GEORGE TOWN, Feb 2 – The Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) is to hold Chinese New Year celebrations in the Han Chiang school field on February 11, in a gesture of confidence against the DAP-led state government which held a mammoth gathering there before Election 2008.
The coalition is bringing Oppa Gangnam Style singer Psy for the open house, which will be attended by some 60,000 guests including BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The South Korean singer is expected to sing his viral hit during the event. The song’s video clip has been downloaded more than 1.29 billion views on YouTube video-sharing site since its debut last July.
The open house is from 10am to 1pm and is part of Penang BN’s strategy to win over the key industrial and tourist hub in northern peninsular Malaysia.
During the Election 2008 campaign, the Han Chiang High School grounds was the scene of the biggest-ever ceramah held by the DAP in Penang.
DAP and its allies later won the state from BN, leaving Umno as the sole opposition with 11 seats in the 40-seat state assembly.
The Malaysian Insider understands the Chinese New Year open house is part of state BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow’s push to win back Penang in this year’s general election.
In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last week, Teng said BN will focus on diversifying the state economy especially in tourism, noting that the previous BN government had campaigned for the UNESCO World Heritage Site status for George Town and the expansion of the state airport.
The Penang government has said it will dissolve its assembly when Najib decides to call elections this year. The Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) government mandate expires on May 2, four days after BN’s federal government mandate ends.
Najib has hinted that elections are near with his Umno party having ordered all branches to open their operations rooms from yesterday.
Some 13.3 million voters are registered to cast their ballots in the next elections, for a total of 222 federal seats and 505 state seats in 12 states and three federal territories. Sarawak had its state elections last year.