By ONG YEE TING
PENANG: Barisan Nasional is under tremendous opposition pressure in 10 state constituencies here, said outgoing Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
He said after three consecutive mandates given by the people to Barisan, a pendulum swing towards the opposition was not unexpected.
“This is indeed the greatest challenge Barisan Nasional is facing since 1990 and I have to admit that there’s a very strong opposition wind blowing now,” he told a press conference yesterday.
“But I would rather not predict the outcome as it is yet to be known whether the swing is strong enough to translate into actual votes.”
The outgoing chief minister said it could not be denied that DAP had managed to attract many people to their ceramah, adding that a similar phenomena was observed in 1986, 1990 and even 1995.
An opposition ceramah at the Han Chiang College stadium on Thursday attracted a huge crowd that spilled over to the school field and surrounding roads.
Dr Koh said he believed the people were discontented not because of the happenings in the state but due to national issues.
He added that the “highly pressured” seats were mostly contested by Gerakan and MCA in non-Malay-majority areas, adding that Barisan was under “some form of pressure” in five more state constituencies.
Dr Koh cautioned that a reduction of non-Malay representatives would weaken the balance in the Barisan government.
“I am concerned about the overall situation.
“It is not a very good balance if most of the opposition members in our state assembly are Chinese or non-Malays while the government is made up of largely Malay members,” he said.
He said real politics was “all about numbers” and a drastic decrease in non-Malay representation in the Government might disrupt the balance.