GEORGE TOWN: With Penang officially announcing its planned date of dissolution – on June 28 – the jostling for seats among component parties in the unity government hots up.
With incumbency being the main criteria, only five seats are up for grabs – Penaga which was won by PAS and Seberang Jaya, Sungai Acheh, Bertam and Teluk Bahang, which are now under Perikatan Nasional’s Bersatu.
The tussle for seats is among the Malay-based parties like Umno in Barisan Nasional, and Amanah and PKR in Pakatan Harapan, as DAP will hold on to all of its 19 seats. PKR will hold on to the 12 seats it already has while Amanah has two.
Umno is the incumbent in two seats – Sungai Dua and Permatang Berangan – but is said to be eyeing two more, in Bertam and either Penaga or Teluk Bahang.
However, both Amanah Negara and PKR are also said to be interested in Penaga and Teluk Bahang.
Negotiations between Pakatan and Barisan now centre on these five seats.
Penang Umno chairman Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir said seat negotiations were still ongoing, adding that the outcome would be announced by the leadership at federal level.
“I can’t say how many seats we will get. Let’s wait for the announcement by the top leaders,” he said.
Wanita Umno vice-chief Datuk Norliza Abdul Rahim said the women’s wing had mobilised its members to face the state elections.
The former Penang Umno Wanita chief said the wing had begun working with its unity government counterparts to ensure Penang stays under the same administration.
“It is important to ensure that we have a stable state and federal government with the current economic situation,” she said.
Yesterday, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the assembly would be dissolved on June 28. He said the date would be proposed to Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak soon.
Six states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan – did not dissolve their state assemblies before the 15th General Election on Nov 19, 2022.
The Election Commission has said the six states should hold the polls simultaneously, adding that holding it together would cost RM450mil.
The Selangor state assembly will automatically dissolve on June 26, Kelantan on June 28, Terengganu on July 1 and Kedah on July 4.
Meanwhile, Negri Sembilan’s assembly is expected to be dissolved on June 30.