A sponsored Facebook post criticising Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and urging Malaysians to vote for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Permatang Pauh by-election has apparently backfired, as social media users left comments mocking the ruling coalition’s own policies.
The page Pilihanraya Kecil Parlimen Permatang Pauh P44 (Permatang Pauh By-Election) posted an image of Lim with the words: “This is the example of a successful leader”.
Underneath his picture, it wrote, “Bed tax beginning to be enforced, water tariffs hiked three times, assessment tax raised, government-owned land almost half sold, affordable homes just rhetoric, market rent raised 100%, construction of luxury homes prioritised, massage parlours increased, flood problems unresolved”.
“Congratulations to the people of Penang. Enough… it’s our turn! #BN4 #PRKPermatangPauh,” the page administrators wrote in the post.But many Facebook users were quick to point out in the comments section that some of the claims were misleading, and that the issues were no different from those faced by states led by BN.
Sofian Hakem wrote, “I am not a supporter of political parties.. I am not trying to suck up.. I stay in Penang..my area used to be flooded badly, if it rained heavily for an hour, there were bound to be floods, but now there are no more floods.
“The mosque now has air-conditioning, the place where I run my business has been upgraded but the rental remains the same at RM7.50 a month.”
Dunia Orina commented that prices of houses and assessment taxes were rising in all states, regardless of the party that governed it, and urged the administrators to “check their facts before coming out with foolish statements”.
“Ouhhh, Malacca has no massage parlours? Johor has no massage parlours? Tax isn’t rising in Johor and Malacca?” wrote Khairil Rijal Khizhir.
Mohd Iskandar said, “the water tariff in Johor is the highest in Malaysia, doesn’t the admin know this? Don’t think that by staying in a BN state, Malays will have it easy. What happened to BN’s promises during the election?”
Other users said BN’s own sins, such as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal and the goods and services tax (GST) dwarfed any of the Penang government’s mistakes.
Remy Alamshah even blamed the rising taxes in Penang on the federal government’s enforcement of the GST.
Proton Putra Putri said none of the problems listed in the post were equal to that of 1MDB and its vanished money.
“So we should support BN now? No need. We’ll be worse off and get even more problems,” wrote Putra Razif Thessoullok.
Wan Paan wrote sarcastically, “I agree with admin..only BN can alleviate the people’s burden.. Do you want to know, admin? Now all the goods are cheaper.. before, top-up cost RM10, now it’s RM10.60..isn’t it getting cheaper?
“That’s why my friends love BN more and more. Only BN can alleviate our burden. Long live BN!!!!”
Mohd Yusoff Ariff, Seri Nurhayati Nordin, Iqmal Boy Zainal mocked the administrators for ignoring the failings of BN-led states, while Md Shari sung Penang’s praises.
Md Shari said a friend of his who worked as an Imam at a mosque in Penang for nine years was happy there.
“He said the entire time he has lived in Penang, there was no oppression of the Malays, in fact if the azan’s speakers sounded bad, they would provide funds to repair it so the azan sounded nice,” wrote Md Shari.
“In fact the state government increased the allocation for the surau and mosque where he worked each year. The mosque even has air-conditioning… do not defame others, the consequences are terrible in this world and the hereafter.”
Pakatan Rakyat is defending the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat with PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She held the seat three times after winning it in the 1999 by-election and 2004 and 2008 general elections before her husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, returned to politics.
She is up against Barisan Nasional newcomer Suhaimi Sabudin, 43, a construction company managing director from Guar Perahu, Permatang Pauh.
The Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency has 71,513 voters, of whom 70% are Malays with the rest made up of Chinese (20%), Indians (6%) and others (4%).
There are three state seats in Permatang Pauh. PKR holds Penanti and Seberang Jaya while PAS holds Permatang Pasir.
In the 2013 polls, Anwar retained the seat with 37,090 or 58.56% of the total 63,332 votes cast, with an 11,721 majority.
Barisan Nasional’s Dr Mazlan Ismail garnered 25,369 or 40.06% of the total votes while independent candidate Dr Abdullah only received 201 votes (0.32%) and lost his deposit.