PONTIAN: Chinese votes will determine Barisan Nasional's victory in the Tanjung Piai by-election, said Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
The Rembau MP said the momentum has been good, but cautioned that it was important to refute fearmongering among the Chinese community launched by DAP to paint Barisan Nasional and MCA candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng as racist.
"The situation now will depend more on Chinese votes here. Their votes are what will decide this by-election.
"So far we feel that the momentum is good. Just that we want to be aware of the psychology war by DAP in fearmongering among the Chinese community here.
"They have been claiming that a vote for MCA is a vote for Malay ultra extremism - this is worse than what DAP used to claim of Barisan in the past. They are the one playing with racial sentiments," he told the press after delivering his speech at a Barisan ceramah in the compound next to Econsave in Pontian town on Sunday night (Nov 10).
When asked, Khairy noted it was "too early" to gauge Chinese support for GE15 based on the current ground sentiments.
"By-election is different from general election. And what Tanjung Piai can prove is that Chinese support won't be with Pakatan forever.
"Maybe we can see some movement here and it is what I hope," he said.
Khairy also called on the Barisan machinery not to be complacent, as ceramah attendance is not the barometer for support.
"In terms of ceramah support, God willing we're good. But we cannot be too complacent and overconfident, thinking that ceramah attendance can be translated into votes.
"That's why the next few days are crucial, especially in refuting DAP's racial propaganda," he said, adding that DAP has gotten big-headed and defensive in governance because they cannot deliver their manifestos.
Also present during the ceramah were MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon, Wanita chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie and Youth chief Nicole Wong Siaw Ting.
Party veteran Datuk Lim Si Cheng, who is former Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker, Kluang McA chairman Gan Ping Sieu and Johor Umno deputy chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed were also present.
Jeck Seng also delivered his speech during the ceramah before the 300-strong crowd.
Earlier in his speech, Khairy also spoke on Barisan's decision to field an MCA candidate in Tanjung Piai despite pressure from the ground for a Malay candidate.
"If Umno only thinks about getting Malay votes in Tanjung Piai, we would have fielded a Malay candidate.
"Yes, there was pressure from the ground within the party calling us to forget about MCA.
"However, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, despite being pressured to focus on Malay votes and the Muafakat Nasional coalition, he made the right and wise decision (by fielding Jeck Seng) in order to prove that the MCA candidate can win this by-election for Barisan," he said.
This move, added Khairy, shows that the Barisan spirit is still intact.
"Umno and PAS are now friends and have yet to come together. In Barisan, despite having new friends, it doesn't mean we forget about our old friends - the MCA and MIC from the very beginning.
"We cannot afford to be a single race coalition or a single ethnicity government after this.
Barisan is not dead, our spirit is very much alive and MCA will rise from here," he said, adding that the Umno-PAS alliance will not be complete without MCA, MIC and the various races in order to win in the next general election.
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