Friday, February 19, 2010

BN-Pakatan contest in high gear over CNY

Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat switched into top gear wooing Chinese voters during Lunar Year celebrations as they indulged in tit-for-tat tactics in promoting their coalitions.

Klang Municipal Council, under the control of Selangor Pakatan government, had even demolished a billboard erected by the BN and also rejected their application to close roads, seen as "revenge" against the federal government for stopping a state function during Thaipusam.

thaipusam mb khalid visit 290110 01 Both sides had contested for Indian popularity in last month's annual Hindu religious festival by holding their respective events at the Batu Caves, but police dismantled the state government's stage.

In this second round, the BN and Pakatan chose to hold their celebrations 20km apart today, the seventh day of Chinese New Year, at strategic locations.

The Selangor state government is hosting its state level event at the Dong Zen Buddhist Temple, Jenjarom, famous for its annual lantern and flora festival.

Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim will officiate the event.

20km north of Jenjarom, at Kampung Baru Pandamaran, the second largest Chinese New Village in Malaysia, Najib will officiate the BN national level open house.

Jab for jab fight continues

Selangor BN assemblypersons have accused Pakatan of obstructing their open house event through the Klang Municipal Council, while the latter has criticised the federal government for no adhering to proper procedures.

NONE The Selangor government stressed that the BN should not blame them, adding that Najib (left) enjoys no privilege and he has to follow the proper procedures.

The local authority rejected the federal government's application to close Jalan Chan Ah Choo in Pandamaran, as it is a major thoroughfare and will cause traffic jams and local businesses will raise objections.

The Klang Municipal Council had also demolished the billboards put up by local BN branches welcoming prime minister, as they had no permits.

Only small posters were allowed.

The BN's open house is organised by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture.

Reportedly, its deputy minister Heng Seai Kie has admitted negligence on their part which resulted in misunderstanding.

However, she stressed that the permit problems have been settled.

Mainstream media to the rescue

Despite the resistance from the local administration, BN has started its promotion using the mainstream media to announce their programmes.

Najib is scheduled to visit three ordinary families in Pandamaran and low sang with them (tossing the raw fish salad which is popular during Chinese New Year).

The premier's action of rubbing shoulders with the man on the streets is seen by many as emulating the practice of China's leaders.

And the Chinese media interviews with the three families described them as being "so happy that they cannot sleep".

However, Selangor government is also proving that its not slothful either in promoting itself.

It has taken colour advertisements in major Chinese newspapers inviting the public to their open house at the Dong Zen Temple.

The advertisement in red keeping with the festival's theme, lists the programmes planned such as a drum tattoo, lion dance and others.

It also revealed that the event's VIPs are Khalid, Selangor state exco Elizabeth Wong and top Buddhist leaders.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

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