BANGI: The political temperature in Kajang has shot up drastically with two Dragon ladies officially entering the ring for a showdown 11 days from now.
Barisan Nasional’s Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Pakatan Rakyat’s Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – both born in the Year of the Dragon – are locked in a straight fight for the Kajang state seat on March 23.
At 50 and single, Chew is an MCA vice-president and holder of a Masters degree in Chinese studies. Dr Wan Azizah, who is 12 years older, is wife of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR president and an ophthalmologist by training.
Shortly after returning officer Hasan Nawawi Abd Rahman announced their candidacy at the MPKj Sports Complex here, Chew was quick to point out that candidates have their individual strengths and weaknesses.
“I do not want to comment on the other candidate,” she said when asked on Dr Wan Azizah’s last-minute candidacy and the need for her to re-strategise.
Anwar, who had been eyeing the seat earlier, announced his wife’s candidacy on Sunday, two days after he was convicted for sodomy by the Appeal Court, thus disqualifying him from contesting.
Apart from their individual strengths, both ladies are definitely receiving full support from their respective parties.
The scorching sun did not deter the thousands of supporters from camping near the nomination centre. Some arrived as early as 6am and waited till almost 10.30am for the announcement of the candidacies.
Chew, together with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, top Barisan leaders including MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Mazlan Ahmad and Selangor Umno chief Datuk Noh Omar, walked several hundred metres to the polling centre.
Also at the centre to lend support to Chew were Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Ummo Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Wanita Ummo chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Kiong and MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.
A large number of Barisan supporters, many bearing banners “Barisan Menang, Rakyat Senang” (Barisan wins, the people gain) were present to drum up support for their candidate who has a good track record in serving the people and the full backing from MCA and the Barisan Federal Government.
Similarly, Pakatan supporters were present to lend support to Dr Wan Azizah, including Anwar, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub and Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua.
Her supporters, bearing banners with phrases like “Kak Wan, wipe your tears and keep on fighting” underscored Pakatan’s strategy to ride the emotional curve to bag sympathy votes for Dr Wan Azizah.
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