KUALA LUMPUR: It is a baptism of fire for one of MCA’s youngest candidates, Ryan Ho Kwok Xheng (pic), who will be pitted against Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua for the Damansara parliamentary seat.
Ho has a herculean task taking on Pua, who is a two-term assemblyman for Damansara (formerly known as Petaling Jaya Utara).
Raised in Petaling Jaya, the 30-year-old lawyer joined the party early last year through Petaling Jaya Utara MCA chief Tan Gim Tuan, who is a long-time acquaintance.
Ho said that he was 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.
“Elected representatives have tremendous responsibilities but they hold the power to change people’s lives for the better, and that’s what I’m interested in – making Malaysia a better place.
“Being selected to contest is overwhelming to an extent, but I am ready for it,” said Ho.
He is currently not thinking much about his main opponent for the Damansara seat, but is instead focusing on policies put forth in the party’s manifesto, which he believes will help stabilise the economy and make it easier for youths to build their careers.
“We all have to start somewhere. He (Pua) had to start from the bottom at one point too,” said Ho.
He is concerned that Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto will introduce populist policies that are ultimately not a concrete solution to bring growth to the economy.
Being concerned for the future of youth, Ho wants to pay attention to youth-centric policies such as the stabilisation of the economy for future generations, higher education, reducing the carbon footprint and channelling more resources to law enforcement.
“I want to push for more policies in education to prepare us for an automated world and upskill our people to do higher level functions,” he said.
Ho has been making the rounds with fellow party members to learn more about the sentiments of voters long before the announcement of his candidacy
“If you don’t have your ears to the ground, you’re not connected to the people and you will not be able to articulate their voice in Parliament,” he added.
Ho believes that voters in Damansara are intelligent and pragmatic and he trusts they will vote for the right party.
“At the end of the day, we are a democratic society. We try to implement what the majority wants.”