THERE is speculation that a “parachute” candidate from Gerakan will contest the Kota Kemuning state seat under the Kota Raja parliamentary constituency.
Formerly known as Sri Muda before the recent redelineation exercise, it was contested by an Umno candidate in the last general election.
Word has it that Umno is swapping Kota Kemuning for the Kota Alam Shah state seat with Gerakan.
Also being talked about is MCA’s dissatisfaction with the move as the party has been working closely with the constituents in Kota Kemuning for some time.
A source from MCA confirmed that Gerakan has already set up office in Kemuning Utama.
It is learnt that Kota Raja MCA submitted a protest letter to party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar as well as to Kota Raja Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Kamaruzzaman Johari.
“We feel that MCA should be given preference especially since we have worked hard in the area. The new candidate is an unknown and we do not know how the voters will react to this,” the source said.
He added that MCA hoped for a seat in Kota Kemuning as the party does not have a representative in Kota Raja.
Residents are also questioning the move as they are afraid they would have to start from scratch to work with a new candidate.
Zone 26 Residents’ Representative Committee (JPP) member Kuan Chee Kheong felt it would be difficult for residents to work with a person they were not familiar with.
“The likely BN candidate is someone we do not know. We have only seen his face on banners that have sprung up recently.
“The candidate will have to start from scratch,” he added.
Kuan said MCA members were around for some time and even helped resolve several issues, including getting a new school for the area which residents had been asking for.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the new school, SMK Kota Kemuning 2, was held on March 23.
Resident Lee Kok Sam said he found it difficult to work with an unfamiliar candidate.
He said residents have been talking about the issue with many expressing the same view as him.
Talk is that the Barisan candidate for Kota Kemuning will be 49-year-old engineer Tiew Hock Huat from Klang.
He is the Klang Gerakan division secretary and also the party’s central youth committee member.
When contacted, Tiew said his name has been mentioned, but there was no confirmation.
The father of two said he was still waiting for word of his candidacy from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
When asked about the people’s concerns over his selection as candidate, Tiew agreed that he was a relatively unfamiliar face in the area.
However, he urged the constituents to give him an opportunity to serve them.
“I have been working in the Klang parliamentary constituency for 10 years now. I have a track record and people are more than welcome to check it,” he said.
Tiew said he needed more time to prove his mettle and to deliver his promises to the people.
He confirmed that the Gerakan operations centre was ready and would be launched today.
Two-term assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei (PKR) won GE13 by 27,488 votes against Umno candidate Mohd Abdul Raof Mokhtar who gathered 14,978 votes while independent Datuk Ramaswree Duraisamy had 242 votes.
In 2008, Shuhaimi garnered 15,962 votes against Barisan's Datuk Amzah Umar who had 9988 votes.