Segambut race going incumbent Hannah Yeoh’s way as rivals go MIA

K. Kabilan

A goodly number of people turn up to listen to Segambut incumbent Hannah Yeoh’s election pitch, at the Pakatan Harapan ceramah in the parliamentary seat, on Saturday. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 13, 2022.

TO any casual observer, Hannah Yeoh of Pakatan Harapan looks certain to win the Segambut parliamentary seat.

She won the Chinese-majority seat in KL for the first time in 2018 with a majority of 45,702 voters. Her two challengers from BN/Gerakan and PAS lost their deposits.

This time, she is again in a three-way fight, against the candidates of BN/MCA and Perikatan Nasional/Gerakan.

Segambut is a DAP stronghold now but during the first three terms of its inception, it was Gerakan territory. DAP’s Lim Lip Eng won the seat in 2008, and retained it in the next election before moving to neighbouring Kepong.

Although she is a popular candidate, Yeoh is leaving nothing to chance. She is doing her daily morning and afternoon rounds and holding a series of ceramah in Segambut. 

Last night, she spoke at a rally in Taman Sejahtera, a relatively old neighbourhood bordering Segambut, Kepong and Batu. The event attracted a mixed crowd of old and young of all races. About 600 people turned up at a soggy field in the rain to hear what Yeoh had to offer.

It may appear that Yeoh was preaching to the converted, but her team seems wary of how the young and new voters would vote. After Undi18 and automatic registration, the Segambut electorate has grown by about 42,000 to 119,652.

But it already looks like she is capable of winning over the youth. Her team and volunteers are all young people. In fact, she had a 12-year-old volunteer in the crowd last night.

Her co-speakers were also all young and included her two team members, both of them were making their ceramah debut yesterday, one as a speaker and the other as the host. The chief attraction must have been Muda information chief Luqman Long, who did a wonderful job in getting the election fever up several notches.

Apart from the usual political promises of reform, eradicating corruption, more women in the cabinet, freeing Kuala Lumpur of City Hall’s strong grip, and more, Yeoh also had a strong message for the youth.   

“Give me time and resources, I will raise up many good and clean (young) leaders and send them into parliament. 

“I want to raise up as many good Malaysians as possible to flood the political system so that we don’t have only corrupt politicians to choose from,” she told the crowd.

She has two more ceramah events in Segambut before polling day and they look set to attract a big crowd.

Her rival PN/Gerakan candidate V. Prabagaran is conspicuously absent from the campaign trail.

BN/MCA candidate Daniel Ling has been spotted in walkabouts in the markets and food courts talking to voters.

In one of these excursions, he was filmed being bluntly told off by a voter that she would not support people “who stole other people’s money”. The video went viral.

The way it looks, thanks to Yeoh’s glowing report card for her work in the constituency since 2018, and Malaysians’ anger over the 2020 Sheraton Move, the incumbent is going to win. The only question is by how many votes.  – November 13, 2022.

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