LIM Guan Eng has cautioned Pakatan Harapan supporters not to assume that the pact will win Penang again in the 14th general election.
The chief minister said there is no guarantee that PH will keep the state, in the face of a formidable challenge that Barisan Nasional is expected to mount.
DAP has led the Penang government since the 2008 general election. The party holds 19 out of 40 state seats.
Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, said Umno leaders who recently visited Penang have announced BN’s candidate for chief minister – the coalition’s state chairman and state Gerakan chief Teng Chang Yeow.
“We have to work hard to keep the state. You may think BN cannot win, but don’t be too confident.
“The other side has ambitions to win back Penang. BN leaders, from (MCA president) Liow Tiong Lai to (Umno acting deputy president) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and (Umno vice-president) Hishammuddin Hussein, have announced Teng as the CM candidate.
“If he becomes CM, he is a CM chosen by Umno. You want that or a people’s CM?” Lim asked a crowd of supporters at the Esplanade in George Town, where the state DAP launched its GE14 election machinery today.
The machinery comprises 113 “Ubah” cars, which sport flags of PH parties, as well as stickers of the iconic “Ubah” hornbill and some DAP leaders’ pictures.
“We cannot play around. We have to be serious to win every vote in Penang,” said Lim.
He said things will become worse in Penang if BN regains the state.
“Just look at the ferry service. It worsened in 10 years. Who was in charge of it? BN.
“It is not like the PH government. In 10 years, we have made Penang a cleaner state.”
State DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow said GE14 will be tougher than the last general election.
He noted the general belief that Penang is safe with PH, and how Teng has been named as BN’s candidate for chief minister.
“The sentiment (from the BN side) is very different from the belief that PH will win hands down.
“Do they know something we don’t?” he said in his speech at the launch.
He said with the Election Commission having completed its redelineation exercise, and BN expected to table and pass it at the Dewan Rakyat, the opposition’s struggle will be harder.
But, he said, with a stronger pact this time around, the opposition might have an advantage.
PH comprises DAP, PKR, PAS splinter party Amanah and Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bersatu.
Lim, who is also PH deputy president, told supporters that BN might play up the race card again to divert attention from real issues, such as the rising cost of living, and the goods and services tax.
He said slander and lies will be hurled at the Penang government, like how it was claimed that “azan” (call to prayer) had been banned in the state.
“This is the lie they will tell people outside Penang to make them hate DAP. They will stir up hatred against non-Muslims so that they can gain Muslim support.
“They will play up these sentiments to cover up their own failures.
“Even in Kelantan, we now hear of PAS supporters saying GST is good,” said Lim, urging the people not to be duped.
He reiterated that PH will scrap GST if it takes over Putrajaya.
“We don’t want monthly sales just once in a while. We want them everyday.”