Monday, May 6, 2013

Pakatan retains Penang

Guan Eng set to be sworn in as chief minister for second term

The Pakatan Rakyat coalition tightened its grip on Penang with more than two-thirds majority after winning 30 state seats to form the state government for another term.

Pakatan also had an increase of one seat from the 29 it won in the 2008 general election after wresting Seberang Jaya from Barisan Nasional.

DAP charted a convincing take-all in the 19 state seats it contested while its allies, PKR won 10, and Pas one in the 40-seat state legislative assembly. Pakatan won 10 out of 13 parliamentary seats in the state, of which DAP won seven and Pas, three.

BN won three parliamentary seats after retaining Tasek Gelugor and Kepala Batas, and wresting Balik Pulau from PKR.

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Pakatan's victory was led by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who defeated Tan Ken Keong (BN) for the Air Putih state seat with a 7,000-vote majority.

Lim, who is set to be sworn in as Penang chief minister for a second term this week, also retained his Bagan parliamentary seat by defeating BN's David Chua. Lim polled 46,466 votes against Chua's 12,307.

"The people have endorsed the state's policies, CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles and an unyielding belief that a clean government can perform better," he told a press conference at a hotel here last night.

State BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow, who lost to Bukit Tengah incumbent Ong Chin Wen from PKR by a 5,190-vote majority, said he would resign from his post and also that of Gerakan secretary-general within a week.

He conceded that the voters of Penang had rejected BN and especially Gerakan and accepted full responsibility for the state BN's dismal performance.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim retained his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, with a 11,721-vote majority, defeating new face Dr Mazlan Ismail (BN-Umno) and independent candidate Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin in a three-cornered contest.

Anwar polled 37,090 votes against Mazlan's 25,369 while Abdullah, who lost his deposit, garnered only 201 votes.

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh also retained his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat with 55,839 votes that saw him carving a 41,778-vote majority over BN's Teh Beng Yeam who amassed 14,061 votes.

State Umno liaison committee chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, who is also state BN deputy chairman, failed in his second attempt to wrest the Nibong Tebal parliamentary seat from PKR after losing to state PKR chairman Datuk Mansor Othman by a 8,598-vote majority in a three-cornered fight.

Mansor polled 30,003 votes against Zainal's 21,405 while independent Teng Kok Ping only managed to secure 297 votes, thus losing his deposit.

In the 2008 polls, the seat was won by PKR's Tan Tee Beng who polled 20,210 votes against Zainal's 17,123.

The 13th General Election also saw an unprecedented 103 candidates, including 22 independents vying for 40 state seats from among the six political parties.

Also joining the fray were two new parties, Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) and Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita).

Polling in the state went smoothly despite complaints about long queues at several polling centres and a clash between two groups of supporters from opposing political parties in Air Itam after an exchange of insults outside a polling centre.

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