seat at the southern part of Penang mainland with 46% of its voters being Malays, 38% Chinese and 17% Indians.

Tan said the ability of a party election machinery to mobilise the crowd would be the key factor to determine the winner in Nibong Tebal.

Mansor’s likely opponent, Zainal Abidin, is a popular figure among the voters, he added.

Pointing out that he (Zainal Abidin) garnered around 30% of the Malay votes in 2008, Tan said it would be hard for Mansor to do the same.

“The sentiment is that Mansor has not been working for the Malays. Despite being the deputy chief minister, he is a very weak leader,” he said.

On the Chinese votes, Tan said Mansor stands to lose another 20% of the Chinese votes, on top of the 20% hardcore BN Chinese supporters.

He noted that he only obtained 80% of the Chinese votes in 2008 when the anti-establishment mood was at its peak among the Chinese.

He believed that out of the 80%, 20% of it might come from the Gerakan or MCA members who have no problem voting him.