Party paraphernalia, giveaways rolling out in anticipation of GE15

WITH mere months to go before the 15th General Election (GE15), political parties are busy setting up their election machinery for the battle ahead.

In Penang, printers and souvenir makers have started receiving jobs “behind closed doors” to deliver last-minute orders.

A banner printer in town who declined to be named said he has so far received small orders from three political parties for small events and is ready to ramp up production once the campaigning period approaches.

“I’ve dealt with many parties in past GEs and understand their requirements. Two months ago, we started receiving orders and expect the amount to slowly increase until GE15,” he said yesterday.

Penang MCA liaison committee secretary Yeoh Chin Kah said the state has started by printing a few banners for its party headquarters.

“We are ready to start mass production when instruction is given from headquarters, as they are in the midst of finalising strategies.

“The common items such as flags and shirts would be managed at the central level, and they would probably order them in large quantities from China for a better price, as done by Barisan Nasional in past elections,” said Yeoh.

Parti Warisan, which is contesting for the first time in Penang, has started preparing election paraphernalia such as leaflets, T-shirts, caps, button badges and flags.

Its state vice-chairman Goh Choon Keong said the items are produced locally as they are made in low quantities and to support local businesses.

“By building a rapport with local producers, they assure us of quality and delivery time. We were able to get about 200 pieces of T-shirts and caps within a week,” he said.

Goh said such merchandise allows supporters to have physical engagement with the party while serving as an icebreaker for the party to get closer to people.

Penang DAP secretary Senator Lim Hui Ying said preparations are on track and are currently focused on social media.

“People may visit our DAP Pulau Pinang Facebook page for the latest updates.”

In Melaka, grassroots leaders of political parties have mobilised their members to engage with voters.

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In Melaka, grassroots leaders of political parties have mobilised their members to engage voters.

Hang Tuah Jaya Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) division chief Datuk Seri Gan Peng Lam said its election machinery is ready, adding: “We have started to meet the electorates in mixed constituencies.”

Gan said party volunteers had been asked to listen to the issues faced by the grassroots as part of the strategy to woo fence-sitters.

“We are moving intensively, especially in urban parliamentary constituencies, although we are unsure which seat would be allocated to our party in the state,” he said.

Melaka DAP election machinery staff Tan Chin Gwan said party election workers had gone to night markets and other busy areas to reach out to voters.

Kota Melaka PKR deputy division chief Sahar Helmi Md Said said they had started reaching out to young voters through community programmes.

He said the division had not started planning ceramahs yet as it was focusing on small gatherings and going to flood-affected areas.

In Johor, local political party leaders have also been busy meeting and engaging with voters as they believe people will cast their ballots based on the candidate and will prefer a local and familiar face to represent them.

Kluang Umno division chief Datuk Md Jais Sarday said all 80 Umno branches in Johor had been mobilised to engage with locals and NGOs, adding: “I have been spending lots of time engaging with the people, even though the Kluang seat belongs to MCA.”

“This time, I feel that the people will vote based on the candidate instead of their preferred party,” said Md Jais, who is working with other Barisan component parties, especially MCA, to wrest back the Kluang seat currently held by DAP.

Meanwhile, Iskandar Puteri PKR division chief M. Murugan said GE15 would not be easy and every component party in Pakatan Harapan would have to work hard to prevail.

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