Sunday February 3, 2013
Barisan gearing up for elections
PETALING JAYA: With 7,531 Barisan Nasional district operations rooms being set up in the 222 parliamentary constituencies, the battle for hearts and minds is on even before the general election has been called.
In Selangor alone, 894 district operations rooms have been opened, whose functions include identifying white, grey and black areas to guide Barisan in its campaign.
Selangor Barisan coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed said the coalition was ready for the polls and anxious to wrest back the state from Pakatan Rakyat.
“The Barisan election machinery is up and running, and we are using an integrated approach involving all component parties and non-governmental organisations friendly to us,” he said.
He said the operations rooms would use the electoral roll to assist them in identifying “white, grey and black” voters.
“They will also find out if the voters reside in or out of the constituency and engage them.”
He stressed the importance of engaging voters directly “at breakfast or tea or in house-to-house visits or at social gatherings”.
“We will also create awareness and visibility by putting up posters and banners,” he added.
The setting up of the operations rooms was announced on Friday by Barisan publicity and information Bureau chairman Ahmad Maslan who noted that they were usually opened after the dissolution of Parliament.
But the next national polls would be “an unusual election”, Bernama quoted him as saying.
Each operations room would have about 180 members and five officers to collect data, make election charts and scrutinise the electoral roll.
In KUANTAN, Pahang MCA deputy chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun said the party's machinery had been in “combat mode” since last year.
“Once Parliament is dissolved, our members will work round-the-clock to ensure victory for Barisan.
“Our list of candidates was submitted last year and it is up the national leadership to decide who will contest,” he added.
Hoh, who is the Bilut assemblyman, was confident that there would not be any infighting or attempts to sabotage Barisan candidates as “a lot is at stake”.
State MIC chairman Datuk M. Davendran said the party's machinery was “well-oiled” and “we will do our best to defend the Cameron Highlands parliamentary and Sabai state seats”.
“It will not be easy for Pakatan Rakyat because we are fully-prepared,” he added.
In GEORGE TOWN, Penang Bari-san Working Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said the coalition was all geared up for the fight at both parliamentary and state levels.
“Our war room (operations room) was set up four months ago, so we are prepared for the elections,” said Dr Teng, who is state Gerakan chief.
“We will be taking advantage of the Chinese New Year festival when our teams will make house-to-house calls,” he added.
Penang MCA secretary Lau Cheik Tuan said the party was “in the final gear” with members pushing to win back Penang from Pakatan Rakyat.
“We have gone down to the field, going from house to house, and organised various programmes for the people,” Lau added.
In IPOH, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said that some of the operations rooms had opened earlier than the official start on Friday to engage the people.
“We are well prepared to face the elections,” he added.
In KOTA BARU, Kelantan Umno chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said that about half of the 541 Umno operations rooms had been activated, and the rest would be functioning within a few days.
“The state election machinery has been put on alert since the middle of last month and I am satisfied with the preparations done,” he added.
Liow: Barisan will govern Penang better
240,000 officers and staff all set for polls
Pakatan politicians ready to face general election
No GE date yet but poster war already hotting up in Johor