State election battles in full swing

The ‘war’ to establish state administrations in Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, Selangor, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan ‘officially’ began this morning when the candidates from the different political parties filed their nomination papers.

Of course, the ‘fighting’ began as far back as November, after the 15th General Election saw the formation of the grand coalition government that christened itself the ‘unity government’.

As Twentytwo13’s columnist and political analyst Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk had repeatedly pointed out, the definition of a unity government is one that has no opposition, or only a handful of dissidents.

That is certainly not the case, as Perikatan Nasional (PN) forms a large opposition bloc of 74, of the 222 Parliamentary seats.

Since then, the two blocs have been going after each other – with some in-fighting thrown in – for good measure. Expect a vicious and a long drawn-out campaign, even after the people go to the polls on Aug 12.

Of the six states, all eyes are on Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. PN should have no problems retaining Kedah, Terengganu, and Kelantan.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) is widely expected to hold on to ‘Festung Penang’   (Fortress Penang), but its hold on the other two states is not as strong as it once was.

I have great interest in the two hotly-contested battlegrounds, as I was born in Negeri Sembilan and now reside in Selangor.

Will both be swept away by the so-called ‘Green Wave’ – which refers to Pas’ colours – and mark the emergence of a more extremist form of political Islam? Or can Pakatan Harapan withstand the tidal wave and still garner support from the people?

Some are fearful of a more “very religious, more conservative” future should PN take over, while others are upset that the government has not done much to reduce the spiralling cost of living.

Just like GE15, there is also a third group – the politically weary and election fatigued electorate with a ‘tidak apa’ (could not care less) attitude towards the polls, as they have not seen much change in the past eight months.

While it is always easy to blame someone else – who has not been guilty of doing so – we have to work together to make the future brighter.

That means going out, and exercising your right to vote.

Just ask yourself one question, who will be the best person for the job?

You have 13 days to decide.

HUJAN AND BON ZAINAL TO BE PART OF THE KUALA LUMPUR BIKE SHOW

Malaysian fashion designer Bon Zainal and indie rock band, Hujan will be part of the inaugural Kuala Lumpur Bike Show next month.

The concert by Hujan on Aug 25 at the Merdeka Hall, World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTC KL), is the band’s first solo performance in Malaysia this year.

Ticket sales for Hujan’s concert started yesterday.

The other lifestyle component is a fashion show themed ‘Wheels on Heels’ on Aug 26 and will feature diverse collections by local designers Emri Vision, Blackout by Rasta, Ghadeez, and Bon Zainal himself.

‘Wheels on Heels’ showcases ready-to-wear streetwear that suits everyone within and outside the biking world.

PESTA KUANTAN 188 TO CELEBRATE ROYAL COUPLE’S BIRTHDAYS

The three-day Pesta Kuantan 188 that started today will feature family-fun activities, such as the Royal Pahang Dragon Boat Race, a talent show ‘Kuantan 188 Challenge: Ada Bran?’, cultural performances by Majlis Bandaraya Kuantan, Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negeri and Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri, fashion shows, Zumba, retail booths with handcrafted items and food from local vendors, a Fun Run and a Fun Ride featuring a 5km run alongside a cycle track of 35km, and many more.

Other activities include a mini petting zoo, kids zip line, a karaoke competition, bouncing castles, and health screening for parents.

The festival also includes a free concert featuring Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, Cakra Khan, Ameng Spring, Aizat Amdan, Aishah Retno, Santesh, and Malaysian actor and comedian Harith Iskander at 9pm tomorrow.

The event coincides with the birthdays of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (tomorrow) and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah on Aug 5.

20 FUN CEREAL RECIPES

Eat your favourite cereal at whatever time of day with the help of these fun and easy recipes. Brimming with cornflakes, puffed rice, fruit and fibre and crunchy granola, with most only requiring a handful of accessible ingredients.

These recipes are perfect for last-minute baking with kids.

FAREWELL, TONY BENNETT AND SINÈAD O’CONNOR

The music world lost Tony Bennett and Sinèad O’Connor in the past week.

Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016 but continued to perform and record through 2021. He had a No. 1 record 11 years ago when he was 85!

He died on July 21, aged 96.

O’Connor, 40 years younger than Bennett at 56, was found dead on July 26.

She suffered from mental health issues and had to live with fibromyalgia – a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and extreme tiredness.

O’Connor’s biggest hit – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ – came out in 1990 and topped the charts in Ireland, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Although Bennett was known as the king of duets in his later life, he, sadly, never had a chance to record with O’Connor.

To end this week’s Diary, here is Bennett with his signature tune, ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/hT5VOnaGRSU

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