The words “new” and “young” have often been mentioned in the line-up of candidate introductions from both sides of the political divide. Many parties are banking on the infusion of new blood to win over the people in what is deemed to be the “mother of all elections” in two days’ time.
To help familiarise the public with some of these young and/or new faces, The Star recently spoke to candidates from the various political parties, to learn more about them.
Ryan Ho Kwok Xheng, 30, MCA
Damansara parliamentary candidate Ho is a lawyer who joined the party early last year with hopes to make a change. Ho has been interested in politics from his college days and was not initially supportive of any particular political party, taking more of an interest in policies rather than political alliance.
He will be pitted against incumbent candidate Tony Pua from Pakatan Harapan’s DAP.
Daniel Wa Wai How, 30, MCA
He was Barisan Nasional’s youngest candidate in the last election. Today, Wa is more positive and energetic than ever in his second run. He will be contesting the Keranji state seat in Perak.
During his student days in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, where he was an economics major, Wa joined the Askar Wataniah (military reserve force). One thing Wa hopes to change about Malaysians is their work attitude.
“No matter what kind of job you have, it is important to have the passion to serve well; if we have that, we are one step closer to forming a better community in the country,” he said.
Lee Yee Yuan, 29, MCA
MCA’s candidate for the Sekinchan state seat in Selangor, Lee is an architect who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He comes from a family of educators – his father Lee Ah Lek, 62, and mother Teng Lee Chu, 60, were former school principals.
Lee is not unfamiliar with politics as his father is the Sekinchan Damai MCA branch chairman. With youth on his side, he said he hopes to build a better future for the folks in Sekinchan, a town known for its rice and fishing industries.
He also wants to get the villagers to tap the One Belt One Road initiative and the Digital Free Trade Zone e-commerce platform.
Yuen Chan How, 30, MCA
A director of a property investment company, Yuen’s business acumen has led him into politics. He will be contesting the Tronoh state seat in Perak. He believes the two sectors are intertwined, with one having the power to affect the other.
Outside of the office, Yuen is an automobile enthusiast and a football lover. “I like the spirit of teamwork. It feels great to work together with other players striving for the same goal,” he said.
Born in Papan, near Ipoh, Yuen is also active in Chinese associations, including being a temple committee member. Yuen said his vision is to see the younger generation of Malaysians being more tolerant and accepting of one another’s racial, religious and cultural differences.
“It is our country’s unique point. Instead of using it to create disharmony and chaos, we should use this to our advantage. I also hope to see Malaysians improving themselves to generate more ideas for higher productivity.”
Shahril Hamdan, 32, Umno
Shahril is the parliamentary candidate for Kuala Langat, Selangor. He is an executive council member of Umno Youth, where he leads the Young Professionals Bureau. He is also the CEO of Destini Oil (formerly known as Samudra Oil).
After graduating with an Economics degree from the University of Manchester in 2008, his first job was as a speechwriter and policy aide to Khairy Jamaluddin. He is also a graduate of The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ceasar Mandela Malakun, 27, Upko
Ceasar Mandela is the Penampang parliamentary candidate representing United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), which is a member of BN. This newcomer in politics has aspirations to bring change to Penampang and its people, especially the youth, with regard to the economy.
He has the full support of, and assistance from, fellow Upko and Barisan Nasional members, especially his father, Datuk Seri Dr Clarence Bongkos Malakun, who in 1999 defeated chief minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.