Up to the voters now to choose who is best
Analysis by FOONG PEK YEE
EVERYTHING has been done to drum up support from the voters. Now, it’s in their hands.
To capitalise on the Chinese New Year mood, PAS campaigners even went to the extent of distributing red balloons bearing the party’s logo.
Yesterday, they braved the rain to hand out red and the usual green balloons to motorists in Labis town, causing a massive traffic jam.
The 14,753 voters in the Tenang by-election comprise 47% Malays, 39% Chinese and 12% Indians.
But it is the Chinese votes that PAS is eyeing in order to win the Tenang seat and it is banking on its DAP partner to deliver them.
Instead of explaining to the Chinese what PAS can do for them, the Chinese-based DAP used the campaign to attack its long-time enemy, the MCA.
Never mind that the Barisan Nasional candidate Mohd Azahar Ibrahim is from Umno, it was the MCA that DAP, especially its adviser Lim Kit Siang, was after.
A political observer viewed the DAP’s all-out effort to attack MCA as mainly an attempt to divert the community’s attention from the various breakthroughs the MCA has achieved since Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek became party president in March last year.
“A stable and united MCA has always been a threat to DAP,” reasoned a veteran MCA leader, pointing out that DAP’s survival hinged a lot upon MCA’s weaknesses as both parties banked on the support of the Chinese community.
The fact that Dr Chua has adopted a low-key and personal touch in his campaign, such as personally meeting Tenang voters, has also put the opposition in a bind, remarked a political observer.
As expected by many MCA supporters, Kit Siang had, in his ceramah in Tenang, challenged Dr Chua to step down if he failed to get the support of the Chinese community in the by-election.
But MCA supporters are not taking this lightly.
A senior Johor MCA leader said Kit Siang was not fit to ask anyone to step down as he did not take responsibility for his two failed attempts to capture Penang in the 1986 and 1990 general elections.
A few of his comrades had “perished” in the two attempts – Tanjung 1 and Tanjung 2 – which Kit Siang had described as do-or-die battles, he noted. Attacks and counter attacks from both sides of the divide are part and parcel of politics, but the voters are the ones who will decide who is best for them.