....and the battle royale begins.
No date has been offficially fixed yet for the Permatang Pauh by-election and already the top guns from both the Barisan Nasional and Parti Keadilan Rakyat have descended on Penang Island.
Umno president and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was there to meet the Permatang Pauh Umno division. With him were Umno vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam and Umno's "comeback" kid, Ezam Mohd Nor.
PKR de facto leader Anwar himself was in Seberang Jaya where he told the crowd that he would still be contesting even if he was put behind bars.
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Ismail vacated the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat last week, paving the way for Anwar to contest in a by-election.
There have been a couple of calls for Umno to not contest the seat because it's going to be useless. Anwar will definitely come storming "home" handsomely. That's everybody's speculation, or rather, prediction.
But, how can PKR win the seat without a fight, right?
Ezam, former Umno and now former Keadilan member who is now back in Umno, is Anwar's former protege/confidant etc etc turned very bitter adversary etc etc.
He has volunteered to take on his former boss/mentor/confidant etc etc, promising tales to tell.
Pirdaus Ismail who contested there in the last two general elections and lost to Dr Wan Azizah has also offered to be the lamb for the slaughter.
The choice of candidate is, however, with the party leadership.
Let me see --- Will Umno see Permatang Pauh as a contest worth its while and put a very strong challenger (??) or will it field someone so dispensable and inconsequential just for the sake of going through the motion (of a by-election)?