The political temperature has risen in Penang since the DAP's announcement. I believe that DAP Secretary General has called for another press conference in Penang to follow up on his last announcement that Penang is DAP's frontline state.
For many of you who are expecting a grand battle of giants, you might be disappointed. First, both sides (opposition and the Chinese-based component parties) have not been impressive in the state. Since 1995, DAP in Penang is a spent force in state elections. It has, however, held on consistently to 4 parliament seats (2 on the island and 2 on the mainland). It managed to win only a state seat from 1995 to 2004. Its defensive record at the state level has not been impressive. Danny Law lost its stronghold of Batu Lanchang in 2004.
There are a few things that the DAP needs to do right before it can hope for a major breakthrough at the state level. First, it has to strengthen its candidate line-up in Penang. For most pragmatic voters here, the quality of candidates is a major criterion for their approval.
Second, the DAP machinery is poor and almost not visible. This can be very tricky if Lim Guan Eng is expected to contest for both a parliament and a state seat on the island. He would need tremendous support from his party's machinery to build up his political base there. The irony is the earlier his intention is detected, the worse would be for him and his chance. With superior resources and machinery, the BN component parties would ensure that he is thumped and surpressed early.
Third, the DAP Secretry General appears to be still unsure of his intention despite the announcement. Anyone else apart of Lim, the DAP's challenge would a mere storm in a tea cup.
More to come....watch this space!