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‘BN must work harder to woo Chinese’

GEORGE TOWN: The Kajang by-election result gave an indication that Chinese-based parties in Barisan Nasional should not be frustrated by results of the nation’s last two general elections, said Penang Gerakan secretary Oh Tong Keong.
 
 
He insisted that parties likes of MCA and Gerakan should intensify their work and services to the people to regain the lost Chinese electoral ground for BN.
 
 
He pointed out that Chinese votes for BN had increased from 18% recorded in 13th general election to 25% in last Sunday’s by-election.
 
 
“The increase may seem insignificant, but it is definitely a positive sign for BN.
 
 
“Chinese-based parties should not give up, but instead work harder.
 
 
“Chinese voters will eventually come back to BN,” said Oh in a press statement to FMT here today.
 
 
In the Kajang by-election, BN candidate Chew Mei Fun from MCA lost to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail by 5,379 votes.
 
 
Oh said BN managed to slash the majority votes despite Wan Azizah being the stronger favourite candidate from the start.
 
 
He noted that Wan Azizah’s majority was far behind Lee Chin Cheh, who won the seat on PKR’s ticket in last year’s general election with a comfortable 6, 824-vote majority.
 
 
Lee resigned on Jan 27 to pave way for the by-election.
 
 
In the 2013 general election, PKR’s Lee garnered 19,571 votes followed by Lee Ban Seng (BN – MCA) with 12,747 votes and Mohamad Ismail (Berjasa) 1,014 votes.
 
 
Three independent candidates – Mohd Iwan Jefrey Abdul Majib (249 votes), Ong Yan Foo (85 votes) and Mohd Khalid Kassim (83 votes) all lost their deposits.
 
 
Oh said voter turnout for the by-election was 72%, which was lower than compared with general elections in 2013 (88%) and in 2008 (79%).
 
 
He said one main reason behind the non-turnout of 16% voters could be that Kajang folks were tired of the unhealthy means of forcing by-elections by PKR.
 
 
He said Kajang constituents could also be protesting and expressing their dissatisfaction against PKR’s move.
 
 
Anwar using the voters
 
 
He noted that the people of Kajang also did not heed to calls by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang to express their dissatisfaction via ballot paper against Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction.
 
 
“Votes for PKR showed signs of decrease when the ballot boxes were opened.
 
 
“This shows that the people knew that the judiciary was beyond politics,” said Oh.
 
 
Oh also took a swipe at Anwar for taking the people’s support for granted by forcing a by-election just to achieve his own political agenda.
 
 
After learning that he could not contest, Oh said Anwar passed the Kajang seat to his wife Wan Azizah to enable her to oust incumbent Khalid Ibrahim and takeover the Selangor menteri besar’s post.
 
 
Yesterday, Oh pointed out Wan Azizah did not dismiss the possibility of taking up the post.
 
 
“All these actions by Anwar and PKR were done at the expense of using the people.
 
 
“The Kajang by-election was unnecessary and a sheer waste of public funds,” blasted Oh.
 
 
He drew familiarities with Anwar’s Kajang move with his previous Permatang Pauh move nearly six years ago.
 
 
On July 31, 2008, barely five months after the 12th general election, Wan Azizah resigned as Permatang Pauh MP to pave way for Anwar to win the subsequent by-election on Aug 28 and return to Parliament after nine years.
 
 
“Permatang Pauh and Kajang voters were misused to achieve Anwar’s political agenda.
 
 
“Such political game is unhealthy and undermines democracy,” said Oh.