PONTIAN: Despite being a political greenhorn, Gerakan candidate Wendy Subramaniam has vowed to ‘’shake every hand’’ she can in Tanjung Piai.
‘’This is definitely what I want to do here, ’’ she said.
The 38-year-old lawyer and accountant was responding to questions on how she would make an impression among voters in the parliamentary constituency facing off the more experienced rivals from Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.
Recalling the reason she is standing for the by-election, the mother of two said a question from her five-year-old daughter struck her.
‘’It happened before this by-election was announced; one day, after coming home from party work, my daughter asked, ‘’Mum, does your voice matter?’’
‘’That struck me deeply that my voice should be heard.
‘’That is why I am here today, ’’ she said, adding that the concern for her children not being able to live and work comfortably in Malaysia due to the widening racial and religious discords spurred her to fight for a more inclusive Malaysia.
‘’My children are my motivation to run in this campaign. I hope the people, especially those who have children will understand that we are building the nation for our future generations, ’’ she added.
Wendy was speaking to the press after Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau opened the party’s operations centre along Lebuhraya Skudai-Pontian.
Calling for voters’ support, Lau said the people in Tanjung Piai would have more than a Member of Parliament but the entire Gerakan party behind them if they gave the party a chance.
He acknowledged that it would be a tough fight against the bigger and stronger coalitions of Pakatan Harapan and BN.
‘’Compared to both Pakatan and BN, Gerakan is no doubt an underdog in terms of election facilities and resources.
‘’Despite lacking in resources, Gerakan’s contesting in the Tanjung Piai by-election is important in providing an alternative to voters who are not happy with both Pakatan and Barisan, ’’ he said.
Lau also noted that Gerakan’s presence in the fray would provide a referendum of the people’s satisfaction towards the Pakatan Harapan Government.
‘’This by-election is important for the people to send a strong signal to the Pakatan Harapan Government that the people have been dissatisfied with how they run the country.
‘’Although we won’t be able to fulfil each and every request of the people here, we promise to bring their voices and concerns to the Parliament if we won, ’’ he added.
Gerakan, now an independent opposition party after quitting BN in June last year, decided to contest the by-election after sitting out the previous eight by-elections following GE14.
The Tanjung Piai polls will be a six-cornered fight between Pakatan Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini, BN’s Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, Gerakan’s Wendy, Pan Malaysian Islamic Front (Berjasa)’s Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates – Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar and Dr Ng Chuan Lock.
The Election Commission has set Nov 12 as early voting, while polling day falls on Nov 16.
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