Riding on green wave, PN targets 15 seats in Penang

Perikatan Nasional (PN) is aiming to add 10 Penang state seats to the five it now occupies, according to a party source.

(FMT) – Fifteen is not enough to form the government in the 40-seat assembly, but the coalition is seeking to deny Pakatan Harapan (PH) the two-thirds majority it enjoys with its 33 seats and the two belonging to its ally Barisan Nasional (BN).

Four of the five seats held by PN – Bertam, Seberang Jaya, Sungai Acheh and Teluk Bahang – are Bersatu’s. PAS has only one seat – Penaga.

A PN insider told FMT: “With the green wave expected to continue, the coalition is confident of retaining these five and adding 10 Malay-majority seats, mainly on the mainland. We have made inroads and the youths, especially, appear to be receptive to PN.”

The 10 seats are BN’s Sungai Dua and Permatang Berangan, PKR’s Telok Ayer Tawar, Penanti, Pinang Tunggal, Machang Bubok, Sungai Bakap and Pulau Betong, and Amanah’s Permatang Pasir and Bayan Lepas.

The source said PN was being realistic in not aiming to wrest Penang from PH but was nevertheless working hard on eight seats considered to have a good racial mix. These are Bukit Tengah (PKR), Batu Maung (PKR), Batu Uban (PKR), Pantai Jerejak (PKR), Sungai Pinang (DAP), Air Itam (DAP), Pengkalan Kota (DAP) and Dato Keramat (DAP).

“We admit it may be tough with these seats as we need a strong swing from the Chinese voters,” he said. “We are banking on our partner Gerakan to do this.”

However, another party source said it was not going to be easy for PN since PH and BN were entering the polls as allies, adding that a weak Gerakan was not helping.

“Save for PAS’ Penaga constituency, most of the other Malay-majority and mixed seats saw PH and BN getting a substantially larger number of votes if the results in the last elections are combined,” he said.

“Unless the green wave turns into a tsunami, we have to be satisfied even if we just manage to retain the five we have now.

“Don’t forget that we have also got to fight the voters’ tide against those who switched from PKR.”