Side-by-side ceramah bring out fangs in MCA, DAP

Gan Pei Ling

MCA's war truck set up in Taman Megah last night. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, August 24, 2018.

THEIR “war trucks” were set up barely 50m apart, but that did not stop the MCA and Pakatan Harapan campaigns for the Balakong by-election from going ahead in Taman Megah last night.

Some 50 supporters stood and listened to MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong and former vice-president Gan Ping Sieu speak while some 120 people clapped and cheered at the PH ceramah, reminiscing about the people’s victory on May 9.

Both sides could hear the other’s speeches down the street. A few police officers were present but no untoward incidents were reported.

Wee appealed to voters to send its candidate – Tan Chee Teong – into the 56-seat Selangor state assembly that only has four opposition lawmakers from Umno at present.

Tan is up against PH’s Wong Siew Ki in the September 8 by-election, which follows the death of former assemblyman Eddie Ng in a car crash on July 20.

He also welcomed PAS’ support, saying that its nemesis, DAP, had cooperated with the Islamist party in the past to form the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat to defeat BN.

Gan urged voters to give MCA a chance to be reborn after its worst defeat in the 14th general election. The ethnic Chinese party only won one parliamentary seat and two state seats on May 9.

DAP speakers, on the other hand, reminded voters that it was because of MCA’s failure to act as a check and balance to Barisan Nasional’s lynchpin party Umno that PH had to work hard to undo the damage BN had incurred on the country.

Selangor executive councillor and Kota Kemuning assemblyman V. Ganabatirau said Balakong voters should not forgive MCA and BN easily for saddling the country with RM1 trillion in debt.

DAP's Balakong by-election candidate Wong Siew Ki speaking to Pakatan supporters in Taman Megah last night. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, August 24, 2018.

PH supporters, mostly middle-age Chinese and a few Indians and Malays, clapped and cheered when asked by Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim if they had voted on May 9, stayed up to hear the result and felt they woke up to a new Malaysia the next day.

“What is this new Malaysia? We have the first female deputy prime minister in history, a formidable prime minister who is 93 years old, a Chinese for finance minister again, and a 26-year-old made youth and sports minister.

“What was impossible is now possible. Pakatan showed that it doesn’t matter what your skin colour, religion, gender and age is,” said Sim.

The deputy youth and sports minister said voters should not be misled by MCA’s bid to contest with its own party logo this by-election.

“They know the Chinese don’t like that they are in bed with Umno. They know people will be reminded of (former prime minister) Najib (Razak), 1MDB and Jho Low. It gives the perception that MCA is no longer with Umno but after the ceramah, they go home to Umno. They are still with BN. 

“Maybe they will only wake up when they have lost all their seats like Gerakan and quit BN,” said Sim.

He recalled how shocked he was to discover that his ministry was ranked the eighth most corrupt by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2016.

“This is due to the lack of open tenders. Now, the MACC no longer reports to the prime minister but to Parliament. If (PH candidate) Wong Siew Ki is naughty one day, the MACC will go after her. This is the new Malaysia you voted for,” said Sim.

DAP collected RM516 from the ceramah last night. – August 24, 2018.

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