The upcoming Kajang by-election, which will be held on this Sunday, will be the first test for the new MCA leaders who were elected in December last year.
As someone coming from within the party, realistically, it is more than an uphill task for our Vice President, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to come out as the winner in this by-election against the President of PKR Datin Seri Wan Azizah.
In fact, when the by-election was created in late January, the odds were stacked against us as whoever we fielded in Kajang would have to face the "world class leader" by the name of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Nonetheless, against this pessimistic outlook, there is a silver lining. Despite the odds against us, the party President and Deputy President were adamant and insisted that we contest in this by-election for two main reasons.
Firstly, PKR has been very confident that the rakyat will give the party a strong mandate as they did in GE13. That was the mandate that sent them into the Selangor State Assembly with a more than two-thirds majority where they are now administering the Selangor State comfortably. But it was also the strength of such mandate that has weakened the check and balance, and thus the people’s voice,within the Selangor State Assembly.
As a result, PKR has abused the mandate given by the people by creating this by-election, in an attempt to make way for Anwar to be the MB of Selangor. It was against this background that we had no choice but to contest to not only stop Pakatan Rakyat and its component parties from using the people as tools to resolve their internal problems, but also for the sake of the people of Selangor by strengthening the check and balance within the Selangor State Assembly.
Secondly, the Kajang by-election will be a good place to gauge the support of the rakyat for MCA’s new leadership, in particular our plan to transform the party. This is why a new mechanism similar to the primary system used by many political parties in the developed democracies was put in place during our candidate selection process. Surveys were conducted in the localities of Kajang to ascertain the candidate that the locals want, and the party leaders also looked at the track records of the pool of candidates we have.
This is how serious, and how committed, we are to transform the party into one that will represent and speak for the people. That was how Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, a lady who almost lost her life through an accident while assisting some flood victims few years ago, and a lady who gave up the prominence andposition as a Deputy Minister to honour her words, was selected by the party.
Personally, I had never met Mei Fun until the party elections were concluded. Being a newcomer in the party and politics, I have heard about her, but I knew little about her. It was only right after the Chinese New Year where I had the opportunity to work with her along with some NGOs that I began to know her. It was thenthat I saw for myself what type of leader she is, especially when some representatives of the NGOs were singing praises of her. The real eye opener was during the past few weeks where I had the opportunity to assist this iron lady in preparation for the Kajang by-election.
What impressed me most about Mei Fun, though, is her conviction to serve her people. As soon as she was named as the candidate for Barisan Nasional in Kajang, she went to the ground to meet the people. It was not just the ordinary meet and greet sessions but one where she had fully utilised the opportunities to better know and understand the people’s problems. That was where she have obtained the ideas for her manifesto and wrote it all by herself. The manifesto which was launched by her few days ago was comprehensive and addressed the issues faced by the people, and which she will seek to resolve for the people of Kajang if she is elected.
It is thus no wonder why there was no issue that could be played up by her opponent to destroy her. There was attempt to link her up with Perkasa, and there was also attempt to accuse her of closing down SJKC Damansara whilst she was MP for PJ Utara. None of these hold water. Her integrity and credibility remains intact as she soldiers on to serve the people. It will be tough, but I hope her efforts will bear fruits this Sunday. Good luck, Mei Fun!
The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.