If the by-election is happening, it means that Malaysians are having 6 by-elections since March 2008. While 3 by-elections were inevitable (Kuala Terengganu, Batang Ai and Bukit Gantang) due to the death of its MPs and Assemblyman, the other 3 was not necessary. Millions of our money were wasted to hl this unnecessary by-elections. We are lucky that Elizabeth Wong did not made to vacant her seat.
Now, after 5 by-elections of which BN had managed to only retain 1 seat while losing the Kuala Terengganu seat and failed to repossess the other 3 seats from the opposition it really suggests that BN's position at the moment is very fragile. Out of 5, BN lost 4 and won only 1.
I do not think that Najib as the new PM and UMNO President can afford to lose another by-election. He needs to feel good about having the support of the grassroots. Losing the Penanti by-election is a signal that Najib may not want to receive. And for that, Najib said that BN may not contesting the Penanti by-election as it is a waste of fund. I can understand where Najib came from. As I said earlier, holding unnecesary by-election is a real waste of fund. That millions of ringgit can be used to benefit the rakyat as a whole. Every single sen that we have needs to be spent wisely. However, I do not really buy Najib's excuse for not contesting the Penanti by-election. If BN is in a very strong position and the likelihood is that BN ay be able to repossess Penanti from PKR, do you think that Najib will let this golden opportunity go just like that? I do not think so because he needs to contest to win and with the win he can show to the people that he has got the suport from the grassroots. So, to me, the reason Najib does not want BN to contest in Penanti is not because of money but more on his popularity.
While Najib is thinking of not contesting in Penanti by-election, his Mentor Tun Mahathir has different idea. Tun was quoted by The Star as saying that "Barisan Nasional should not throw in the towel and withdraw from contesting the Penanti by-election as it would give the impression that the party is weak".
So now we have Najib vs Mahathir. I am very sure if Pak Lah is still the PM and he decided not to contest the by-election, he will get whacked from Mahathir. Now, will Najib listens to Tun's advice? Will Mahathir whack and criticise Najib if Najib confirmed that BN is not contesting in Penanti? Let us wait and see what happen.