Muhyiddin: Winning back Penang not impossible

Opalyn Mok, The Malaysian Insider

Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) has regained public support recently so it is not impossible for the coalition to win back the state, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“It is not impossible to recapture the state but it will not be easy too.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant by saying that we can easily win back the state as it will be an uphill battle,” he (picture) told reporters at a press conference at Equatorial Hotel here today.

He noted that in general, the public are beginning to realise the good that BN has done for them and that they are now more receptive to the coalition.

“A recent survey by our election machinery has revealed an increase in support for BN and there are a few parliamentary seats that we could win back,” he said, adding that those seats were lost to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) due to internal issues and not due to a lack of support for BN.

In Election 2008, Penang fell to PR when the opposition coalition consisting of DAP, PKR and PAS, won 29 out of 40 state seats, totally wiping out Gerakan and MCA while Umno only managed to retain 11 seats.

PR also won 11 out of 13 parliamentary seats in Penang.

“Now, we can see that we are regaining support from people in some of the constituencies, so we are sure to win back a few seats,” he said.

He said Penang BN would have to continue working hard to win back the support of the people just as PR is now working hard to retain it.

Muhyiddin also said he has heard complaints from Penangites against the current PR state government over various issues from land disputes to housing matters.

“There are now so many unresolved issues and the people have realised that and opened their eyes to really evaluate Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

Earlier, he said all 345 BN election machinery were now fully prepared for Election 2013 while hinting that the polls could be called in a matter of days or weeks.

A total of 13.3 million registered voters will be casting their ballots in the upcoming polls for a total of 222 federal seats and 505 state seats across 12 states and three federal territories.

In Penang, about 840,000 registered voters will cast their votes in 13 parliamentary constituencies and 40 state constituencies.